How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

This article describes how Microsoft Word creates and recovers AutoRecover (.asd) files (AutoSave in Word 7.x) when you select the “Save AutoRecover Info every Minutes” check box. (To locate this option, click Options on the Tools menu and then click the Save tab.)

More Information

Note AutoRecover or AutoSave does not replace the Save command. You should use the Save command to save your document at regular intervals and when you finish working on it.

AutoRecover is only effective for unplanned disruptions, such as a power outage or a crash. AutoRecover files are not designed to be saved when a logoff is scheduled or an orderly shutdown occurs.

Setting the location for .asd files

If you do not set a location for AutoRecover files, Word places them in the temporary directory.

To set the .asd location, follow these steps:

On the Tools menu, click
Options, and then click the File Locationstab.

Note In Word 2007, follow these steps to open the File Locations dialog box:

Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.

In the left pane, click
Advanced.

In the right pane, click File Locations under General section.

In the File Types box, click
AutoRecover Files

Note In Word 7.x, click AutoSave.

Click Modify.

Enter the name of the folder in which you want Word to store recovered documents.

If a new folder location is needed, click Create New Folder, type the new folder name, click OK, and click OK to exit.

Naming conventions

Word 97 and later versions of Word: The naming convention for Word AutoRecover files is “AutoRecovery save of .asd,” where is the file name of the document.

Word 7.x: The naming convention for Word AutoSave files is

Wra####.asd, where #### is a number generated randomly by Windows.

Opening saved files

When you start Word, it searches for any .asd files. If Word finds any, it does the following:

Renames each .asd file to .wbk. In Word 7.0 SR-2 or later, the extension is .wbk.

NOTE: The #### numbers may not be the same as the .asd filename because Word avoids any naming conflicts with existing .bak files.

Opens all AutoRecover files.

Deletes the AutoRecover file (the “AutoRecovery save of .wbk” or the

Wra####.bak file) when you do either of the following:

Save the recovered file.

-or-
Close the recovered file without saving it.

When files are renamed

Word renames the AutoRecover files in the case that the program hangs (stops responding) when the AutoRecover file is opened. The next time Word is started you see the following symptoms.

Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2003, and Microsoft Word 2002

Word will start with the Document Recovery Task Pane listing the available files that Word recovered. Following the name of the file will be a status indicator that shows what was performed to the file during recovery. The status of Original indicates the Original file based on last manual save. The status of Recovered is the file recovered during recovery process or file saved during a AutoRecover save process. The Document Recovery task pane lets you open the files, view what repairs were made, and compare the recovered versions. You can then save the version you want to use and delete the other versions, or save all the open files to review later.

Word 2000

Word will start. If Word was able to detect a recovered file, Word will start with the document open. In the title bar, the document is listed as (Recovered). You then have the option to save the file back to the original name or to save as a different name.

Word 97

Word encountered file corruption while opening . Part of this document may be recoverable. Attempt recovery now?

If you click Yes, Word attempts to recover all or part of the file. If you click No, the .wbk file remains in the AutoRecovery directory.

Word 7.x

Word renames the AutoSave files in the case that program hangs (stops responding) when you open the AutoSave file. If a problem occurs that damages the AutoSave file, you can still recover your work using the

Wra####.bak file, located in the AutoSave directory.

After Word renames your .asd files, it does not automatically open the .bak files, so you must open them manually by clicking Open on the File menu. To list all the .bak files, type

n Microsoft Word, a backup will be created automatically when you save it. Latest auto-recover feature in Microsoft word will save the document automatically at regular intervals of time and also helps you to recover the lost changes. Most of us sometimes might lose the changes we make in the word document and later regret not saving the document. To avoid such regrets, we will help you to enable auto recover to automatically save and recover word documents.

AutoRecover to Automatically Save and Recover Word Documents

Enable AutoRecover Feature

To use the AutoRecover feature in the word document, you need to enable the feature in Microsoft Word. Follow the below simple steps to enable it.

  1. Open the word document in your PC and click on the File tab in the top left of the application window.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes
  2. From the list of items on the left, click on Options.
  3. Word options dialog box will appear on the screen. Click on Save option from the list of items on the left.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes
  4. Under Save documents section, select the “Save AutoRecover Information every” checkbox and enter the number of minutes in the edit. An auto-backup of the document will be taken automatically at the given intervals of time.
  5. You can also change the location where you want to save these backup documents by clicking on the Browse button next to AutoRecover file location edit box.
  6. Once the documents are automatically saved, you can click on the info section under the file tab to view the list of versions of the auto-saved documents.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Recover Lost Changes

Once you have enabled the auto-recover feature in the word document, it will save automatically the versions of that document. Well, let’s see how we can recover these versions to get back the lost changes.

  1. Open the word document in your PC and click on the File tab in the top left of the application window.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes
  2. From the list of items on the left, click on Info option.
  3. On the Info screen, the Versions section contains a list of files that were either closed without saving or automatically saved using the AutoRecover feature.
  4. Now click on the version which you want to recover. Now the unsaved file will open in read-only mode with a message on the top of the application window asking whether to compare or restore the unsaved document.
  5. Click on the compare button to view the changes. To fully recover the version file, click on the restore button.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes
  6. Now a dialog box will appear asking whether to overwrite the existing one with the one which you want to restore. Click on Ok button.How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes
  7. Press Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut key combination to save the document.

That’s it. Now you don’t need to worry even if you lose the changes made in the word document.

Do let us know your valuable suggestions in the below comments section.

When Office app closes unexpectedly before you save your most recent changes, Document Recovery automatically opens the next time you open the Office app to help you get your file back.

Tip: If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber the safest way to work is to store your files on OneDrive or SharePoint and use AutoSave.

How do I decide which files to save?

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If you see multiple files in the Available Files list on the Document Recovery pane and aren’t sure which ones to save, the date and creation time of any automatically saved document appears under the document name and may give you a clue about which file you want to recover.

If you see multiple versions of the same file, you’ll probably want to open the one with the most recent time because it will have the most recent changes. You can also select each file to open and review the document.

After opening any file in the list, you can continue working in it, and you can close the Document Recovery pane when you’ve recovered all documents that you want to save.

Delete unwanted recovered files

Select the arrow next to the file name in the recovery pane.

Select Delete.

Confirm deletion by selecting Yes.

Closing recovered files

If you click Close without reviewing all recovered files, you’ll see an option to view them again later. The next time you open the application you’ll have the option to save or remove those autorecover files.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Yes, I want to view these files later (safest option) – Select this option if you are not sure whether you need the data in the recovered versions of the files.

No, remove the files. I have saved the files I need– Select this option if you are sure you don’t need the data in the recovered versions of the files.

Recover a file saved by AutoRecover

Normally, the application will automatically recover your work the next time that you open the app following a power failure or other unexpected shutdown by detecting that an AutoRecover file exists and automatically opening it. If you want to keep the recovered file, you should immediately save it before closing or editing it.

If you want to find any AutoRecovered files on your computer, switch to Finder,then click Go > Go To Folder (or press SHIFT + COMMAND + G) and enter the appropriate folder path as shown below. Replace <username> with your username:

Latest versions

/Users//Library/Containers/com.Microsoft/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery

Office 2011

entering “/Users/username/Library/Application Support/ Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery”

The AutoRecovery folder is a hidden folder, so you probably won’t see it if you just try to navigate to it in Finder. Use the Go To Folder tool and enter the full path to get around this.

If you close a file and click Don’t Save, the AutoRecover file will be deleted because Office assumes that everything is ok and the AutoRecover file isn’t needed.

Recover text from a damaged file in Word

Go to Word > Preferences.

Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, select General .

Ensure Confirm file format conversion at Open selected, and then close the General dialog box.

Go to File > Open. For Office 2011 go to Standard > Open

On the Open menu select Recover Text. For Office 2011 open the Enable pop-up menu, select Recover Text from Any File.

When Office app closes unexpectedly before you save your most recent changes, Document Recovery automatically opens the next time you open the Office app to help you get your file back.

Tip: If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber the safest way to work is to store your files on OneDrive or SharePoint and use AutoSave.

How do I decide which files to save?

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If you see multiple files in the Available Files list on the Document Recovery pane and aren’t sure which ones to save, the date and creation time of any automatically saved document appears under the document name and may give you a clue about which file you want to recover.

