OSX Ate My Powerpoint

A few weeks ago I was putting together a slide deck. I opened up a powerpoint file of a gigantic poster to grab some vector images I had made the year before. The poster contained tons of high-resolution images and had been five feet wide when printed.

Powerpoint immediately panicked and crashed.

“That’s weird.” I thought to myself. I opened up the slidedeck again and discovered that all the slides I’d been working on were gone. All the antimations and graphics I had been building disappeared and I was back to my basic slidedeck from an hour ago. No recovery, nothing.

My response? Oh, just super calm and reserved. I let out only one loud “F######################CK” and then started troubleshooting.

Yo where’s my backup?

The internet says to check for autorecovery. This was my first problem. Despite my Powerpoint’s preferences being set for auto recovery every 10 minutes I discovered that nope, the backup wasn’t there.

Help Me Internet! – Pt. 1

When you search Google this is the first link you find: Apple Discussion Board However, its a bit outdated.

Help Me Internet! – Pt. 2

Therefore I used the keywords powerpoint crashed recover file mac 2016 and from there I found the solution I needed:Microsoft Answers

2016 Solution: Recover That File!

In the terminal copy (cp) the autorecover file to the desktop as a .pptm file. I recommend you append to the copied filename some iteration of _recover so you can keep track of your version.

Enter this in the terminal:
cp /Users/USERNAME/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Powerpoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/filename_autorecover ~/Desktop/filename_recover.pptm

There you have it, the .pptm file is the auto-backup you were looking for. Grab the latest slides you want and back-up the bejeezus out of it as a new .pptx file.


I’ve noticed that Mendeley and Microsoft Word also don’t play well together if I’m citing a bunch of things over several hours. That only comes up when I’m, uh, writing a large complex academic document. Like manuscripts. Or a thesis. You know, the super important time sensitive things that I”m currently working on every day.

Its a huge problem and Mendeley’s Twitter feed shows that this bug has been a problem for awhile. On the other hand though, you can pry Mendeley out of my cold dead hands. My quick and dirty solution for now is that besides saving in Dropbox, I changed the auto-save on Word to be in every 3 minutes, and manually save in the meantime.