How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Less than a Minute

Can I recover a word doc that I didn’t save, yes you can. We all have been through the unexpected file loss while of us struggle to know how to recover a Word document and others try every means to recreate a new document with almost same content. But is it the only option or there’s way recover unsaved word document, yes there is. Let’s find out how to recover lost word document in Mac or Microsoft Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010 and Word 2007.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac using AutoRecovery


Microsoft Word on a Mac computer includes an AutoRecovery option. It is turned on by default. The app will automatically save a copy of an open Word file every 10 minutes. If Word freezes while you’re working on a document, or if the computer crashes, you can use the AutoRecovery copy to recover unsaved Word document with the changes or additions that you made in your last Word for Mac session.

1. Close Word for Mac.
2. On the Go menu, click Home. Open the Documents folder, and then open the Microsoft User Data folder.
3. Locate all the files that start with the words “AutoRecovery save of”. Select the one you want to recover, rename the file. Then, add the “.doc” file name extension.
4. Double-click the file. The document now opens in Word for Mac.
5. Click the File menu and select Save As. Type a new name for the file into the Name field, select a folder for the file and click the Save button.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Microsoft Word 2016


The following steps show how to recover an unsaved document in Word 2016.

  1. Open Word 2016
  2. At the bottom left of the screen click on ‘Open Other Documents’ (TIP: If you don’t see this screen, click ‘FILE’ -> ‘Open’)
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the ‘Recent Documents’ list and click on the ‘Recover Unsaved Documents’ button.
  4. A window will open showing all the unsaved documents for the currently logged on user.
  5. Select the unsaved document you require – refer to the ‘Date modified’ to know when the document was last being used.
  6. Click ‘Open’ and save the recovered document somewhere safe!

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Microsoft Word 2013


No need to fear — Word 2013 saves a temporary copy of your unsaved work that you can recover in a matter of seconds. Just follow these simple steps to pick up right where you left off.Click “File” at the top left of the screen.

01. Click “Info” at the top of the left-hand menu

02. Click the “Manage Versions” button in the Info pane.

03. Select “Recover Unsaved Documents” from the drop-down menu.

04. Click “Open” when you’ve selected the document you want to recover.

05. Click “Save As” at the top of the screen.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Microsoft Word 2010


After closing the Word file unwittingly, open up a new MS Word document again.

Go to File > Info > Manage Versions. Click on the little dropdown and select Recover Unsaved Documents.

In Excel 2010 click on Recover Unsaved Workbooks or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.


MS Word opens the location where a copy of the draft resides.

Save Draft As…

Now, it’s just a matter of selecting the draft, opening it up as a fresh MS Word document and saving it properly using the Save As button on the business bar at the top of the document; something which we “forgot” to do the last time around. Copies of unsaved documents are kept for four days and then they are automatically deleted.

While opening the unsaved document, you can also make use of the Open and Repair feature for troubleshooting documents that might have got corrupted or damaged.

How to Auto Recover Word Documents in Microsoft Word 2010

Microsoft Word 2010 keeps this function, but there is not classic menu and toolbars any more. The Classic Menu for Office 2007 and 2010 are recommended to get back the classic menus, toolbar, and drop-down menus back.

Once installed the add-in, you may enjoy the classic style and menus in Word 2010.

  • Open a Microsoft Word 2010 document;
  • Click “Tools” menus, and select “Word Options
  • Word Options Windows pop up, select “Save” tab staying at left navigation bar;
  • Adjust the frequency of “Save Auto Recover information” according to your needs, such as 2 minutes.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Microsoft Office Word 2007

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, click Save.
  3. In the AutoRecover file location box, note the path, and then click Cancel.
  4. Close Word.
  5. Open the folder that you noted in step 3.
  6. Look for files whose names end in .asd (AutoRecover files).
  7. Sort the files according to date modified
  8. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.
  9. It will prompt you to choose file to open with ………choose word file
  10. Save it immediately.

How to Automatically Recover Word Documents in Microsoft Word 2003

Microsoft Word will automatically recover the working Word documents every 10 minutes by default.
If you need to back up more frequently, manual adjustments are required.

  • Open a Microsoft Word 2003 document;
  • On the “Tools” menu, click “Options” item;
  • Then go to the “Options” window
  • Adjust the frequency of “Save Auto; Recover information” according to your need, for example 2 minutes.

Besides the automatic recovery frequency adjustment, you are able to reset the recovering word document formats, saving path, and more.