If you see multiple versions of the same file, you’ll probably want to open the one with the most recent time because it will have the most recent changes. You can also select each file to open and review the document.

After opening any file in the list, you can continue working in it, and you can close the Document Recovery pane when you’ve recovered all documents that you want to save.

Delete unwanted recovered files

Select the arrow next to the file name in the recovery pane.

Select Delete.

Confirm deletion by selecting Yes.

Closing recovered files

If you click Close without reviewing all recovered files, you’ll see an option to view them again later. The next time you open the application you’ll have the option to save or remove those autorecover files.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Yes, I want to view these files later (safest option) – Select this option if you are not sure whether you need the data in the recovered versions of the files.

No, remove the files. I have saved the files I need– Select this option if you are sure you don’t need the data in the recovered versions of the files.

Recover a file saved by AutoRecover

Normally, the application will automatically recover your work the next time that you open the app following a power failure or other unexpected shutdown by detecting that an AutoRecover file exists and automatically opening it. If you want to keep the recovered file, you should immediately save it before closing or editing it.

If you want to find any AutoRecovered files on your computer, switch to Finder,then click Go > Go To Folder (or press SHIFT + COMMAND + G) and enter the appropriate folder path as shown below. Replace <username> with your username:

Latest versions

/Users//Library/Containers/com.Microsoft/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery

Office 2011

entering “/Users/username/Library/Application Support/ Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery”

The AutoRecovery folder is a hidden folder, so you probably won’t see it if you just try to navigate to it in Finder. Use the Go To Folder tool and enter the full path to get around this.

If you close a file and click Don’t Save, the AutoRecover file will be deleted because Office assumes that everything is ok and the AutoRecover file isn’t needed.

Recover text from a damaged file in Word

Go to Word > Preferences.

Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, select General .

Ensure Confirm file format conversion at Open selected, and then close the General dialog box.

Go to File > Open. For Office 2011 go to Standard > Open

On the Open menu select Recover Text. For Office 2011 open the Enable pop-up menu, select Recover Text from Any File.

AutoSave is available when a file is saved to Microsoft OneDrive or SharePoint in Microsoft 365, but you need to save or open the file from within Excel, PowerPoint or Word to switch it on. You also need an active Microsoft 365 subscription.

Switch AutoSave on

To turn AutoSave on, save your file to your OneDrive or SharePoint folder from within your Office app.

Go to File then Save As.

Select your OneDrive personal, work or school account.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Choose your sub-folder from the list that appears.

Enter a file name and select Save.

If you don’t see your OneDrive in the list, select Sign in. If you don’t see your family, work or school OneDrive listed, select Add a Place. Learn more about how to add OneDrive as a service.

Selecting an existing file will enable AutoSave for that file.

Enable AutoSave when you open a file

To ensure AutoSave is on as soon as you start editing, open your file by navigating to your OneDrive or SharePoint folder from within your Office app.

Go to File then Open.

Select your OneDrive personal, work or school account.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Choose your sub-folder location from the list that appears.

Select a file to open it.

If you don’t see your OneDrive in the list, select Sign in. If you don’t see your family, work or school OneDrive listed, select Add a Place. Learn more about how to add OneDrive as a service.

Once opened, you don’t need to keep saving your file – every change is saved automatically.

What to do if you see a “Just upload the file” prompt

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If you select the AutoSave toggle and see a prompt which says, “Just upload the file”, it could be because you have Office File collaboration turned off. To turn it on, follow these steps

Select the OneDrive cloud icon from the taskbar or menu bar

Select More > Settings > Office

Check the Use Office applications to sync. box

Select the AutoSave toggle again.

If it’s already turned on, you have two choices:

To keep working on the original file, select the X to close the window. Then follow the steps above To switch AutoSave on.

To create a copy of your file, don’t close the Save window. Select OneDrive from the list of locations and enter a name for the copy.

Caution: If you open the original file you will not see any later edits.

Tip: Select the file name at the top of the app to see its location and version history.

If you can’t turn on AutoSave

If you open an Office file from File Explorer or Finder, you will need to open the file as described above to enable AutoSave.

Close and re-open the file from the Office app, not File Explorer or Finder.

If you open an Office file from your recent files list via the Taskbar or the Office app, you will need to open the file as described above to enable AutoSave.

To check, hover your mouse over the recent list: Files that begin C:\Users\ in their path will not open with AutoSave, but files with https:// will.

Close and re-open the file from within the Office app, not the recent file list.

If you open an Office file from File Explorer, Finder or your recent files list via the Taskbar, you may need to Save or Open the file as described above to enable AutoSave.

Close and re-open the file from within the Office app, not the recent file list.

AutoSave settings may be disabled for some files, especially large files, or files stored on SharePoint.

Go to File > Options > Save.

Check that the AutoSave box is ticked.

AutoSave settings may be disabled for some files, especially large files, or files stored on SharePoint.

Go to File > Options > Save

Check that the AutoSave box is ticked.

There are other reasons AutoSave could be disabled as well. Here is a list of common reasons for it to be disabled:

AutoSave is only available if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription. Don’t have a subscription? Get the most from Office with Office 365.

Your file is in an older format like .xls, .ppt, or .doc.

Your file is embedded inside another Office file.

Your presentation is in slide show mode.

Can I AutoSave to my computer?

AutoSave only applies to Office files stored in OneDrive, but the Office AutoRecover feature is on by default and saves your work every 10 minutes.

To view or change the AutoRecover settings, open an Office app, and select File > Options > Save.

How to turn off AutoSave

To turn off AutoSave, toggle the AutoSave switch on the top left of the app header.

Got feedback?

Please send us your feedback to help us prioritize new features in future updates. See How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office for more information.

Need more help?

Contact Support
For help with your Microsoft account and subscriptions, visit Account & Billing Help.

For technical support, go to Contact Microsoft Support, enter your problem and select Get Help. If you still need help, select Contact Support to be routed to the best support option.

If you have not saved, or have lost a Word document you were editing by accident, try the following methods to get back the work you have spent a lot of time and effort on.

By Delia / Last update March 18, 2022

Many users have had the experience of closing a document accidentally without saving, or encountered a power outage, computer freeze, Word crash and other accidents. The document that took a lot of time to edit is gone, and hours or even a day of effort is wasted, this is indeed a very anxiety-provoking situation. So is there any way to recover unsaved Word documents?

In fact, many users have issued similar queries, and Microsoft has long given some prevention and solutions. If you are also unfortunate enough to have lost a Word document that is being edited, please try the following methods before starting from scratch.

*The following steps and paths are mainly based on Word 2016, but similar methods should also apply to other versions after Word 2010.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Recover Word documents with AutoRecover

If Word opens a document from a local disk or a network shared folder, Word will use AutoRecover to save the changes to an .asd file, with a default save interval of 10 minutes.

To set up this feature, you can navigate to “File” > “Options” > “Save” and ensure that the “Save AutoRecover information every. ” option is checked, and select a time interval of your choice if needed.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Restart Word to open AutoRecover files

Word searches for AutoRecover files every time it starts. Therefore, you can try to use the AutoRecover feature by closing and reopening Word. If Word finds any automatically recovered files, the Document Recovery task pane will open and the missing document should be listed as either Document Name [Original] or Document Name [Recovered]”.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

You can then double-click to select the file name in Document Recovery and click “File” > “Save as” to save it as a .docx file.

Recover documents from .asd files manually

If the Document Recovery task pane does not appear when you reopen Word, you can also manually select to recover unsaved files.

Select “File” > “Info” > “Manage Document” > “Recover Unsaved Documents”.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Then you can check in the pop-up window if there are .asd files that can be recovered.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If there are no .asd files under the default popup path, then you can also manually navigate to the automatic recovery file location, which is usually:

*Please replace [UserName] with your user name. Or you can check the AutoRecover file location in “File” > “Options” > “Save”.

Once you find the .asd file you want by file name and time, select it and click “Open” to open it in Word. Check that there are no errors and then confirm the restoration.

Recover Word documents with Word backup copy

If you have selected the backup copy option in Word, there may be a “.wbk” backup copy of the file.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

To check if this option is turned on, select “File” > “Options” > “Advanced”, scroll down to the Save section and check that the “Always create backup copy” option is checked.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If it is, then the feature is enabled and you should be able to get the backup files in the following two folder locations:

*Replace [UserName] with your user name in these paths,.

