10 Ways to Recover Unsaved or Deleted PowerPoint on Mac 2024

Connie Wisley
May 09, 2024 Preview 145.8K Preview 6
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Editor’s notes: back on a day in 2014, I spent days on a PowerPoint file but left it unsaved, so I studied on this and wrote this post to help more users that were in my situation. This guide went through many versions, each was updated to address users’ current concerns then and designed for different PowerPoint versions. Now in 2024, there are still so many users sending their thanks and opinions toward this guide, therefore, we carefully look at the guide again and add some useful details to help you recover an unsaved or deleted Powerpoint file effectively from your Mac.

To recover PowerPoint file that not saved on Mac or lost for unknown reason, there are 10 ways, no matter you want to recover the PowerPoint file in Office 365, 2021, 2019 or the earlier 2016 version.


Quick Links:

  Scenarios Solutions
1. Ultimate PowerPoint Recovery Tool

AutoSave is not enabled;

PPTX(PPT) files are permanently or recently deleted;

recover from iCloud

Cisdem Data Recovery
2. Unsaved PowerPoint Recovery for Mac With AutoSave

Solution 1: Restore from Document Recovery

Solution 2: Recover unsaved presentation

Solution 3: Recover from AutoRecovery folder

  Without AutoSave

Solution 1: Recover from Temp folde

Solution 2: Open recent list

3. Deleted PowerPoint Recovery for Mac Recently deleted PPT files Put back from Trash bin
  Permanently deleted PPT files

Solution 1: Recover from Time Machin

Solution 2: Recover from Google Drive

Solution 3: Recover from OneDrive


Ultimate PowerPoint Recovery Tool for Mac

We checked out the comments and messages that our readers sent to us. In most cases, AutoSave feature didn’t bring them back the unsaved files, and unfortunately, they didn’t have a backup. Therefore, they showed more interest in an easier option by using an intuitive tool, a good PPT recovery tool works without you needing to do any technical stuff.

The easiest option, and an ultimate tool to recover unsaved or deleted PowerPoint files on Mac, is Cisdem Data Recovery.

The PowerPoint recovery process is pretty simple: 

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Select the hard drive.
    Go to Hardware Disk, choose the hard drive where stored your PowerPoint files, then click on Search for lost files to start the scanning process.
    Tip: If you want to recover PowerPoint document from USB, SD card or external hard drive, please connect it to your Mac in advance.recover pptx cisdem01
  3. Go to Unsaved Documents, find the PowerPoint file you want to recover.recover pptx cisdem 02
  4. (Optional) Search PPT files quickly.
    If you cannot find the unsaved PowerPoint files in the Unsaved Documents folder, or you want to recover a deleted PowerPoint file, you can go directly to Type > Documents > PPTX or PPT folder to search file by name, size, date.recover unsaved ppt cisdem
  5. Select and Recover them to your local drive or Cloud.recover pptx cisdem 05

In the case that you want to recover a deleted PowerPoint from iCloud, go to iCloud, log in and browse the files in iCloud Drive, then select the PPT files and recover. 

recover ppt icloud

You can download and install this PowerPoint recovery software on Mac. It’s free to try it and here is the list of its main features:

  • Restore unsaved, deleted and damaged PowerPoint, Word, Excel, PDF
  • Recover files in 1000+ file formats including video, photo, audio file, document and many other data
  • Recover lost files due to accidental deletion, unexpected power failure, virus attack, system crashes and other improper operations
  • Recover files from both internal and external storage devices
  • Recover data from iCloud
  • Repair damaged mp4, avi, mkv and more videos with one click
  • Repair photos
  • Create backup for a disk and restore via drive image file
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Recover highlighted or selected files to local drive or cloud
  • 100% safe and compatible with all macOS operating system including macOS Sonoma & Ventura

Free Download macOS 10.9 or later


How to Recover Unsaved PowerPoint on Mac?

Microsoft Office has a fantastic feature called AutoSave, which is built in to automatically save a temporary PowerPoint copy on a periodic basis. The feature is turned on by default and the default save interval is 10 minutes. That is to say, not only limited to Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Office Word and Excel are also featured with an AutoSave, for the purpose to restore office files when accidents happen. 