How to Manually Open Saved Drafts in Windows 7, Vista and XP

You can browse to the following file locations to open the file manually, depending on your operating system:

Windows 7 and Vista: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\<Application_Name>

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username> \Application Data\Microsoft\<App Name>

Saving of drafts takes place automatically in all applications within MS Office. The Auto Recoveroption kicks in if the document has been open for some period of time. You can easily change the Auto recover interval by going to File > Options > Save. The default is 10 minutes as indicated under – Save AutoRecover Information.

I prefer setting it to a more frequent 1 – 3 minutes. Remember that AutoRecover may be a lifesaver, but it is not a substitute for the good habit of regularly saving your file while you are working on it.

6 Ultimate Methods Recommend by Microsoft Support to Recover Lost Documents in Word

Use these methods in the order in which they are presented to recover the lost document. If one of these methods is successful and you recover the lost document, you are finished and you do not have to follow any more steps.

Method 01: Search for the original document

The original document might not have been removed from the computer. Follow these steps to see whether you can find the document:

  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the lower-left corner of the Windows Desktop Search pane, click Click here to use Search Companion, if that option is listed.
  3. In the Search Companion pane, click All Files and Folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name box, type the name of the document that you want to find.
  5. In the Look in box, click My Computer, and then click Search.

If the search details pane does not contain the document that you are looking for, you might have typed the file name incorrectly or the document might have a different name. Follow these steps to search for all Word documents:

  1. In the Search Companion pane, click Start a new search.
  2. Click All files and folders, and then copy and paste (or type) the following text into the All or part of the file name: box, and then click Search.
    *.doc

If the details pane still does not contain the file that you are looking for, the document might have been moved to the Recycle Bin. To view the Recycle Bin and restore the document if it is there, follow these steps:

  1. On the desktop, double-click Recycle Bin.
  2. On the View menu, click Details.
  3. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Date Deleted.
  4. Scroll through the files.If you find the document that you are looking for, right-click the document, and then click Restore to return the document to its original location.

Note Microsoft currently does not provide any utilities to recover documents that have been deleted, or emptied from the Recycle Bin. However, some third-party utilities to recover deleted documents may be available on the Internet.

Method 02: Search for Word backup files

If the previous method did not work for you, the main document might be gone. But there might be a backup copy of the document available. The Always create backup copy setting in Word creates backup copies of every document that you create.

First, follow one of these steps to see whether the Always create backup copy setting is enabled:

  • If you use Microsoft Office Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options in the lower-right corner, and then click Advanced. Scroll through the headings until you find the Savesection, which is close to the end of the list. If the Always create backup copy setting, located in the Save section, is selected, Word created a backup copy of the document.
  • If you use Microsoft Office Word 2003: On the Tools menu, click Options. The Always create backup copy setting is located on the Save tab. If the Always create backup copy setting is selected, Word created a backup copy of the document.

Then, if the Always create backup copy setting is not selected, go to method 3: “Force Word to try to recover a file.”

If the Always create backup copy setting is selected, follow these steps to find the backup copy of the lost document:

  1. Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing document.
  2. Look for files that have the .wbk extension.If there are no files that have the .wbk extension in the original folder, follow these steps to search the computer for all files that have the .wbk extension:
    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. In the lower-left corner of the Windows Desktop Search pane, click Click here to use Search Companion.
    3. In the Search Companion pane, click All Files and Folders.
    4. In the All or part of the file name: box, copy and paste (or type) the following text:
      *.wbk
    5. In the Look in box, click My Computer, and then click Search.
  3. If you find any files that are named “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing document, follow these steps to open the backup copy:
    1. Start Word.
    2. Perform one of the following actions:
      • If you use Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Open, click All Files (*.*)in the Files of type box, locate and select the file, and then click Open.
      • If you use Word 2003: Click Open on the File menu, click All Files (*.*) in the Files of type box, locate and select the file, and then click Open.

Method 03: Force Word to try to recover a file

If Word did not create a backup copy of the document, you might be able to use the AutoRecover feature to recover the lost document.

Note The AutoRecover feature in Word performs an emergency backup of open documents when an error occurs. Some errors can interfere with creating an AutoRecover file. The AutoRecover feature is not a substitute for saving the document.

If the Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is selected, Word creates a temporary AutoRecover file that includes the latest changes in the document. Every time that Word starts, it searches for AutoRecover files. If Word finds any AutoRecover files, it displays the files that it finds in the Document Recovery task pane.

First, to see whether the Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is selected, use one of the following steps:

  • If you use Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, and then click Save. The Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is in the Save documents section.
  • If you use Word 2003: Click Options on the Tools menu. The Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is located on the Save tab.