Once you have found the backup copy of the document you want by filename and time, double-click it to open the document in Word. If you are sure the content is correct, select “File” > “Save as” to save it as a .docx document.

If you are part-way through working on a document when due to circumstances outside your control (such as the computer crashing or a network problem), you are unable to continue, there is a danger that the changes you have made will have been lost. This can be very frustrating and lead to a lot of extra work.

Of course, the best way to guard against this risk is to be in the habit of regularly saving your files while you are working (every 10 minutes is recommended).

Fortunately many programs, such as Microsoft Word, have an in-built “auto-save” function that automatically backs up a copy of your work every few minutes. But AutoRecover does not replace regularly saving your files, you must still do this.

In Word 2016, you can see how this is set up in the Options.

  1. Click on the File tab
  2. Under Options, click Save.
  3. Tick the Save AutoRecover information every check box.
  4. In the minutes box, type or select a number to determine how often you want to save files eg every 10 minutes
  5. Tick ‘Keep the last saved autoversion if I close without saving’ check box

Shown below this is the AutoRecover file location which in this example is “N:\” – ie the individual N:drive for the user. These are the standard settings for users on IT Services computers. They mean that every 10 minutes, a copy of the work in progress will be automatically saved to the user’s N:drive.

If Word is closed normally these auto recovery files are not saved.

If the computer you are using crashes while you are working on a document, you will probably have lost some information, but you should be able to recover the last saved autoversion. In this example, that means that at most you will have lost 10 minutes worth of work.

There are two ways to recover information. Firstly, if you are at the same computer you were using when the problem occurred and nobody else has used it in the meantime, then once you have been able to restart or log back on to the computer, open Word again. When you open it, Word will automatically check for any auto-saved files on the left-hand side of the screen. You can then click through them and choose any that you want to keep, using “Save As” to save a copy of the file.

If you are not using the same computer, then you have to go to the file location where Word auto-saved the file. So in the example above, this would mean going to the “N:” drive.

  1. Click on Windows Explorer icon on the task bar
  2. Locate the”N:” drive
  3. Any automatically saved files will then be listed as .asd files

Automatic versions of files do not end with “.docx” or “.doc” like normal Word documents – they end with “.asd” which stands for “auto-saved document”. The file name will be the same as the name of the file you were working on but with “AutoRecovery save of” at the start. So if the file you were working on was called “My New Word File.docx”, then the last auto-saved version would be called “AutoRecovery of My New Word File.asd”. You can open it simply by double-clicking on it – the file will open in Word as usual and you can then use “Save As” to save it to the right location.

If no file is found you need to find the Autosave file and copy it to the location shown when Recover is used.

These can be found via File, Open and clicking the Recover Unsaved Documents button found at the very bottom of the Recent File List.

  1. Open Word and select File, Options.
  2. In the Options dialog box select Save from the left hand menu.
  3. Note the AutoRecover files location.
  4. Open Windows Explorer/My Computer
  5. Click on the Organise dropdown.
  6. Select Folder and Search Options.
  7. Select the View tab.
  8. Remove the tick next to Hide Extensions for known file types.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Select the Show hidden files, folders and drives radio button.
  11. Move to the location found in step 3 above.
  12. Open the folder which has your document name (with %20 representing spaces).
  13. Copy the .asd file.
  14. Return to Word and click on File, Open
  15. Scroll down until you can see the Recover Unsaved Documents button and click it.
  16. Paste the copied file into the folder
  17. Open the file

Microsoft have a useful article How to Recover a lost document http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316951/en-us

See aslo our FAQ 1648 I emailed my work to myself, opened it from the email, made some changes and then saved it but can now no longer find the updated copy – what has happened to it?

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Categories

This is question number 1643, which appears in the following categories:

Created by David Guest on 17 February 2010 and last updated by Adrian Chorlton on 1 August 2016

I was working on one of my major assignments for another ECS class. It was a Microsoft Word document, I had made quite a few changes in it, and most importantly those changes were seen and approved by the instructor. The Word document was already opened when I connected to ECMP355 class through zoom on Thursday night. I had some issue with my camera that night, it was not working. Katia said that don’t worry about it, it’s ok for tonight if I couldn’t fix it. I thought a restart of the computer may help to fix the problem. So, I restarted it without closing any of my opened applications (I did not pay attention what was opened because I was in a rush to catch the class at 7:00 PM and not to miss anything.) In rush, I accidentally skipped through the “Save your changes” dialog and closed Word without saving the document!

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

I realized the loss as soon as the computer turned back on. I connected with ECMP class but my mind had been diverted. I checked my assignment in the Word document with a hope that I might have saved my last changes. But unfortunately, I had lost all major changes that I made after discussion with my instructor. I was so upset that I could not focus well what was being discussed in the class. As soon as the class finished, I started to look online if there was a way to retrieve unsaved changes in the Word document. There were many articles and methods online, some of them did not work for me but then finally I was able to retrieve my data by gaining some knowledge from online resources and mixing it with my own troubleshooting techniques.

A big relief and excitement! Thank God, I will not have to redo it. Soon after that, I decided to share my experience with ECMP community as this week there was a free post choice. Many of us use Word document as a student and might also use it as a teacher in future for lesson planning. My post should be helpful to some of those who may encounter such a situation at any stage of learning or teaching.

The very first article that I read on “ How to Recover an Unsaved Word Document ” was on recovering an unsaved Word document using Microsoft Word 2010, Word 2013, and Word 2016. Since I was using Word 2016, I thought it would be beneficial for me. In an opened Word document, I followed the procedure as follows:

File Tab > Info > Manage Document > Recover Unsaved Documents

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

After clicking on the above-mentioned tabs/buttons, An ‘Open dialog box’ opens displaying a list of your unsaved recoverable Word documents. Select the Word document you wish to recover and click the Open button.

But, my document was not in the list. And to my understanding, the reason was that I have saved my document already and what I was looking for were the changes that I didn’t save before closing Word. This article gave me some information on ‘Change the save AutoRecover information time’ but it was not clear enough on how to retrieve unsaved changes. But through this, I found the path/location where auto recover files are saved on my computer.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

I checked the directory but there was no auto-recover file.

Then I looked for information on “Closing an existing Word document without saving it” and found this article “Recover Lost Changes To A Word Document”. It tells different things to try to retrieve the changes as, unfortunately, there is no one solution to this problem. And these troubleshooting techniques would only work if we have saved our document at some point (which was the case with me).

  • Restart Word to look for the recovered document – This method did not work for me as I had already started Word a few times during my troubleshooting. “Document discovery” task pane only shows up the first time you launch the Word application and there is no other Word document already opened. (I had a few other Word documents opened at that point.)
  • Search for AutoRecover files – This method did not work for me as there was no auto-recover file in the ‘recent document’ list. (In my Word ‘save’ options, Auto-recover time was set for 10 minutes only and it had been more than two hours since the changes were lost and I had opened my document several times in between.)
  • Search for .asd files – Again no luck with this method as well. The auto-recover file has been deleted from the location where these files used to store.
  • There was only one method left (Search for Word backup files). Before proceeding to the next one, I thought to check ‘recycle‘ bin to see if the deleted auto-recover version of the file is there. I was able to find the file by enabling “view hidden files“, my excitement was just overloaded. The reason I had to enable this option was that Word saves auto-recover files with .asd extension and not with .docx extension. (It means auto-recover files are not Word documents, you have to save it as a Word or .docx file immediately after opening it.)How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

If you’ve ever lost all of your work because you didn’t save your Microsoft Word document, you understand how palpable the pain can be.

Fortunately, Word has come a long way since the dark ages of backing up files on floppy disks. Nowadays, if you lose an unsaved Word document, there might still be a way to recover it. The process isn’t guaranteed, and you’ll likely have to try multiple methods before you find success, but it’s better than just giving up.

Here’s how to recover an unsaved Word document, as well as enable Word’s AutoSave feature to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Search for the original document

While you may not be able to recover your most recent additions, you might still be able to access the original version of your document.

