Juliet D'cruz

Resurrecting Your Work: The Quick Document Recovery Guide

 You’re typing away at your work files. You almost have all your reports done when all of a sudden, the lights in your home turn off. You stare in horror as your computer screen goes dark.

You haven’t saved your progress in hours. You’ll be practically starting over.

Don’t feel bad. This has happened to everyone at some point in time. Luckily for you, Microsoft Word has document recovery features in place that will allow you to get your lost work back.

If you don’t already have these protections enabled, these recovery tips won’t help you this time. You will have them for future reference, though. Keep reading to stop yourself from ever losing another important Word file.

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Recent Documents

It happens to everyone. You’re typing away at your computer when your power goes off or you exit out of the document without saving. Before you start to panic, open word back up.

Head over to the Open File tab and click on Recent. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and select the last file in the list. Click Restore Unsaved Documents.

The document should pop up in a new window. If you’re lucky, it will look exactly as it did before your computer shut down. Save the recovered file, and you should be good to go.

Manage Documents

This is a little more complicated than the method above, but it should work as well. Open up a new document in Word and head up to the File tab. From there, go to Info and click on Manage Documents.

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Select Recover Unsaved Documents. This will pop up a list of all your unsaved work. Pick the file that you want to restore and open it. After that, you can click on Save As to prevent yourself from losing the file again.

Temporary Files

When you start up a new document in Word, the program automatically creates a temporary file for it. You’ll need to enable this function before the malware infection happens or you overwrite a document. If you don’t, the program won’t store the backup that you need.

To gain access to the file, you’ll have to find out where it is on your computer. For most Windows models, it’s usually C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\. Once you navigate to the right folder, you’ll see the document that you’re looking for.


Microsoft word is pretty good about saving your work as you go along. Lucky for you, this feature is enabled in the program by default, so you won’t have to lift a finger.

It will back things up every ten minutes. You can go in the settings and change this if you feel the need. To get to the auto-recovery pane, open the File menu and go to Options.

Click on the Save tab on the left of the screen. Copy the document name in the autorecover file location box. Past it in the file explorer on your computer.

You should see an asd. file. Copy it and head back into Word. Click on the File menu and go to Open, followed by Recover Unsaved Documents.

Paste the asd. file and open it up. Keep in mind that most of the time, Word will ask you if you want to restore an autosaved document by default in the event of a computer shut down. You’ll only have to go through all this trouble if it doesn’t ask you.

Undo Save

We’ve all saved over a file on accident. Word does have an undo button for accidental deletion. With the stroke of a few keys, you can restore your document back to the way it was before you messed up.

On Windows, you’ll hold down Ctrl+Z at the same time.

Restore to Previous Version

If you remember the name of the file that you deleted, you can restore it to a previous version. To do this, open up a new document and save it with the same file name as the one you lost due to deletion or document corruption.

Now you’re going to right-click on the document and select properties. You should see a previous versions tab. Navigate over to that, and you’ll see a list of options. Restore the one that you want.

Track Changes

Track changes is another neat built-in feature that you can use as a panic button. When you override a previous file, don’t close it. Instead, go to the Review tab in Word.

From there, click tracking followed by Final Showing Markup. You’ll see all your tracked changes on the right side of your Word document. You can use this information to restore your work to its former glory.

Time Machine

The last option works for Word crashed recover document Mac. Time machine is a program that’s built into all Apple computers. It creates regular backups of all your work.

There’s a Time Machine icon in your menu bar. Click on it and pick the Enter Time Machine option. Find the folder where your Word document is, and choose the time when your computer shut down on you.

You’ll see a list of all the files that Time Machine saved around that period of time. Click on the Word file to get it back.

Document Recovery Tips That Will Save Your Work

There’s no worse feeling than losing hours of work because of an unexpected computer shutdown or power outage. The good news is that Word has document recovery features in place that will help you restore your files.

As long as you know how to navigate your way around the program, you’ll never have to worry about losing your work progress. If you’re looking for more computer tricks that will help you keep track of your important documents, visit our blog.