How to recover lost documents in Word

Recover lost documents in Word

Microsoft Office is undoubtedly one of the working tools of many people in their day to day, so it can be common to suffer from a number of conflicts when working with their different programs, as in the case of Word, for example.

recover lost documents in Word

For this reason, in this article we will teach you how to recover lost documents in Word, being an excellent solution in situations where you must find, recover and close Word documents without saving changes.

Also, power outages and other problems never warn, and despite having a UPS or voltage regulator, you may lose important data due to a Windows reboot or error.

In these cases, it is possible to use Auto-Recovery or find copies stored on the computer of the edited files.

Why can a Word document be lost?

Whether it’s a mistake to close the program, choosing not to save the changes; it’s also possible that due to a power failure the computer will shut down unexpectedly or even an error in the system that causes the freezing or restart of the equipment.

In general, many can be the cause of losing a document in Word.

How to recover lost documents in Word

Fortunately, no matter what your situation, it’s important to know that Word tends to automatically and regularly save a copy of the documents you work on.

This copy can be retrieved at any time through the Auto-Recovery function or manually.

In this sense, the Auto-Recovery function refers to Word regularly saving changes made to a document through the File > Save menu option.

However, this automatic saving is not done on the main document, but rather on a copy of it and from time to time.

In addition, the copy can be created even if you have not saved the document for the first time, which can help you in situations of urgency.

Enable the Auto-Recovery function

This function is enabled by default, although if you want to check its settings and other aspects, you can go to the File menu and then open the Options.

Then, open the Save tab and make sure that the boxes corresponding to are checked: Save Auto-Recovery information every: X minutes and Retain last auto-save version when closing without saving.

On the other hand, there are situations where certain system errors or other factors cause Word to close abruptly.

When you restart the program, any documents you didn’t save before closing it will automatically appear in the automatic recovery window, just to the left side of the screen.

In this sector you will be able to identify the document according to its title, time and date of its last modification.

Click on the document you want to retrieve and save it correctly. If automatic recovery does not work, you will have to proceed to another of the methods presented below.

Retrieve new documents without saving

If you have opened a new document and made some notes but have not saved it for the first time, in case of closing it by mistake, carelessness or any of the factors mentioned above, you can retrieve it by going to the File menu, then open the Recent tab.

Find the file in the list or click the bottom end of Retrieve unsaved documents.

You can also retrieve new documents without saving manually. To do this, go to one of the following addresses depending on the operating system you’re using: C:Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoft OfficeUnsaved Files on Windows XP, and C:UsersUser_User_NameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.

Another method to recover lost documents in Word, especially if they are saved documents but after making some changes you have not updated, you can go to the File menu and choose the Information option. At the bottom end of Manage Versions, click the Retrieve unsaved documents menu.

To retrieve these documents manually, go to the following addresses depending on the operating system:

C:Documents and SettingsUserNameApplication DataMicrosoftWord on Windows XP, and C:UsersUserNameAppDataRamingMicrosoftWord on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.In these cases, the AppData folder may be hidden; to activate it, in the Control Panel open the Folder Options and in the View tab, check the Show hidden files, folders and drives box.

Another way to access the folder of unsaved documents and the folder of Autorecovery is to enter the following paths in the Run command (Windows Key + R) and press Enter:

  • Documents not saved: %LOCALAPPDATA%MicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles.
  • Self-Recovery: %APPDATA%MicrosoftWord.

It is important to note that the files found in these locations have an ASD extension, so you must open them using Word or drag and drop them on a program window. You can also right-click on these files and choose the Open option.

Setting the auto save time

By default, the Auto Recovery time is set to 10 minutes, however, to take advantage of this feature and reduce data loss as much as possible, it is preferable to set a shorter time for auto saving, either in about 3 to 5 minutes.

This is an ideal option if you want Word to automatically save everything you edit in the document, without having to do the saving process manually.

To do this, you can go to the File menu and access the Options. Then go to the Save tab and increase the value in minutes that appears in Save Self-Recovery information. This if you are in versions of Word 2007 or later.

On the other hand, if you are using versions of Word 2003 or earlier, you can open the Tools menu and then access the Options.

On the Save tab, check the Save Self-Recovery info. every: checkbox and choose the time you consider necessary.

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