On a PC, Open the Search bar by pressing the Windows key and type the name of your document. On a Mac, click the spotlight icon in the upper right corner of your desktop. If your document appears in the File list, you can open it by double-clicking it.

Search for Word backup files

Sometimes, Microsoft Word will save a backup version of a file without your prompting.

Open the folder in which your document was most recently saved and look for a file ending in .wbk or WBK. This is the file type associated with Word backup files.

Check the Recycling Bin

The Recycle Bin is where deleted files go before they are removed from your computer’s memory.

You can find the Recycle Bin on your desktop on a PC, or on your dock on a Mac. Double-click on it to open it and check the contents for your missing document.

Use Recover Unsaved Documents in Word

1. Open a document in Microsoft Word.

2. Click on File.

3. Click on Info, then Manage Document.

4. In the dialog window that appears, search for your missing document, click on it, and then select Open.

5. Once the document is opened, click File and then Save As and save it to a new location.

If you want to save the files manually, this can also be done on Windows by checking either of the following two directories (folders), where is replaced with your Windows username:

  • C:\Users \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Search for temporary files

1. Click the Start menu and type .tmp (including the period) into the search box.

2. At the top of the search box, click on the Documents tab.

3. Scroll through the files and search for file names that match the last few dates and times that you edited the document in question.

Quick tip: If you can’t find any .tmp files that are related, then you need to move on to another method.

4. Now, open Word and click on the File tab.

5. Select Open, then click on Browse.

6. Select the file format as All Files and navigate to the folder where you located the temp file(s) in step 3.

7. Open the file.

Enable AutoSave or AutoRecover

AutoSave is an option available to Microsoft 365 subscribers whereby your Word files are automatically saved to OneDrive or SharePoint. This option can be turned on and configured by turning the AutoSave toggle On at the top of Word.

On the other hand, AutoRecover is a feature accessible to non-subscribers.

1. Click on File, then Options, and click on the Save tab on the left of the window that appears.

2. Click the checkbox beside the Save AutoRecover information every X minutes option so that it has a check mark in the box icon.

3. Make sure that the Keep the last AutoRecovered Version if I close without saving box is also checked and press OK.

Quick tip: Having the AutoRecover option in step 2 set to automatically save more frequently is advisable.

Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.

Symptoms

You’re working with a complex Word document. After an Auto-Save operation (the default interval is 10 minutes), you notice a general performance degradation when editing the document:

  • sluggish typing
  • slow screen refreshes when scrolling

Cause

The Auto-Recover file location points to a network share. This will force Word to use files located on a network share as temporary or scratch files.

Resolution

In order to resolve this problem, you need to set the Auto-Recover file location to a local path. The default path is %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Word. Also ensure that %APPDATA% (or Roaming Application Data) points to a local folder.

To change this setting, please go to File – Options – Save and modify the Text Box “Auto-Recover file location:”. Type in a valid local path.

More Information

Since the temporary files that Word uses are file-access-driven, accessing them through the network is not optimal.

File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file. This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN and LAN links use network-access-driven methods.

For more information on how Word creates and stores temporary files, please check Description of how Word creates temporary files.

A similar performance degradation occurs in Outlook if the PST file is located on the network. More information about that on Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links.

I have been working on the document for a while, in autosaving mode, every 3 minutes, a folder is allocated on the Documents folder.iMac was shut down after the power cut. The file remained as the 8th of December file, not was auto-saved before the power cut for 2 days. Between 8 and 10th of December, all the entries were missing. I don’t know what to do, I followed the steps in the Community for different office-related issues. No progress.

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AutoSave and AutoRecover are two entirely different features.

AutoSave turns on automatically when you save a file to either OneDrive or SharePoint. It automatically turns OFF if you save a file anywhere else.

AutoRecover turns on automatically when you save a file to your Mac’s startup drive (Documents folder or Desktop, usually). The default AutoRecover location can be set in Word Preferences, as well as the interval for saving the AutoRecover file, AutoRecover works only when you save to your local startup volume. If you save anywhere else, AutoRecover may or may not be engaged depending on where you saved your file. If you turn AutoRecover off in Word > Preferences then there will be no AutoRecover file. When you close a document normally, then there will be no AutoRecover file because Word erases AutoRecover files when a document is successfully saved.

AutoRecover and AutoSave are never both on at the same time.

If you did not change any of Word’s default settings and you saved your file to your Mac OS Documents folder, you can follow these steps to retreive the AutoRecover file. If you changed the AutoRecover file location in Word Preferences, the setting you choose is where you will find the AutoRecover file

The best way to recover a document saved to your Documents folder is Time Machine

First, coming out of the gate I’ll put my hand up and admit that I am not tech savvy. I recently switched from Mac to a Surface Book laptop. I started a 365 subscription and my troubles have been endless.

After spending hours with tech support, it’s dismaying to learn that if I want auto save, I am forced to use one drive. I DO NOT want to use one drive. This is such a major design flaw. When I try to save manually to my local drive, for some reason, my work doesn’t save. This has meant that I’ve had to do work over sometimes three times – the third time was when I finally succumbed and turned on one drive again.

I really do not want to be in the Microsoft system and the company I work with, which is based in Europe, doesn’t allow us to save in cloud storage drives other than in our company’s designated drives.

Someone suggested to me that I completely wipe my computer and start from scratch, not signing into any MS account and installing Windows 2010. Is this the way to go? What about Windows 2016? I hear that 2019 would still force me to use one drive.

What I want is to use Windows, Excel and PowerPoint and to have my documents auto save into any drive that I choose (which would not be one drive).

Any help or insights would be gratefully received. I am even willing to change computers, systems whatever it takes. Thank you so much.

And Microsoft, if you are reading, it really sucks to force us to use your cloud storage for the auto save feature. Please consider changing this.

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1) There is no law in Europe that prevents the use of OneDrive for business. The company concerned may have its own rules. If you save to OneDrive you are no more in the MS system than when you buy an MS product

2) Within all Office components>File>Save, the set/Edit the default location, which will be set to OneDrive

You have a misconception about the purpose of Auto Save

3) Auto Save on the QUAT is applicable only to OneDrive, in File Options>Save you set the various options. There is no AutoSave as such, although when you exit a doc you will be prompted ” Save Changes”

And “someone suggested” – tell them to use pen and ink or their crystal ball

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1) There is no law in Europe that prevents the use of OneDrive for business. The company concerned may have its own rules. If you save to OneDrive you are no more in the MS system than when you buy an MS product

2) Within all Office components>File>Save, the set/Edit the default location, which will be set to OneDrive

You have a misconception about the purpose of Auto Save

3) Auto Save on the QUAT is applicable only to OneDrive, in File Options>Save you set the various options. There is no AutoSave as such, although when you exit a doc you will be prompted ” Save Changes”

.

And “someone suggested” – tell them to use pen and ink or their crystal ball

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MS has Office and Windows set to default to OneDrive.

No you don’t have to save to OneDrive.

The OneDrive Autosave, basically saves as you type. You can’t get that degree of autsave any other way.

On the local drive there is the “autorecover” function. At a timed interval (you can change default 10 min) an “autorecover” backup copy is made. When you close the application normally the autorecover file is deleted. If it abends, then next time you open the application you are supposed to be given the option of useing that autorecover copy. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes I suspect that it actually causes abends

When saving to the local drive you can use 3rd party addons or DIY macros to create autosave copies.

Q. After revising my Word document, I accidentally closed it without saving. In an effort to recover the lost document, I followed the recovery steps outlined in the January 2017 Technology Q&A article, “Microsoft Word: Find a Lost Document,” but my lost document was not there. In fact, I could not find any recovered documents.

A. Most likely your AutoRecovery tool is turned off. To enable Word’s AutoRecovery tool, select File, Options, Save, and make sure the Save ­AutoRecover information every 10 minutes and the Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving boxes are checked. You might also consider setting your save interval to every three minutes (or so). These three setting adjustments are circled in red in the screenshot below.

Thereafter, Word will automatically save copies of your work at the intervals you specified.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ([email protected]) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Did you lose an important file in Microsoft Word? There are many ways you can recover it. Here’s how.