How to Enable or Disable PowerPoint AutoSave on Mac?

By default, the AutoSave feature is ON in Microsoft Office. However, to make sure if you can recover PowerPoint files that not saved on Mac with AutoSave, you can check if the feature is enabled, or enable/disable according to your needs.

  1. Launch PowerPoint for Mac, go to Preferences.
  2. Go to "Save" in the toolbars, and make sure the box before "Save AutoRecovery info every" is checked.autosave powerpoint
  3. Then you can tweak the settings, such as AutoSave intervals.

Where are the PowerPoint recovery files stored on Mac Mac?


The amount of new information that the recovered PPT file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered PPT file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred. And you can also use above method to recover word document on Mac and recover excel files not saved.

If you have enabled AutoSave on PowerPoint, there are 3 ways to recover an unsaved PPT file on Mac.

Method 1. Restore from Document Recovery

When Autosave feature is initialed properly, it will save your presentations periodically. If the PowerPoint app goes through an unexpected shutdown, you can open the file again and choose a saved version from the Document Recovery pane.

  1. Open the unsaved PPT file in PowerPoint on your Mac.
  2. Select an autosaved version from Document Recovery.document recovery
  3. Open and save the file again.


Method 2. Recover Unsaved Presentations

Alternatively, if you cannot find the autosaved versions from Document Recovery panel, you can go to Open menu and click the Recover Unsaved Presentation button.

  1. Launch PowerPoint on your Mac, navigate to Open tab and click Recent Folders.recover unsaved ppt
  2. Click on the Recover Unsaved Presentations button at the bottom of the interface, select the one you want, open and save it.recover unsaved ppt feature 02


Method 3. Recover from AutoRecovery Folder

If you cannot restore the unsaved presentations directly within the app, you will need to visit the autorecovery location and manually restore.

  1. Go to Mac Desktop, go to Go > Go to Folder.go to folder
  2. Enter the path: /Users/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft.Powerpoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery as following.enter path
  3. Find the unsaved PowerPoint file on Mac, copy to desktop and rename, then open with Office PowerPoint and save it.


Method 4: Recover from Temp Folder

If you didn’t configure AutoSave in your Office PowerPoint or couldn't find the unsaved PowerPoint files by following above method, then the last thing you can do is to check your temporary folder. If you are lucky enough, maybe you can find and recover unsaved PowerPoint files on Mac. Here are steps to locate PowerPoint temp files on Mac.

  1. Go to Finder > Applications, then open Terminal.
  2. Input "open $TMPDIR" as following, then hit "Enter" to continue.terminal enter
  3. Go to "TemporaryItems" folder.tem folder
  4. Find the unsaved PowerPoint file, copy to desktop and rename, then recover unsaved PowerPoint file on Mac by changing the extension from .tmp to .ppt.


Method 5: Open Recent List

Also, you may run into a situation that you leave the PowerPoint file unsaved and it even disappeared on your Mac. If you have enabled AutoSave in PowerPoint, it is still possible to recover the disappeared PowerPoint file on Mac.

  1. Launch the Microsoft Office PowerPoint for Mac.
  2. Go to File > Open Recent, then open the files one by one to check. Also, you can click "Learn more" to read details for each file and fast find out the disappeared PowerPoint file.open recent
  3. Then save or save as to finish the unsaved and disappeared PowerPoint file recovery on your Mac.


How to Recover Deleted PowerPoint on Mac?

If you still cannot recover the unsaved PowerPoint files even you have tried all above-mentioned methods, or you just lost/delete the files by accident, there are extra 2 ways to restore them.

Method 1. Recover Deleted PowerPoint from Mac Trash

If you are new to using Mac, you may be not aware of the fact that all the deleted files are just moved to the Trash, if you want to permanently deleted the files, you will need to manually delete in Trash. So, it is possible to recover lost or deleted PowerPoint files in Mac Trash.

