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How to Recover an Unsaved/Deleted/Corrupted PowerPoint on Mac

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips in Mac Updated by Robert on June 12, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

Losing a PowerPoint presentation can be a nightmare, especially if it contains vital information needed for a business meeting or a school project. Mac users can explore a few avenues to get their not saved work, whether it's a file that was deleted accidentally, a presentation that wasn't saved properly, or one that's been corrupted due to a program crash or a system error. This guide will walk you through many effective ways to recover unsaved/deleted/corrupted PowerPoint on Mac, ensuring your hard work isn't wasted.

Importance of Prompt Action

Acting swiftly is paramount when dealing with lost or unsaved presentations. The sooner you start the unsaved PowerPoint recovery Mac process, the higher the chances of retrieving your precious data. Delaying could lead to the overwriting of files, rendering them unrecoverable. Thus, it's crucial to immediately cease using the affected storage device and follow the upcoming steps meticulously to enhance your recovery prospects.

Unsaved PowerPoint Recovery on Mac

Losing an unsaved Presentation due to an unexpected quit or system glitch is frustrating. Before panic ensues, explore these options to retrieve your work:

Method 1: By "Open Recent" Feature

This option will record recent PowerPoint activities, which is the most straightforward when looking for a recover PPT Mac solution. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint on your Mac.
  2. Once open, navigate to the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Click on the "File" menu option in the menu bar.
  4. Select the "Open Recent" option to view a list of recently opened presentations.

  5. Click on the one you didn't save and resave it.

Don't lose hope if you can't find your presentation in this pane. There are still other options to explore.

Method 2: Take advantage of PowerPoint's Autosave Feature

By default, it will automatically save your presentation every 10 minutes and temporarily store it in a specific folder. So, if you haven't closed it, that can save your work in a critical moment.

Here is step by step to recover unsaved PowerPoint on Mac:

  1. Open Spotlight search by pressing "Command + Spacebar."
  2. Type "AutoRecovery" and confirm.
  3. Find your unsaved PPT in the search results. You can also open this folder to view more items.

  4. Copy it to another location and open it.
  5. In the top menu, click "File" and choose "Save/Save as" to store it.

If Word or Excel is installed on your system, multiple "AutoRecovery" folders may appear in the search results to interfere with your progress. To achieve precise positioning, you can also use the following methods.

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click "Go" and select "Go to Finder" in the menu bar.

  3. Type the following path according to your version of PowerPoint.

    For PowerPoint 2016 and later versions: /Users/<name>/Library/Containers/
    For PowerPoint 2011: /Users/<name>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery/
    For PowerPoint 2008: /Users/<name>/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2008 AutoRecovery/`

    Please replace "<name>" with your login name on the Mac. Understanding the auto-recover folder locations of different versions will help your Mac recover unsaved PowerPoint faster. In addition, you can also customize the auto-save time to protect your work better.

    Tips for Set PowerPoint Auto-save Time on Mac

    To set the auto-save time interval for PowerPoint on Mac, you can adjust the preferences within the application. Here's how you can do it:

    1. Click on the "PowerPoint" menu option in the top-left corner of your screen next to the Apple logo.
    2. Select "Preferences" from the dropdown menu.
    3. Find and click on the "Save" tab. This is where you can adjust auto-save settings.

    By configuring the auto-save time interval in PowerPoint on your Mac, you can ensure that your work is regularly saved, reducing the risk of losing unsaved changes due to system crashes or accidental closures. Moreover, this setting also works better for you to recover unsaved Word document in Mac.

Method 3: Search for Temporary Files

Sometimes, your Mac stores temporary files that could include unsaved PowerPoint presentations. These files can be tricky to find but can be a lifesaver. To access them, you can follow the guide:

  1. Click the "magnifier" icon on the top-right corner of your screen.
  2. Type "Terminal" in the Spotlight Search bar and press Enter.
  3. Click on the Terminal app icon in the search results to launch it.
  4. Type "open $TMPDIR" and confirm.

  5. Double-click the "TemporaryItems" folder in the opened directory.

  6. Look for the PPT in that directory and copy it to a new location.
  7. Open it using PowerPoint and resave it.

Method 4: Check Your Cloud Services

If you've been working with PowerPoint online or using cloud services like OneDrive or Dropbox that sync your presentation automatically, there might be a chance your file was uploaded before the disaster happened. So, you can check the cloud account's trash or version history to find unsaved PowerPoint on Mac.

Method 5: Use Time Machine Backup

If you have Time Machine set up to back up your disk regularly, there may be the hope to recover PowerPoint file not saved on Mac. But it might be missing your recent changes.

  1. Connect Your Backup Drive.
  2. Open the folder where your PowerPoint file was saved.
  3. Click the "clock" icon in the menu bar and select "Enter Time Machine."

  4. Navigate through time snapshots to locate and restore your PowerPoint file.

Tip: To reduce losses as much as possible, you can also go to "File > Browse Version History" in PowerPoint to check the latest version.

Method 6: Use Data Recovery Software

If the above methods don't work, you can consider using third-party data recovery software like iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. It can scan your disk for unsaved or deleted PPT files and help you extract them.