  • Use the Document Recovery task pane that will appear if Word crashes
  • Click to File and Info. Then, under Manage Documents, click the file name labeled (when I closed without saving)
  • Head to File and then click Info, and then head to Manage Document, and finally, click on Recovered Unsaved Documents
  • Try using OneDrive and “version history” instead

One of the most terrifying things that can happen when writing something in Microsoft Word is having the application crash on you. Typically, that means you could possibly have lost the important document you were working on.

Long ago, this meant that your file would be gone for good, but more recent versions of the popular word processor will auto recover some of your lost work. As we continue to dive deeper into each of the Office 365 apps, we will now explain how you can recover or restore lost files in Microsoft Word.

How to turn on Autorecover

One of the easiest ways to recover lost files in Microsoft Word is with the Autorecover feature. It should be turned on by default, but if it is not, you can easily enable it. Simply head to File, then clicking on Options, and then choose Save. Youll want to make sure that the “Save AutoRecover information every x minutes” box is selected. Importantly, you will also need to make sure that the “keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving” box is selected.

Keep in mind, though, that the recovered files could be different from what you were last working on when Word crashed. Saves will be made based on how long you’ve set up AutoRecover. You can tweak the minutes in the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box just to be safe.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Use the Document Recovery task pane

If something ever goes wrong with Microsoft Word, and the app crashes, you should see the Document Recovery pane appear when you re-launch. There will be files names inside the pane, along with the date and the time of the of last autosave. It will be best to pick the most recent file listed in that pane, but you can also click each file individually to open and review it.

Once you click on a file to open it, you can get back to working on the document like Word never crashed. If you happen to press on Close by accident, the files will still appear again later. You also can select options to view the file later, or remove the files, if not needed.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Manually recovering saved files

If you’ve previously saved a file, and Microsoft Word crashed, you can still get back into the version you were last working on. Simply open the file, and then click to File and Info. Then, under Manage Documents, click the file labeled (when I closed without saving.) In the top bar, you’ll then want to click on Restore. You also can compare different versions of the file by clicking Compare.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Manually recovering files that aren’t saved

In the event that you didn’t save a file when Microsoft Word crashed, you still might be able to recover it. Head to File and then click Info, and then head to Manage Document, and finally, click on Recovered Unsaved Documents. You’ll then be able to select the file from the explorer and click on Open. Make sure that you click Save As in the warning prompt that appears in the top ar, so you can save the file.

Avoid the trouble, just OneDrive!

One of the best ways to avoid the trouble of having to deal with Autorecover and restoring Word files is to save files to OneDrive. With the power of OneDrive, your changes are saved automatically. This will allow you to use the “version history” of a file, and see all your changes, on any computer or from the web, without having to worry about manual saves. Saves with AutoSave typically happen every few seconds, which means you’ll have extra peace of mind.

It is quite common among Windows users to accidentally close the window or shut down the PC while working on Word documents. You may also experience an app crash or BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), which leaves the Word document unsaved. If you think you lost your work, don’t worry. There are still ways to recover an unsaved word document on your PC.

Let us discuss some effective methods to recover an unsaved Word document on your Windows 10 PC.

Recover Unsaved Word Document from Autosave

In Microsoft Word, there is a built-in autosave feature. While working in a document, the MS Word app creates backups of the file periodically. So, if the app or PC go crashing, you can recover the autosave version quickly.

Follow these steps to recover the word document in which you saved at least once.

  1. Open Word on your PC.
  2. Click on your document under “Recent.”
  3. It will open up the Document with Document Recovery Pane.
  4. Click on the latest autosave version from the “Document Recovery” pane.
  5. Now you can save the word document and continue working.

This will work if you have saved the document file at least once. If the file was unsaved, you could try your luck with the auto recover option on the Microsoft Word app.

Recover Unsaved Word Document from AutoRecover

Sometimes, you start working on a Word document without saving at least once. In such cases, you will not be able to get the autosave version. Even the Recent Documents may not list them. The AutoRecover feature on Microsoft Word comes handy to help in such situations.

Let us see how to recover an unsaved Word document on Windows 10 from AutoRecover.

  1. Launch Microsoft Word app on your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Click on the Blank Document.
  3. In the new Document window, the Document Recovery pane will show you the document you were recently working on with an AutoRecovered tag.
  4. Click on it, and there you go. The autosave word feature will do the rest.
  5. Click on the Save button on the tiny message on the top of the document to save it.

Unlike the autosave version, the AutoRecovered Word Doc is likely to be missing some data. Don’t worry. You will get almost every Word you typed on the unsaved Word document before.

Find Out All Unsaved Word Documents

As you know now, it is easy to recover the latest document on Word. Also, MS Word lets you find out the autosaved files from the Welcome window itself. You must be on Microsoft Office 2016 or 2019 to do this. Follow the steps to find out all unsaved Word documents.

  1. Open Microsoft Word on your Windows PC.
  2. From the left pane, click on Open.
  3. Click on the Recover Unsaved Documents button at the bottom right.
  4. A new window will pop up, which will list out the unsaved Documents.
  5. Open the .asd file that contains your unsaved content.
  6. Now, you can edit the unsaved document of your wish and save.

The unsaved files in Microsoft Word are saved in .asd format. When you open them from Word, you can continue editing as a regular document. Later, you can save the word document file in PDF or other formats.

Manually Recover an Unsaved Word Document

Sometimes, the AutoRecovery and Autosave features may fail. In such cases, you are likely to lose the unsaved document. But, here is a little tweak that lets you manually recover unsaved Word documents on Windows 10.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on File from the menu bar.
  3. Click on Options at the bottom on the left pane.
  4. On the popup window, go to the Save tab.
  5. Look for the AutoRecover file location.
  6. Click on Browse.
  7. In the Opening Directory, you will find your unsaved files with .asd extension.
  8. Double-click the document, and Choose Word as the app to Open the Document.
  9. The autosave word document will open in read-only mode.
  10. Click on Enable Editing to start editing the document.

Henceforth, you can save the file or copy and paste it on another word document to continue your work.

Enable AutoRecover and Autosave on Word

Autosave is a helpful feature in Word. It saves your files every 10 minutes automatically. But, if your system crashes just before an autosave, you will lose what you typed in the past few minutes. To avoid that, you can set Autosave to 1 Minute on Word.

  1. Open Word, click on the Options tab.
  2. Go to the Save tab from the window.
  3. Click on Save Autorecover information every and provide “1” to set it to 1-minute.
  4. Click on OK.

You can set the Autosave to 1-minute. Microsoft Word will save your document every minute while you work on it.

That’s all about the best methods to recover unsaved Word document on Windows 10. These methods can work after a System crash or app crash. I hope you follow the best.

Disclosure: Mashtips is supported by its audience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Use this page in the Options dialog box to specify whether to automatically back up files or not. You can also specify if you want to restore modified files if Visual Studio shuts down unexpectedly.

To access this dialog box, go to Tools > Options > Environment > AutoRecover.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Save AutoRecover information every [n] minutes

Use this option to customize how often a file is automatically saved in the editor. For previously saved files, Visual Studio saves a copy of the file in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\BackupFiles\[projectname]. If the file is new and you haven’t saved it yet, Visual Studio autosaves it by using a randomly generated file name.

Use this option to customize how often a file is automatically saved in the editor. For previously saved files, Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2 and later saves a copy of the file in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\BackupFiles\[projectname]. If the file is new and you haven’t saved it yet, Visual Studio autosaves it by using a randomly generated file name.

If you are using Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1 or earlier, the file location is %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio [version]\Backup Files\[projectname]. For more information, see the Visual Studio 2019 Release Notes History page.

Use this option to customize how often a file is automatically saved in the editor. For previously saved files, Visual Studio 2017 saves a copy of the file in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio [version]\Backup Files\[projectname]. If the file is new and you haven’t saved it yet, Visual Studio autosaves it by using a randomly generated file name.

Keep AutoRecover information for [n] days

Use this option to specify how long Visual Studio keeps files created for autorecovery.

I am using Microsoft Word 2016 Version 15.18 for mac.

6th time this has happened to me. WEEKS worth of work lost.

After hours and hours of work, (and during the work, I constantly saved the document), I was trying to exit Word. It said I had documents that needed reviewing of changes before shutting down. I reviewed the changes and saved the documents. One wouldn’t save, the “Save As” option was all greyed out. I had already saved it a million times, had the program set to create a backup copy immediately and autosave every five minutes, so I thought it should be fine..