  1. Go to Trash Bin.
  2. Click on the toolbar as following to fast locate the lost or deleted files.find trash01
  3. Right click on the file, choose "Put Back" to recover the PowerPoint file on Mac.find trash 02


Method 2. Recover Deleted PowerPoint from Mac with Backup

If you have a good habit to back up files regularly on online storage services, you can recover lost or deleted PowerPoint files on Mac via backups.

#1 Time Machine

Time Machine is a Mac utility to back up all kinds of files onto an external hard drive. If you have turned the Time Machine ON, you can recover lost or deleted PowerPoint on Mac easily.

  1. Go to Finder > Application, run Time Machine.
  2. Go to Finder > All My Files and find the lost or deleted PowerPoint files.
  3. Click "Restore" to recover the lost or deleted PowerPoint file on Mac.time machine


#2 Google Drive

  1. Login into your Google account and go to Google Drive.
  2. Go to Trash and find the lost or deleted PowerPoint files on Mac.
  3. Right click on the deleted file and choose "Restore" to recover the PowerPoint file.restore via google drive


#3 OneDrive

  1. Go to OneDrive website, and login into with your OneDrive account.
  2. Go to Recycle bin and find the deleted PowerPoint file.
  3. Then right click on the file and choose "Restore" to recover the deleted PowerPoint files on Mac.restore via onedrive

Also, if you have backed up files in other storage service, you can recover via those backups, the steps are quite similar.


Extended: How to Recover Previous Version of PowerPoint file on Mac?

You may want to recover a previous version of PowerPoint on Mac, and there are 3 ways to get to the previous version of a PowerPoint file.

#1 Ask for the previous version

If you have sent the PowerPoint file before and edited later, you can get back to the receiver of your previous PowerPoint file, ask for a copy and rename it.


#2 Browse Version History

Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac has a feature called “Browse Version History”, by which you are allowed to view and restore a specific ealier version of the PPT file. Follow the steps below.

  1. Open the latest version of your PowerPoint file.
  2. Choose "File" option from the top-left menu bar > go to "Browse Version History".browse version history
  3. All the edited versions of this PPT file will be displayed as a list. Browse them to find the exact file version you wish to recover.
  4. Copy the previous version of PowerPoint file to your Mac and rename it.


#3 Use Time Machine

As we mentioned before, Time Machine can help to recover lost or deleted files via backup. Also, it is capable of restoring previous version of a PowerPoint file on Mac.

  1. Go to Finder > Application, and run Time Machine.
  2. Go to Finder > All My Files, and find the PowerPoint file.
  3. Use the timeline on the edge of the screen to check all versions, you can select and press Space bar to preview the file.
  4. Click "Restore" to recover the previous version of PowerPoint file on Mac.



Although it is always recommended to periodically save your PowerPoint files to avoid any kind of data loss, however if you haven’t been very diligent in saving your work or have suffered from events such as a system crash that may cause data loss, then you can follow the above mentioned process to recover unsaved PowerPoint files and get all lost PPT files back by using Cisdem Data Recovery. Last but not least, always click the "Save" button after you make any change to your PPT presentation. 

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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Comments (6) Leave a Reply

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  • Brice

    Felt so panic when unsaving my important powerpoint files yesterday. AutoSave introduced here is a nice feature. Through it my files were rescued!

    1 years ago commonReply

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  • Andrew J. Manuse

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You saved my day's worth of work. For whatever reason it wasn't auto-saving, I don't know, but one of your solutions here worked and I have it back. You rule! Thank you. Thank God almighty!

    2 years ago commonReply

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  • Ching

    This app can find the deleted ppt files for me, thanks. Rosa, if I buy one single license, can I get a discount?

    7 years ago commonReply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      Hi, Ching. You can visit its product page to see if there is a discount or not.

      7 years ago
  • Davily322

    I have foolishly deleted a powerpoint file accidentally while using a Mac Cleaner app, but thank god, I got it back with this powerful data recovery.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Lucy

    What a wonderful data recovery it is! I was working on a very important PPT, and i remembered to save it in a folder. I opened my Mac and the PPT was missing. Then I was looking for a data recovery software on Google and i found Cisdem datarecovery, it recovered the missing PPT.

    8 years ago commonReply

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