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How Do I Recover Unsaved or Deleted Word Documents in Windows Computer

Chelsea Staub Updated on Aug 23, 2022 5:16 PM

Microsoft Word (MS Word) has opened up the world and widely accepted in building standardized personal and business documents in PC. But when the unexpected occurs, you'll probably end up: losing a Word document when working, accidentally deleting a Word file after Windows computer or Microsoft Word crashed, or missing a Word .docx or .doc file that wasn't saved properly.

How Do I Recover a Word Document in Windows

There's no one-size-fits-all solution here, so a combination of following tricks can be utilized to recover deleted Word documents, find and bring back an unsaved Word document from Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, etc., and retrieve a permanently deleted Word file on Windows PC.

Contents of Word document recovery:

This tutorial involves rectifying that a Microsoft Word file is gone in all Windows OS versions.

1. How to Recover Unsaved Word Documents in Word

We'll start with recovering unsaved Word files in Windows laptop or desktop via Microsoft Recover Unsaved Documents feature. It makes it easy and free to get back the MS Word document that suddenly disappears during writing.

Should you need to perform the recovery of a Word document that wasn't saved in a Windows computer after being forced to shut down the program, use the same instructions below.

In Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Office 365, or above:

  • In MS Word, click on File tab and hit Open > Browse. (In Word 2013, go to File > Open > Computer > Browse.)
  • Look into the folder where you last saved the document and search for files that end in .asd.
  • If you can't find the lost documents, select File > Info > Manage Documents (or Manage Versions) > Recover Unsaved Documents.
  • Find the missing Word files, then open and saved the recovered Word documents on Windows.

In Word 2010 or earlier:

  • Go to the File menu and choose Recent.
  • If there's no needed Word document listed, click on Recover Unsaved Documents.

2. Easiest Way to Recover Permanently Deleted Word Files

Data Recovery comes into rescue when you required to undelete a Word document that's lost using the Shift+Delete shortcut. (Installing the program into an unaffected media device is recommended.)

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It uses advanced technologies to scan lost Word files with .doc, .docx, .dotx or other file formats and recover individual or a batch of Word documents which is deleted recently, 6 months ago or longer. Beyond handling all Word data loss scenarios, one added benefit to use this Word file recovery software is that you can instantly uncover removed or hidden Word files with the preloaded search interface.

Steps to Recover deleted Word documents on Windows:

  • Download and install Data Recovery. Then, launch it.
  • Mark the box of Document and choose the location where you lost the Word documents.
  • Click on Scan button. This will inform the tool to do a quick scan.
  • Recover Word Document Not Saved 2007 in Windows

  • View the recoverable files and choose the desired Word document(s) to retrieve.
  • Hit Recover button. It'll reveal the Windows Word document recovery progress instantly.

3. Restore Lost Word Docs After a Crash

Both your Windows machine and Microsoft Word can crash at times, but the good news is that it recovers unsaved Word document by default in most cases when back to life. To retrieve a lost Word file from a Windows PC and bring back the content, this is the detailed procedure:

1. Exit all Winword.exe and Microsoft Word

  • Right-click on the taskbar, and press Task Manager.
  • Under the Process tab, choose any instance of Winword.exe or Microsoft Word and hit End Task or End Process. Repeat this step until all instances of Winword.exe and Word have closed.
  • Restore a Deleted .docx File in Windows Hard Drive for Free

  • Close the Windows Task Manager window, then reopen Word.

2. Restore from Document Recovery task pane

  • If your missing Word document is displayed as "document name [Original]" or as "document name [Recovered]", double-click the file in the Document Recovery pane.
  • Click on File > Save As, and save the document as a .docx file on your Windows PC.
  • Follow How Word creates and recovers the auto-recover files for more information.

4. Find an Unsaved Word Document in Windows

Alternatively, you can manually search for the auto-recovered Word files by navigating through the following steps when the Document Recovery pane doesn't open.

Tips: This way to recover a Word document after click don't save in PC only works when the Autorecover option is turned on.

  • Find and hit File tab and go to Options in the bottom.
  • Click on Save, then locate the AutoRecover file location heading.
  • Press Ctrl+C to copy the path and paste it using Ctrl+V into File Explorer.
  • Can I Retrieve a Deleted Word Document on a PC without Using Software

  • Then, press Enter key. This will bring up a list of auto-saved Word files.
  • Search and open the .asd file. Then, save it on the local disk.

You can fix up the performance degradation when editing the document here: Performance issues with Auto-Recover location on network share

5. Retrieve Deleted Word Files from Recycle Bin

It sounds cliché, but sometimes you can easily restore the deleted Word documents from Recycle Bin on a Microsoft Windows computer, provided that you've not cleared out Recycle Bin or the documents haven't been permanently deleted.

To retrieve the deleted Word docs:

  • In desktop, open Recycle Bin by double-clicking the icon.
  • Select the missing Word document(s).
  • Right-click the file(s) and choose Restore option.

If you lost MS Word documents after an upgrade to Windows 10 OS, you can get them back in our ultimate data recovery guide.

6. Search for AutoRecover Files (.asd Word Files)

Till now, if you still can't find the autosaved files to recover a lost Word document on a Windows computer that you didn't save, try searching the .asd files in the whole Windows system.

  • Open Windows Start Menu by pressing Windows key.
  • Choose File Explorer.
  • From the left, click on This PC.
  • Enter .asd into the search bar.
  • Press Enter on the keyboard.

From the search results, double-click on the unsaved Word file you need in Word and then save it as usual.

Another potential place where the unsaved MS Office Word documents can go in PC is the Temp folder. If you're lucky, you can recover the deleted text in a Word file that's saved over and retrieve a replaced or overwritten Word document from the saves there. Here's the file directory location:

C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

Study this tutorial to discover more guidance about how Word creates and uses temporary files: Description of how Word creates temporary files

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