So I just closed the program. You would think at least some of my work would be saved! When I go to reopen the document, it is ZERO bytes and there is no text.

This document was saved in my iCloud Drive folder on my desktop. All other documents like this, seemed to have properly created the backup copy immediately. There was NO BACKUP copy created for this one.

I have tried opening and repair, open and recover text.

and

I have autosave set to every five minutes and I had create a backup copy immediately checked in my preferences. No backup copy was created. I saved it multiple times while working and all versions of this document are blank.

There was a weird glitch when I went to close word, it asked me if I want to review changes, and then suddenly, the document I was JUST working on is blank.

The version in AutoRecovery was also blank and so was the both copies in the Library folders. I save my documents on my iCloud Drive folder. They are also blank in there.

Last time this happened a few months ago, I had to start from scratch. Looks like I will again! HOW CAN I EVERY TRUST THIS APPLICATION AGAIN.

When I called support, they had know idea what could have happened. In fact, they thought it was my fault and I didn’t save it. Awful customer service. Nothing they can do. Well there is a BAD glitch in this software. I do not recommend anyone using it, all the “backup” methods failed me.

If anyone has anymore suggestions, I would deeply appreciate it. This is totally unacceptable.

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I hope I wasn’t sarcastic, rude and condescending to you. I quite often am, but I had not intended to be to you! Sorry if it came across that way. What happened is that they have changed the view in this forum (again!). I saw only the two original posts, and thought you were both way out of date. The current posts were three pages down and an extra button to click. I am sorry, I wish they wouldn’t do this 🙂

Just a point: we can blame Microsoft for many things it provides, but not for my advice — I am a private citizen: a consultant technical writer who works with Word on long and complex documents all day. My only connection to Microsoft is the MVP recognition, for offering advice in here for the past 20 years. Yes, I know this forum has not been around for 20 years, but I have, I started out on UseNet 🙂

I will be the last to defend AutoRecover! I have always considered its design to be deeply flawed (Word does not have an AutoSave facility: I have been asking for one for 20 years, shows how much notice they take of me!).

The problem with timing is that (especially when saving to cloud drives. ) there are a lot of moving parts to a Word “save”. More so with an AutoRecover (see below). If you get a stutter in the connection to the cloud drive during an AutoRecover save, the save can be still in progress when it is time for the next one. Not so bad: you will get a message “Autorecover save suspended for document name” and the next one should be OK. However, Mac OS is sometimes a bit lazy about releasing the file locks on files it has been using (so can Windows be, but Mac OS is a bit worse). If the AutoRecover save takes “a while” and the locks have not been released in time for the next AutoRecover save, you can get a problem such as you experienced.

AutoRecover saves a log of the CHANGES to a document, it does not save the document itself. AutoRecover “recovery” kicks in only if Word KNOWS that it has crashed (i.e. when the Microsoft Error Report appears). Then, it opens the original document and attempts to apply the list of changes to it. If for some reason Word can’t read the original (because, say, it corrupted it. ) then you’re hosed: there is nothing to apply the changes to. And that’s why I consider it to be flawed.

I guess somewhere in this very lengthy thread, someone has mentioned that Tracked Changes make everything much less reliable? Tracked Changes all remain in the document until they have been accepted or rejected, so the code in the document can become extremely complex, and as we know, complexity is the enemy of reliability.

There are rumours around that Microsoft is working on a genuine Automatic Save mechanism (at LAST!). Not confirmed yet. It would be quite a major change, so don’t expect it soon.

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Have you been in a situation where you lost your important Word files due to unsaved Word document changes? There are several reasons why document files disappear. One of the simplest causes is not properly saving the document or accidental deletion. In worst-case scenarios, documents or files get deleted if the Microsoft Word app crashes, system formatting, or virus attack. This may happen in our day-to-day work routine. Could you still get your valuable word files back? Absolutely! In this post, we’re going to cover practical methods and effective way to recover lost word document.

Practical Methods to Recover Unsaved Word Documents

Recover from Temporary Files

Temporary files are one of the ways through which you can recover your unsaved documents when using Microsoft Word. It is a built-in feature in the program so there’s no software installation required. To show you how it’s done, below are the simple steps you need to follow.

  • First, launch the Word application. Click on the “File” tab at the top left corner.
  • Next, navigate to “Info” and look for “Manage Versions” from this page. Click the drop-down menu and choose the “Recover Unsaved Documents” option.
  • Then a list of unsaved file documents will be shown. Select the file and click “Open” to finally recover word document.

Search for AutoRecover Files

Another practical way to restore the deleted or unsaved document file is through AutoRecover. For your information, the document that was accidentally deleted is not permanently wiped off from the system. The Word app backs up your documents and stored on the computer disc. But when a file is overwritten, you won’t be able to recover it. Therefore, you should quickly search for auto-recovery before other files take its disc space. To recover word file using this method, here is a list of steps to guide you.

  • Open the Word desktop app on your PC and go to the “File” tab. After that, hit “Options” followed by the “Save” section. Look for its auto recover file location and copy the file path.
  • Now open “File Explorer” and paste the file path to the folder path. Click the “Refresh” icon.
  • Then, you should see a folder that has the name of your document file. Copy the asd file inside the folder.
  • Next, go back to the Word app and go to “File” and select “Open.” Now, hit “Recover Unsaved Documents” at the bottom interface. A window will then appear where you should paste the asd file to recover word document.

Recover with Document Recovery

If for some reason the computer system crashed resulting in unsaved documents, you can possibly get back your document files using the Document Recovery feature of Microsoft Word. See the following instruction to recover your Word document.

  • Launch the Word program and you should see the “Document Recovery” notice at the left side of the interface.
  • Now click the drop-down button associated with your document and select “Open.”
  • After following the above steps, you should be able to recover Word file and resume editing it.

Restore from Recycle Bin

There are also instances when you are trying to delete a document but accidentally deleted the important one. If this exactly happens to you, you can still get your documents back fromthe recycle bin. If you are wondering, all the files and documents you delete aren’t permanently deleted from your computer. These are stored in the recycle bin folder. Keep reading to know how to recover deleted word document from the recycle bin.

  • On your desktop find “Recycle Bin” and double click to open.
  • Once the folder is opened, locate the document file you intend to retrieve.
  • Right-click on the document file and choose “Restore”. By then, you should be able to edit the document.

Using ApowerRecover

In unfortunate situations where you permanently deleted the files from your computer, it’s best to use ApowerRecover when it comes to data recovery. This helps you recover any type of data such as document, audio, video, photos, or other desktop and hard drive files. Also, it can handle data recovery whether you are using Mac or Windows PC. Moreover, the app features a “Deep Scan” that allows you to recover every bit of lost or deleted files effectively. Read along to know how to recover Word document.

  • Download ApowerRecover and install the app on your computer.
  • Launch it and scan the drive where your document is stored. Once the scanning is finished, look for the “Documents” folder from the list of recoverable files.
  • Mark the Word documents you want to restore and click the “Recover” button. Specify a folder where you want to save the file and then wait until the recovery is done.
  • After the successful recovery, you can preview the restored document.

Conclusion

All the methods mentioned above can help you recover your important Word files. While Microsoft Word comes with built-in recovery features, it is always best to use a data recovery app like ApowerRecover. It provides a flexible and high success rate of recovery for the best user experience.

Is it possible that the autosave function replaces data without possibility of recovering it if the file is saved locally?!

I fear I might just have lost some very important documents on a file I was composing on my iPad. The file was saved locally, so no online backup, because I often work while travelling and not always I can count on a reliable connection, whcih slows me down everytime I have to work on a file saved online. Before closing my document the last time I opened it I highlighted all the writing I did so far to count the words. I am afraid that for some reason the text was deleted without me noticing. The next time I open the file it’s blank. Thinking that Word is glitching I just go back to the main page, which trigger the autosave. A this pont the restore version function, whcih lets me switch between the current version and the one immediately previous doesn’t let me go back to two versions before and my text seems to have been permanently overwritten.

Is it possible that when saving the file locally the autosave function can save unwanted changes and permanently overwrite entire documents without even confirming with me? Is this app so badly designed that if one accidentally exits to the homescreen can lose hours and hours of work? Is it reasonable that the app saves only one version of the file when working locally and this witout even confirming the changes with me? It seems that when developers designed this they programmed the autosave function to work like one could access an endless verison history, only that that version history goes back only to the immeditaely previous version.