Then, if the Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is selected, try closing Word and reopening it. If the AutoRecover task pane appears on the left side of the screen, click the lost document to restore it.

If the Save AutoRecover information every [] minutes option is not selected, you can try to force Word to recover the document.

Use one of the following steps to force Word to recover the document:

  • If you use Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Open, select the Word document, click the down arrow on the Open button in the lower-right corner of the Open screen, and then click Open and Repair.
  • If you use Word 2003: Click Open on the File menu, select the Word document, click the down arrow on the Open button in the lower-right corner of the Open screen, and then click Open and Repair.

Method 04: Manually recover AutoRecover files

If Word could not open the AutoRecover file automatically or through the Open and Repair option, the AutoRecover file might be saved in a nondefault location. You might have to look for the AutoRecover file manually.

Follow these steps to search for AutoRecover files manually:

  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the lower-left corner of the Windows Desktop Search pane, click Click here to use Search Companion, if that option is listed.
  3. In the Search Companion pane, click All Files and Folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name: box, copy and paste (or type) the following text:
    *.ASD
  5. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
  6. Click Search.

If a file that is named DocumentName.asd appears in the details pane, follow these steps to open the document:

  1. Start Word.
  2. Follow one of these steps:
    • If you use Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
    • If you use Word 2003: Click Open on the File menu.
  3. In the File of type list, click All Files (*.*).
  4. Locate and select the .asd file.
  5. Click Open.
  6. Restart the computer.
  7. Start Word.

If Word finds the AutoRecover file, the Document Recovery task pane opens on the left side of the screen, and the lost document is listed as DocumentName [Original] or as DocumentName [Recovered]. If this occurs, perform one of the following actions:

  • In Word 2007, double-click the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Save As, and then save the document as a .docx file.
  • In Word 2003, double-click the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click Save As on the Filemenu, and then save the document as a .doc file.

Note If an AutoRecover file in the Recovery pane does not open correctly, go to the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section for more information about how to open damaged files.

Method 05: Search for temporary files

If you could not find an AutoRecover file or a backup of the lost document, you might be able to recover the document from your temporary files.

To search for the lost document in your temporary files, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the lower-left corner of the Windows Desktop Search pane, click Click here to use Search Companion.
  3. In the Search Companion pane, click All Files and Folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name: box, copy and paste (or type) the following text:
    *.TMP
  5. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
  6. Click the two chevrons next to When was it modified?.
  7. Click Specify dates, and then type the from and to dates to include the time period since you last opened the file.
  8. Click Search.
  9. On the View menu, click Details.
  10. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Modified.
  11. Scroll through the files, searching for files that match the last dates and times that you edited the document.

If you find the document that you are looking for, go to the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section for more information about how to recover information from the document.

Method 06: Search for ~ files

Some temporary file names start with the tilde (~) symbol. These files might not appear in the list of temporary files that you found in method 5: “Search for temporary files.”

Follow these steps to find any files that begin with ~:

  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. In the lower-left corner of the Windows Desktop Search pane, click Click here to use Search Companion, if that option is listed.
  3. In the Search Companion pane, click All Files and Folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name: box, copy and paste (or type) the following text:
    ~*.*
  5. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
  6. Click the two chevrons next to When was it modified?.
  7. Click Specify dates, and then type the from and to dates to include the time period since you last opened the file.
  8. Click Search.
  9. On the View menu, click Details.
  10. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Modified.
  11. Scroll through the files, searching for files that match the last dates and times that you edited the document.

If you find the document that you are looking for, go to the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section for more information about how to recover information from the document.

Can’t Open Word Document | How to Troubleshoot Damaged Documents

Word automatically tries to recover a damaged document if it detects a problem with the document. You can also force Word to try to recover a document when you open it.

Follow these steps to force Word to recover the document:

  1. Follow one of these steps, depending on the version of Word that you use:
    • If you use Word 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
    • If you use Word 2003: Click Open on the File menu.
  2. In the Files of type list, click All Files (*.*).
  3. In the Open dialog box, select the document.
  4. Click the down arrow on the Open button in the lower-right corner of the Open screen, and then click Open and Repair.

Final Verdict:

If you used these methods and still have problems recovering a lost document, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web sites provide include the following:

  • Searchable Knowledge Base: Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
  • Solution Centers: View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
  • Other Support Options: Use the Web to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.

If you continue to have problems after you use these resources, you might want to contact Support:

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