If MS Word shuts down abruptly while editing, recover unsaved Word documents through the Document recovery task pane when it reopens.
But in case it fails to recover, you can use the Recover Unsaved Documents feature in Word. You can also manually search AutoRecover files or check among temporary files saved on your PC and recover them.
For accidentally deleted Word documents, check the recycle bin and restore them within a limited period of time.
Use Recovery Tool
You can retrieve your missing files using the Recover Unsaved Documents feature in MS Word.
- Launch MS Word.
- Open a Blank Document and click on the File tab.
- Go to Info. Expand Manage Document.
- Select Recover Unsaved Documents.
Any unsaved Word file will recover and display on the new dialog box.
Restart Word to Open AutoRecover Files
Since Word tends to restore AutoRecover files on every startup, you can use this attribute to discover your unsaved files.
Force close your Word and reopen it. When it restarts, the document recovery pane will list any recovered documents.
If you see your missing file in the list, then follow these steps:
- Double-click on the file name in the Document Recovery pane.
- Go to File.
- Choose Save as. Save the document as a .docx file.
- You can also change the extension manually with a right-click and choose to Rename the file.
However, if you use Microsoft 365, then the auto-recovered file will open with a message bat on the top. You can save this temporary file by selecting the Save button.
Search for Missing Word Document
If you remember the document name, try using the Windows search bar to find it.
- Click on Start.
- Type the file name in the search box and press Enter.
- If you see the missing file in the displayed document list, double-click and open it in Word.
If you don’t remember the file name, search for AutoRecover files instead:
- Open File Explorer. Go to the search bar and input
.asdand push Enter key.
- If you see a file with a .asd extension, go to Word.
- Open a blank document and click on the File tab.
- Expand Open and click on Browse.
- Expand the menu for file type and select All Files.
- Right-click the backup file you just found and choose Open.
If you still haven’t found it, look for ones with .tmp extensions. The document could be stored as a temporary file.
- Go to File Explorer.
.tmpon your search bar. If you do not see the file, then replace with the tilde sign
- If you find the lost document, then start Word. Open a blank document and click on the File tab.
- Select Open and tap on Folders.
- Navigate to the folder containing that
.tmp file. Click on it and find the contents list.
- Click on the particular folder name and it will open File Explorer.
- Expand the file type menu. Choose All files and then open
Look for Backup Files
You can locate unsaved Word files in roaming or unsaved file locations using the Windows command prompt.
- Open File Explorer.
- Visit the following locations by entering them in the address bar:
Alternatively, you can look for these roaming files through the Word application.
- Open Word.
- Click on Options.
- Select Save.
- Go to the AutoRecover file location and tap on Browse.
Your roaming files will be displayed on a new window.
Scan your Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin holds the files you accidentally deleted from your PC. The bin holds the files for 30 days before getting permanently deleted unless you empty it.
If you haven’t emptied your recycle bin, you can still discover your deleted word file from the application by following these steps:
- Open Recycle Bin.
- Locate your file on the list. If you don’t know the file name, look for extensions like
- Once you find it, right-click on the file and choose Restore.
How to Turn on the AutoRecover Feature in Word?
Turning on the AutoRecover feature will prevent you from losing files in case some error occurs in the app. You can also set the time to frequently auto-recover while editing the document.
Here’s how you can turn on the AutoRecover feature in Word:
- Launch Word.
- Go to Options.
- Tap on Save.
- On the Save documents section, tick on Save AutoRecover information every ‘X” minutes.
- To change the time, click on the upward/downward menu.
- Select OK.