How to Find Lost PowerPoint Files

Method 1: Search Strategies

Recent Files:

Check “Recent” lists within both PowerPoint itself and your operating system’s File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS).

Search your Documents folder and any other locations where you usually save work.

Targeted Search:

Use your operating system’s search function, looking for “.pptx”, “.ppt”, or use part of the filename if you know it.

Cloud Services:

OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.: Check your cloud storage folders and recent files sections. Some services might have automatic version history for recovery.

Method 2: PowerPoint Settings


Go to File –> Options –> Save.

Remember the “AutoRecover file location”. Go to the folder and look for any files with your presentation’s name or recent timestamps.

Enable if Off: Make sure AutoRecover is enabled and set to save frequently so that you don’t lose it in the future.

Unsaved Files:

Go to File –> Open –> Recover Unsaved Presentations at the bottom. This will show temporarily saved versions.

Method 3: Temporary Files


Look for files ending with “.tmp” using your system search, or navigate to your temp folder. Type %temp% into the Windows Run box.

Check for recent files that contain some of your presentation’s content.

Method 4: Recycle Bin / Trash

Always check the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS) to see if you deleted it by mistake.


AutoSave: Make sure AutoSave is on! (File –> Options –> Save) Set it to a frequent interval like every 5 minutes.

Backups: Maintain regular backups of important work to external drives or cloud storage services.

Organized Folders and Descriptive Filenames: Good file organization makes everything easier to find.

If Everything Else Fails

Data Recovery Software: If the presentation is critical and has been overwritten, specialized data recovery software like EaseUS or Recuva will help.

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