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Recovery Monkey

How to Recover an Unsaved Word Document on Windows

April 9, 2020
recover a lost word document

We’ve all been there. You’ve been typing away for hours (or days!) and suddenly, the power goes out or your computer restarts itself or the Microsoft Word application crashes. Situations like this can get the best of us. I have a friend who had been working on her thesis for hours when she lost an important word document without saving it. What followed of course, was a crying fit and her punching a hole into the wall. I wish she would have known that it is possible to recover a lost word document.

We’re going to teach you not to end up like my writer friend and to recover your document successfully. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Best Ways to Recover an Unsaved Word Document

It’s very likely that at some point, we may lose our valuable Word documents, either because we have accidentally deleted them, because of a power outage, or because of any other error when closing the file.

However, today we’ll introduce you to the main methods for recovering these files. You may be asking yourself: can Word Documents really be recovered? Of course!

Using AutoSave on Windows

Do you want to know something extremely useful about Word for Windows?

Word has an autosave function, which means that every few minutes, Word makes a copy of the document you’re working on. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you want to determine how often the autosave is activated, go to the “File” menu and click on “Options”.

autosave function on word for windows

In the “Save” section you can choose how often to make a backup of the current document.

You can set the 1-minute marker up to the amount you consider appropriate. If your projects are very important, we recommend setting it at 5 or 10 minutes.

You have to remember that only two or three copies will be saved because when a new autosave is generated, the oldest autosave is destroyed.
When any kind of failure occurs with Word and you have not been able to save your file, all you have to do is open Word and on the left, you will find an option to view the recovered documents.

To avoid any issues, select the last autosave copy and save it with the original name of the document.

The Recover Unsaved Documents Option on Word

By accident, you may press the “Do not save” button (this cannot happen to any of us).

Thankfully, all is not lost, because Word saves working copies for different emergency situations. And this is one of them.

If you want, we can do a test. Open a Word right now, write something and don’t save it, exit Word using the “Don’t save” option, open Word again with a blank page.

Then, go to the “File” menu and click on “Information” and then on “Manage document” (although depending on the version of Word you have, this may be different).

Here you will find the option “Retrieve unsaved documents”. Just click on it to locate the document you just lost, it may have a long and strange name, change it and save it with the correct name.

Performing a Manual Recovery on Word for Windows

This method consists of manually retrieving your documents without saving them to Word.

How? Using the folder: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\UnsavedFiles
The Word documents for autosave, are in the folder: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Word

Let me tell you a little secret for quick access to this folder. In case you don’t know, you can use the search engine on the Windows desktop in the lower-left corner.

Once there, type “Run” and in the window that opens put one of those folders. This will open a window with the files you have requested.

Recover Lost Word Documents using a Software Program

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You can retrieve your valuable documents by using a free software program known as “EaseUS”. This program has the ability to recover the documents you lost in Word for free.

In actuality, it is one of the most popular tools to recover documents in .doc/.docx/.rtf format.

It is incredibly easy to use. In fact, any novice who spends a little time with it can easily pretend to be an expert. That’s how the program was created, to make it effective, comfortable and make your life easier.

How to Use EaseUs to Recover Lost Word Documents


Step 1: Download the software. You can click here to go to the EaseUS website. Start your data recovery software, select the disk where you want to recover your Word documents and click “scan” to find your lost or existing Word documents.

Step 2: The software will perform a quick scan to find all the deleted data and once it is finished, an automatic analysis will be started to find more deeply deleted data. The time it takes depends on the capacity of the disk.

Step 3: Once the scan is finished, you can search for the files you want quickly, thanks to the Filter – Documents option.
The software also allows you to preview all the Word documents that have been recovered. Check the Word documents you need and click the “Recover” button to finish recovering them.

Step 4: Finally, it is recommended that you save all recovered Word documents in a different location than the original one, so as to avoid data recovery failures.

That’s it! You should have all your documents back by now. But there is more, EaseUS can also recover deleted Excel files and other types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, BMP, tiff, MPEG, etc.

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Easily Save your Word Document

Well, we’ve told you the best ways to recover your Word files in the most effective way. As an extra tip, I’ll mention is that you can save your document every 5 minutes on your own in a comfortable way.
Using ctrl+S, you can quickly save a copy of the document you’re working on. This way, you don’t have to constantly click on the “Save” icon in Word

Finally, we hope that we have helped you and that one of these ways of recovering your Word files will be effective for you.