6 Ways to Recover Unsaved or Deleted PowerPoint on Mac (Office 2018/2019/2021)

Rosa Reyes
time January 04, 2023 Preview 131.7K
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Last week, I spent two days in designing my PowerPoint presentations with great shapes, animations, images, tables, word art, basic shapes, stars, etc. Unfortunately, my PowerPoint crashed and unsaved, I didn’t have extra time to make such a valuable PowerPoint again. How can I recover unsaved PowerPoint on Mac? 

Many users have similar problems, and I am not the exception.

To recover PowerPoint file that not saved on mac or lost for unknown reason, there are 6 ways, no matter you want to recover unsaved or deleted PowerPoint on mac in Office 2018, 2019 or the latest 2021 version. Also, to cover all the topics about PowerPoint recovery on mac, we include the solutions to recover previous version of PowerPoint on mac in case of needs.

To avoid the PowerPoint file from being overwritten, please do not add new data or install Mac Data Recovery software on the hard drive where you lost PowerPoint presentation. Just follow below ways, you will recover unsaved PowerPoint on Mac and get your lost or deleted PPT file back.

How to Recover Unsaved PowerPoint on Mac (2018/2019/2021)

Method 1: Use PowerPoint AutoSave on Mac if Enabled

What is PowerPoint AutoSave?

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 PowerPoint AutoSave Files Stored on Mac?

For Office  2018:


For Office 2019 & 2021:


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.

Steps to Recover Unsaved PowerPoint on Mac (Office 2018)

  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.

Steps to Recover Unsaved PowerPoint on Mac (Office 2019/2021)

  1. On Mac Desktop, press Shift+Command+G.
  2. In the pop-up window, enter the path: /Users/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/PowerPoint, then click Go.2019 autosave folder
  3. Find the unsaved PPT file from Mac folder > copy it onto desktop while rename it > open and save it with Office PowerPoint.

Method 2: Recover Unsaved PowerPoint on Mac from Temp Folder If AutoSave Disabled 

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 3: Recover Unsaved and Disappeared PowerPoint on Mac

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 Lost or 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 3 ways to restore them.

#1 The Easiest Way to Recover Lost or Deleted PowerPoint on Mac

If you can’t find the unsaved PowerPoint file, it may get lost. You can choose a third-party PowerPoint recovery software to recover lost PowerPoint file on Mac. As long as the PPT document has not been overwritten yet, there's hope of recovering the lost PowerPoint document.

Cisdem Data Recovery will be a good choice for you as it is effective in PPT recovery no matter which PowerPoint version you are running. It is the best data recovery software for Mac which can recover files such as office document files, pictures, videos, etc from Mac hard drive and other external storage devices.

You can download and install this PowerPoint recovery software on Mac. It’s free to try it. Then follow the below guide to start your lost or deleted PowerPoint recovery job.

How to perform PowerPoint recovery on Mac?

Step 1Select the hard drive.

Open this PowerPoint Recovery Software and go to Disk Data Recovery, choose the hard drive where stored your PowerPoint files.
Tip: If you want to recover PowerPoint document from USB, SD card or external hard drive, please connect it to your Mac in advance.

select hard drive

Step 2Click on Search for lost files to start the scanning process, use the Filter to find lost or deleted PowerPoint files.

After clicking on Search for lost files, this program will run both quick and deep scanning to find the most files. You can go to Path or Type to check the found files. Also, you can use the filter to find specific PowerPoint files.

cisdem deep scanning

Step 3Preview and recover lost or deleted PowerPoint file.

Double click on the PowerPoint file to preview, select and Recover them to your local drive or Cloud.

recover powerpoint mac cisdem

Also, you can check out the following video tutorial (start from 01:26)

#2 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

#3 Recover Lost or 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. 

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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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Comments (4) 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!

    0 months ago Reply

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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?

    6 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

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

      6 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.

    6 years ago Reply

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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.

    6 years ago Reply

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