Microsoft Word documents can be lost in certain situations. For example, the document may be lost if an error occurs that forces Microsoft Word to quit unexpectedly, if you experience a power interruption while typing or editing, or if you close the document without saving changes. In this article i’ll explain how to recover lost Microsoft Word document.
Note: some lost documents may not be recoverable.
In most cases when opening Microsoft Word after a failure, you may have seen the Document Recovery window appear, offering to open the last AutoSaved version of your document.
Sometimes Microsoft Word doesn’t realise that a crash has occurred, or something else prevents Document Recovery from appearing automatically when you launch it again. Thankfully, auto save is active by default unless if you manually turned it off, your document is probably not lost.
How To Recover Lost Microsoft Word Document
If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for AutoRecover files (.asd files). To do this, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running.
Steps for Microsoft 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, copy the path, and then click Cancel.
4. Press Ctrl + O to bring the Open dialog box and paste the path copied in step 3 within the address bar and then press Enter to view the location.
5. Look for files whose names end in .asd (AutoRecover files).
6. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click to open it.
7. Save it immediately.
Steps for Word 2010
1. On the File menu, click Recent.
2. Click Recover Unsaved Documents.
3. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click to open it.
4. Save it immediately.
Steps for Word 2013
1. On the File menu, click Open, and then click Recent Documents.
2. Scroll to the end of all recent documents, and then click Recover Unsaved Documents.
3. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.
4. Save it immediately.
In the Save options section (from Step 2 above), reduce the duration between auto saves. You can make the duration between auto saves as low as 1 minute, but when working on long and complex documents sometimes the auto save process itself can disrupt your flow, especially on older and slower computers. I recommend setting the Save auto recovery information value to 2 minutes. This way, when future incidents occur, you might only lose 2 minutes of work.
Ousman Faal [Digital Vigilante] is a Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Skills Trainer who teaches both in the classroom and online. He has experience in various technologies and likes sharing it with others. Ousman has published 144 articles on this blog. He is the CEO of Faalen Technologies and Skills.gm.