Problems With AutoSave Using Microsoft 365 On A Mac

Isn’t it frustrating when Apple and Microsoft products don’t always work together properly? I remember once installing Windows 10 for a client who’d been using Apple’s iCloud on her Windows computer. After the installation of Windows 10, it turned out that it wasn’t possible to reinstall iCloud as, at that time, iCloud wasn’t compatible with the latest Windows 10 release.

This particular issue has of course been resolved and it is now possible to use iCloud on Windows 10. However, a few days ago I encountered another seeming incompatibility between Apple and Microsoft. I had a client who was having difficulties when using Microsoft Office 365 on her MacBook Air running macOS Mojave. The background was that she’d been working on a Word document, had somehow lost all her work, and discovered that AutoSave hadn’t been working. As a result she was having to start all over again. However, she was finding that when she tried to turn AutoSave on, she was unable to do so.

As I began to look into the issue, I found a user online who was having exactly the same problem.

“In Word for Mac, Autosave is now displayed as an option in the menu bar, but mine is stuck in Off.  I’ve checked my Preferences; Autosave should be on and working.  And nothing happens when I touch the toggle button—no response at all.  How do I turn Autosave on?  Thank you!”

Upon reading the thread in the Microsoft Community I realized that, in order for AutoSave to work, it’s necessary to be saving the document to OneDrive. This is in fact a feature of Microsoft 365.  Not only does saving to OneDrive provide AutoSave functionality but it also means that you can revert to previous versions of documents. You may need to do this should you accidentally save over a document or have some other reason to revert to an older version.

The client wasn’t actually signed in to OneDrive, though she did have the app on her Mac, so the first step was to sign in with the same Microsoft account she’d used to activate her Microsoft 365 product. We then followed the steps described, saving the document in the correct manner to OneDrive as an online location (not to the OneDrive folder in Finder), and found…