I am so upset with how this has designed because it’s so lazy on the side of the programmers to assume that people will only use online and cloud functionalities and just forget to design the autosave function properly!

Go back to work and try to deliver a functioning product! You produce software that is deemed for professioanl use, you shouldn’t put people’s work in danger of being permanently lost because of umprperly programmed automations

How to recover unsaved Word documents

You can try to recover an unsaved Word document by:

If you’re looking for information about how to recover other recent Office files, see the following articles:

If you can’t open the document, or the content in the document is damaged, see How to troubleshoot damaged documents in Word.

To find a lost document:

Try searching for the document in Windows:

  1. Select Start, type the document name (in Windows 8.1, type the name in the Search box), and then press Enter.
  2. If the Documents list (or Files list in Windows 8.1) contains the document, double-click the document to open it in Word.

If the search results don’t contain the file, go to the next method.

Word backup file names have a “.wbk” extension. If you have the “backup copy” option selected in Word, there might be a backup copy of the file.

To check whether this option is on, select File > Options > Advanced, scroll down to the Save section, and then select Always create backup copy.

If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, check these two folder locations for a backup file:

  • C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Note: In these paths, replace <UserName> with your username.

To find the backup copy of the file, select Start, enter .wbk in the Search box, and then press Enter. If you find any files that have the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file, double-click the file name to open it.

If you don’t find a backup file for the document, go to the next method.

If you deleted a Word document without emptying the Recycle Bin, you might be able to restore the document.

  1. Double-click the Recycle Bin on the Desktop.
  2. Search through the list of documents to see whether the deleted Word document is still there. If you don’t know the file name, look for file types such as .doc, .docx, and .dot.
  3. If you find the desired Word file, right-click the file name, and then select Restore to recover the file.

If you don’t find the desired file, go to the next method.

Windows File Recovery Tool

If you are using Windows 10, version 2004 or later, you can try the Windows File Recovery tool. Windows File Recovery is available from the Microsoft Store. You can use it to recover files that have been permanently deleted. For more information about this tool, see Recover lost files on Windows 10.

Restoring documents saved to SharePoint and OneDrive

For documents that you saved or synced to OneDrive, see Restore deleted files or folders in OneDrive.

To find missing content or a newer version:

Word takes different actions to protect your changes in Word documents:

If Word opens a document from SharePoint or OneDrive, the program uses AutoSave to save changes to the “cloud” document. We recommend that you leave the AutoSave feature set to On. . image type=”content” source=”media/recover-lost-document\autosave-on.png” alt-text=”Image shows the AutoSave option in the On position.”.

If Word opens a document from your local disk or network shared folder, Word uses AutoRecover to save changes to an AutoRecover file. The default AutoRecover save interval is 10 minutes. We recommend that you leave the AutoRecover feature set to On.

. image type=”content” source=”media/recover-lost-document/word-options.png” alt-text=”Screenshot shows the Save Documents section of Word options, with Autorecover set to every ten minutes.”.

Word searches for AutoRecover files every time it starts. Therefore, you can try using the AutoRecover feature by closing and reopening Word. If Word finds any automatically recovered file, the Document Recovery task pane opens, and the missing document should be listed as “document name [Original]” or as “document name [Recovered].” If this occurs, double-click the file name in the Document Recovery pane, select File > Save as, and then save the document as a .docx file. To manually change the extension to .docx, right-click the file, and select Rename.

Note In Microsoft 365 Subscription, when Word starts, it searches for AutoRecover files. If any recovered files are found, Word opens them by having a Message Bar. Select Save to save the recovered file as a .docx file. If there are many recovered files, Word usually opens the last-changed files, and puts the remaining files into the Document Recovery task pane. . image type=”content” source=”media/recover-lost-document/recovered-unsaved-file.png” alt-text=”Screenshot shows a header that reads, Recovered Unsaved File. This is a recovered file that is temporarily stored on your computer. There is a Save button next to it.” border=”false”.

If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, check the following folder locations for backup files:

  • C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Note: In these paths, replace <UserName> with your username.

If you don’t find the missing file in these locations, open Word, and select File > Info > Manage Document > Recover Unsaved Documents.

. image type=”content” source=”media/recover-lost-document/manage-document.png” alt-text=”Screenshot shows the Manage Document option, with Recover Unsaved Documents selected.”.

If you still haven’t found the file, try manually searching for AutoRecover files. To do this, select Start, enter .asd in the Search box, then press Enter.

If you find any files that have the .asd extension, follow these steps:

  1. Open Word, and then go to File > Open > Browse.
  2. In the files of type list to the right of File name, select All Files.
  3. Right-click the backup file that you found, and then select Open.

If there are no .asd files, go to the next method.

Temporary file names have a .tmp extension. To find these files, follow these steps:

  1. Select Start, type .tmp (in Windows 8.1, type .asd in the Search box), and then press Enter.
  2. Select the Documents tab.
  3. Scroll through the files to search for file names that match the last few dates and times that you edited the document.
    • If you find the missing file, go to step 4.
    • If you don’t find the file, repeat steps 1 through 3, but search on the tilde character (

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

It can be disappointing when you realise you have deleted or failed to save the changes in a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document. You may have been the victim of a Windows crash, or even a power cut. But hours of hard work may not be lost as there are several ways you can try to recover Microsoft Office documents.

Tech Advisor explains where to look for temporary files, backups and old versions of your files as well as software which can attempt to recover a deleted file.

If you’ve accidentally deleted something in a document (or the whole thing) but Word, Excel or PowerPoint is still open, press Ctrl-Z to undo the mistake. This works in most situations, including in web browsers, so if you’ve lost an entire email or long forum post, try the Ctrl-Z to reverse it.

If that doesn’t work, it may still be possible to get your document back. It really depends on how your computer (and Office in particular) is configured, which version of Office you are running and how the file was lost, deleted or corrupted.

There are no guarantees, but try the following and you can be back in business:

Look for the AutoRecover or backup version

By default, Office saves a copy of your file from time to time in case of a power cut or other failure. In theory, when you next launch Word, Excel or other Office program, it should present a list of files you can continue to work on, but sometimes you’ll see nothing at all.

If this happens, here is how to find the AutoRecover files:

  • In the Tools menu, click Options
  • Go to the File Locations tab and double-click AutoRecover files
  • Copy or write down the file path, the click Cancel, and then Close
  • Using Windows Explorer navigate to the AutoRecover file location
  • Search for files with names ending in .asd
  • Click the Office button (top left) and choose Word Options
  • In the Navigation Pane, click Save
  • In the AutoRecover file location box, note the path, and then click Cancel.
  • Using Windows Explorer navigate to the AutoRecover file location
  • Search for files with names ending in .asd
  • Go to the File menu and choose Recent
  • Click on Recover Unsaved Documents (at the bottom)

This takes you to the folder in which Office automatically saves your work, even if you never hit ‘Save’ and give it a filename.

Similarly, in Office 2013 or later, a panel listing recovered documents will appear when you next open a document.

Manual search

If all these fail, then you can use Windows Search (or the Start menu search box in Windows Vista, 7 or 10) to search for the file name.

You need to only remember one word from the filename, or if not, search for all Word documents. To do this, type *.doc or type *.docx to find all Word files. (The ‘*’ is called a wildcard and means Windows will return any file with a .doc or .docx extension.)

If you know you used a different file type, such as RTF, then search for *.rtf instead. (Excel files are .xls or .xlsx, while PowerPoint documents have .ppt or .pptx extensions.)

Read Also

If that fails, try searching instead for Word backup files using the *.wbk or *.asd wildcards. If that turns nothing up, try *.tmp or

Undelete documents

It is easy to inadvertently delete a document, but the chances of getting it back are fairly high, especially if you act quickly.

First, look in the Windows Recycle Bin. Your document is likely to be in this temporary folder unless you are in the habit of pressing Shift-Delete, in which case it bypasses the Recycle Bin and gets ‘properly’ deleted.

However, it doesn’t actually get erased from your hard drive: Windows merely ‘forgets’ where the file is and that disk space can then be overwritten with a new file.