Best PowerPoint Recovery Tool for macOS

(Trust Score 4.8 by 1597 Users)
  • It is equipped with advanced algorithms that can effectively recover unsaved, deleted, or formatted files from various storage devices.
  • Before proceeding with the PowerPoint recovery Mac process, you can preview recoverable files to ensure correctness.
  • The best recovery software for Mac has a user-friendly interface and provides repair and backup options to keep your data safe.
Free Download

Here is a guide for how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint on Mac:

  1. Download iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac from the official website and install it on your Mac.
  2. Open it by double-clicking on the application icon.
  3. Choose the disk from which you lost the PPT and click "Scan."
  4. The software will scan the selected drive to locate lost data. You can pause or stop it anytime to check for a recoverable PowerPoint.
  5. Once the scan is complete, click "Type > Unsaved Documents" in the left panel.
  6. Click the filter icon at the top and switch to "ppt/pptx."

  7. After finding your unsaved PowerPoint, select it and click "Recover."

Following these steps gives you an excellent chance for unsaved PowerPoint recovery Mac. However, they only apply if the program crashes, Improper shutdown, and more. If it disappears for other reasons, please go to the next section.

How to Retrieve Deleted/Disappeared PPT on Mac

Keep hope if your PowerPoint is lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, or other errors. Here are ways to restore it:

Method 1: Via Finder or Spotlight

Start with the basics. Launch Finder or Spotlight search by pressing "Command + Spacebar," type the title of your presentation, and see if it pops up. Sometimes, the file might have been saved in an unfamiliar location.

Method 2: Checking the Trash Bin

If you don't use the "Command + Shift + Delete" keys to remove PowerPoint, it will usually go into the trash. Simply open the Trash Bin and look for your PowerPoint file. If found, drag it back to your desktop or its original location.

Method 3: Try Scan Your Disk

This solution requires the assistance of professional tools, which scan your drive to search for traces of PPT files and reconstruct file paths and metadata for data recovery. To do this, use iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac and follow the above steps to recover unsaved PowerPoint on Mac to complete the process.

No matter why you lost or unsaved your presentation, the above methods should help. But if it's damaged, what should we do? Don't worry; you can keep reading.

How to Restore a Corrupt PowerPoint on Mac

It's frustrating when you try to open a PowerPoint presentation you've been working on for hours, and it doesn't display the right image. Your frustration may be heightened, given the limited recovery options on macOS. However, the truth is far from it. To solve this problem, you can try the following methods:

Method 1: Use PowerPoint's Built-in Repair Feature

  1. Open PowerPoint on your Mac.
  2. Click "File" and select "Open" to locate the corrupt PowerPoint.
  3. Select it and click on the dropdown arrow next to the "Open" button.
  4. Choose "Open and Repair" from the dropdown menu to let PowerPoint attempt to repair the file automatically.

Method 2: Open Presentation in Keynote

If you have Keynote (Apple's presentation software) installed on your Mac, try opening the corrupt PPT file with Keynote. Keynote can sometimes open and convert the presentation successfully.

Method 3: Convert to PDF

Open the corrupt file in PowerPoint and then save or export it as a PDF document. This method can help you access the presentation's content.

Method 4: Use Online File Repair Tools

Some online services specialize in repairing corrupt PowerPoint files, such as and pptrepairtoolbox. You can upload your corrupted PowerPoint file to these services, and they will try to restore it for you.

The above are ways to recover PPT Mac solutions after they are lost, unsaved, or damaged. However, they are only remedies. To truly ensure their safety, please follow the steps below.

Preventions for the Future

Prevention is always better than cure. Adopt these best practices to minimize the risk of losing important PowerPoint presentations:


Losing work is frustrating, but with these methods, recovering an unsaved, lost, or corrupted PowerPoint on your Mac is often possible. Incorporating preventive measures into your workflow can save you from future data loss, letting you focus on creating impressive presentations without the worry of losing them.


  • Yes, you can! PowerPoint for Mac has an AutoRecover feature set that allows you to save a copy of your work every 10 minutes by default. To unsaved PowerPoint recovery Mac, open the application and check under 'Recent' for a document labeled '(Autorecovered)' next to the presentation's title. This feature only works if you have previously saved the presentation at least once.

  • If PowerPoint doesn't automatically offer to recover your file, you might still find it in the AutoRecovery folder. Open Finder, press 'Command + Shift + G,' and type '~/Library/Containers/'. Look for files with the '.ppt' or '.pptx' extension. Copy the file to another location and open it with PowerPoint.

  • Absolutely. Open PowerPoint, click 'PowerPoint' in the menu bar, then select 'Preferences.' Click 'Save' and adjust the 'Save AutoRecover information every _ minutes' to a shorter interval. Remember, setting this to a very short interval might slow down your Mac if you're working on large presentations.

  • If AutoRecover doesn't help, check the 'TemporaryItems' folder at '/private/var/folders.' Sometimes, unsaved PowerPoints get temporarily stored here. It's a bit of a search, but you might find your lost presentation waiting to be recovered.

  • If you have Time Machine set up to back up your Mac, you're in luck. Close PowerPoint, then open Time Machine, navigate to the folder where the presentation was saved, and look through the snapshots to find your file. Click 'Restore' to resave it.

  • If you've been saving your work to a cloud service like iCloud, Dropbox, or OneDrive, you might find a backup of your PowerPoint presentation there. These services typically have a version history or trash bin to store deleted items temporarily. So, you can check the web interface of your cloud service for these options.

  • If none of these solutions help you recover unsaved PowerPoint on Mac, consider data recovery software designed for Macs. These programs can sometimes retrieve files that seem permanently lost. However, they may come as a last resort due to their cost and potential use complexity.