What is AutoSave?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Many computer programs provide a method to save information to an external drive. An autosave feature is a programming option that automatically saves data. These automatic actions are usually triggered by events, user actions, or certain transactions. Timers can also be used to trigger autosave functions at certain intervals.

Many companies use document revision management to track changes made to documents with version numbers. The autosave feature uses this same technique to save data. Each time a document is saved, it is stamped with a version number and date, which allows it to be accessed at a later time.

Video games normally have an autosave feature. These games automatically save the progress of the player while he plays. This allows a game to be saved so that a player can pause and then begin the game again from his previous point.

All Microsoft® Office® products use autosave functions. This feature saves data that is typed into the software program to a temporary storage area. If the computer crashes during a session, the data can be recovered from this special storage area, which prevents the documents from being permanently lost.

Autosave was created to prevent data from being lost when a computer system fails. Over time, this feature has evolved into a convenient tool that is available in many software applications. Having an automatic saving option in documents, spread sheets, and video graphics software helps ensure critical data is always saved.


An autosave feature is similar to the history button on web browsers. This allows data from a prior session to be recovered into a software program. The feature provides quick access to documents that were accidentally deleted by a user.

When a computer system has a hard crash, sometimes it corrupts the underlying programs or operating system. This catastrophic event can result in the complete loss of all programs and data stored on the computer. If a complete system failure occurs, the autosave feature normally fails. The autsoave feature is normally disabled when computer storage is limited. If the automatic feature is disabled, any system failure will result in the complete loss of data.

Using the automatic save option in computer software does not restrict a user from saving data manually. This feature typically saves data on a timer interval, which can be overridden by a manual save. Saving documents on a periodic basis is a good idea because it can reduce the likelihood of losing information on a computer.


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