It is at this point you should try a file recovery utility. There are many free options, but a popular one is Recuva, which comes in both installable and portable versions. This is important as you don’t want to download or install a utility on the computer on which your deleted file resides as the new program might overwrite it.

Instead, install the portable version of Recuva onto a handy USB flash drive (using a different computer to download it) and then run it on the computer where your file has been deleted. As long as it hasn’t been overwritten you should be able to recover the document, although it may be missing its file name.

Find a copy of the document

There might be an older copy of your file, which might save you some work as you will only have to update it if any changes were made between the copy and the version that was lost.

But unless you select the option, Office doesn’t automatically create copies of your documents. But if enabled, there should be a second version of your file called ‘Backup of xxxx’ where ‘xxxx’ is the original filename.

To force Office to make copies, you need to go into the options, find the Save section and look for an ‘Always create a backup copy’ setting. Not all versions of Office have this, but you will find options there to save AutoRecover data – set the time between auto-saves to a few minutes, and that way you’ll only ever lose a small amount of work.

Some cloud storage services, including Dropbox, automatically create copies of your files each time you edit them, so it is worth checking for this if your file was ever saved to the cloud.

Another way to find your file comes in the form of Windows Shadow Copy. This is not available in all editions of Windows, but you can check if yours has it and whether or not it’s enabled.

To see if there is an older version of your file, launch Windows Explorer and right-click on the file that contained your document. Click Properties and then look for a Previous Versions tab. If there is one, click on it and you should see a list of dates. Double-click on a date you think the file should have existed and look for the file.


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  • Oct. 6, 2010

Q. Microsoft Word sometimes crashes and I lose changes I just made to my file. What can I do?

A. To help prevent crashes, start by making sure you have installed all the available updates of Windows and Word on your computer.

Manually saving the file (the popular Control-S shortcut on Windows, or Command-S on the Mac version) is one way to retain more of your work. Although it does not replace manually saving the file at frequent intervals, recent versions of Microsoft Word include an AutoRecover function that can sometimes salvage a more recent version of a file after a crash.

To use the AutoRecover in Word 2010, go to the File menu and choose Options. On the left toolbar, click on Save. Make sure the checkbox is turned on next to “Save AutoRecover info every:” and then type the number of minutes between automatic saves of the file. The default is usually 10 minutes, but you can choose more frequent autosaves.

In Word 2007, you can get to the equivalent Save settings by clicking the Office Menu button, clicking on Word Options and clicking on Save in the left toolbar. In Word 2003, go to the Tools menu and choose Options. On most Mac OS X versions of Word, go to the Word menu, choose Preferences and click on the Save icon. The Word Options/Settings box also lets you turn on a checkbox to save a backup copy of your file on the computer; it’s in the Advanced options in Windows or the Save settings on a Mac.

After a system crash, Word’s AutoRecover function should kick in and show you the version of the file it saved on its own, which is hopefully newer than the last version you manually saved. Microsoft has more information on the AutoRecover function and where the files are kept on your computer at support.microsoft.com/kb/107686.

Reading

The Web Offline

Q. Can I copy saved Web articles on my computer and move them to my iPad so I can read them without having to be connected to the Internet?

A. Plenty of inexpensive programs allow you to save Web pages right on your iPad when you do have a Wi-Fi connection and call them up later when you’re offline. Apps like Offline Pages or InstaPaper are available in the App Store for about $5 and can save articles for later reading when you’re out of network range.

EverNote, a free app made for taking different types of notes, offers a desktop program, evernote.com, that lets you save Web pages to a file and sync them with an iPad before you go offline. If you can save Web pages as a PDF files on your computer, you can sync them to the iPad through iTunes to Apple’s free iBooks app.

TIP OF THE WEEK: To see definitions from the Dictionary program that comes with Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6, press the command key and the space bar and then type a word into the Spotlight search bar. You can also open the program from the Applications folder. But like its paper counterpart, the New Oxford American Dictionary, the program does much more than word definitions, even without an Internet connection.

With Dictionary open on screen, visit the Go menu at the top of the screen and choose Front/Back Matter. Just like the front and back pages of a standard dictionary, the app has all sorts of helpful information, including a unit conversion table, a list of chemical elements, a grammar guide, a history of the English language and the full text of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. J. D. BIERSDORFER

In Word (Office 365 version) I used to be able to autosave locally to the PC instead of to OneDrive. Now I am being forced to save to OneDrive if I want the Autosave feature turned on in Word. But I’d rather not use OneDrive since I already have Google Drive, and it is not necessary to use both (in fact they seem incompatible as far as I can tell as OneDrive started clobbering my Google Drive folder locations when I tried to install it).

I’m usually logged out of my 365 account when I’m just using Word, so it seems unnecessary to force me to log into my 365 account and save on OneDrive. Any solutions?

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I am sorry, the AutoSave feature in the Office 365 Applications is only available for files saved to OneDrive

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I totally agree with you, I always save locally to my PC and only use the Cloud as a manual backup

In Word, go to File – Options – Save and set that to save to your PC by default and you can choose a preferred Save folder

They should really re-think the AutoSave function and allow that for locally saved files as well . . .

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I did check the Default Save to PC option (and unchecked the Autosave OneDrive at the top of the menu). But that still won’t allow me to turn Autosave on for autosaving locally to the PC. As DaveM121 notes above, a local to PC autosave feature simply is apparently not available for stand-alone versions of the Office products (even though it used to be – one reason not to upgrade).

Below is a link to the information that Microsoft has on Autosave if any others are reading this thread and seeking more information. The gist of it seems to be that non-subscribers/stand-alone Office users need to rely on AutoRecover as indicated in this “reassuring” sentence:

“If you’re not a subscriber, don’t worry. There’s still AutoRecover. AutoRecover helps protect files in case of a crash. If you reopen the file after a crash, a version of the file with your latest changes appears in a Document Recovery pane. “

But “a version of your file with the latest changes” implies that it is autosaving anyway — just not in the document you’re updating like with Autosave! Autorecover (IMHO) is a poor substitute for Autosave.

Commentary: A recent Microsoft Office 365 change can have disastrous consequences. Here’s what I changed — and why.

Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET’s popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook “I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie”).

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Here’s a common practice: You open an existing document in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, make some changes to it, then save it using a different filename. That leaves the original alone, but gives you a modified copy.

Just one problem: Microsoft’s Office 365 no longer works that way. Because of an incomprehensible change pushed out not long ago, any changes you make are automatically saved — meaning your original document is overwritten, even if you don’t want it to be.

What’s more, when working on a document that’s already been saved at least once, you’ll notice that the “Save As” option — as old as the software itself — has disappeared from the File menu.

What the heck, Microsoft?

This is especially frustrating because the update was pushed out without warning, explanation or instruction. It just happened one day. To me it seems borderline insane that Microsoft would change a fundamental method of saving Office documents without adequately informing users.

It gets worse: Although you can easily turn off the new AutoSave feature by clicking the little toggle in the upper-left corner of the screen, that turns it off only for the current document. There’s no way to globally disable AutoSave.

What you can do is turn off AutoRecover, the feature that automatically creates a backup at regular intervals. That effectively disables AutoSave — while also leaving you without the aforementioned backup.

If you’re willing to do that, click File > Options > Save, then clear the checkbox next to “Save AutoRecover information every X minutes.”

How to use autorecover to automatically save your word documents and recover lost changes

Sure, you can turn off AutoSave — but only if you turn off automatic backups as well.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

There’s another way to work around this, but it means changing the way you work, and probably have worked for decades. Microsoft recommends that when you open an existing document with the intention of saving it with a different filename, you use the new “Save a Copy” option (which is what replaced “Save As”) before you make any changes.

Ugh. What if I make changes and then decide to abandon them? Now I’ve got an unnecessary, unwanted copy I have to manually delete.

I wouldn’t be so miffed about this if Microsoft had notified me first. Plenty of web and mobile apps present users with informative overlays when introducing them to new features. Why can’t Office 365 work the same way?

If you’re equally miffed, there’s one more option: You can disable AutoSave by tweaking the Windows registry. That’s according to a Microsoft support article. Unfortunately, the hack works only in Office 365 ProPlus. I tried to find those same registry entries in Office 365 Home and came up empty.