How to Retrieve Microsoft Word Document Unsaved?

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2024 by

We’ve all been there – you’re working on an important document in Microsoft Word, and suddenly your computer crashes or the power goes out. You frantically try to reopen the document, only to realize that you never saved it. Panic sets in as you realize all your hard work may be lost forever.

But fear not, there is a way to retrieve your unsaved Word document. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to recover an unsaved Word document and prevent this nightmare from happening again.

Why Do Word Documents Get Unsaved?

Before we dive into the steps for retrieving unsaved Word documents, it’s important to understand why this happens in the first place. There are a few common reasons why Word documents may get unsaved:

  • Power outage or computer crash: As mentioned earlier, a sudden loss of power or a computer crash can cause your Word document to become unsaved.
  • Accidental closing of the document: You may have accidentally closed the document without saving it, thinking you had already saved it.
  • Software malfunction: Sometimes, Word may malfunction and close without warning, causing your document to become unsaved.
  • Human error: Let’s face it, we’re all human and we make mistakes. You may have simply forgotten to save your document.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document

Method 1: Use the AutoRecover Feature

The first method for retrieving an unsaved Word document is to use the AutoRecover feature. This feature automatically saves your document at regular intervals, so if your document gets unsaved, you can recover the most recent version.

To use this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Info and then click on Manage Document.
  3. Select Recover Unsaved Documents from the drop-down menu.
  4. A new window will open, showing all the unsaved documents. Select the one you want to recover and click Open.
  5. Your unsaved document will open, and you can save it to your desired location.

Method 2: Search for the Document in Your Computer

If the AutoRecover feature doesn’t work, you can try searching for the document in your computer. Sometimes, Word may save a temporary version of your document in a different location.

To search for the document, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on your computer.
  2. In the search bar, type in .asd and hit Enter.
  3. This will bring up a list of all the temporary files saved by Word. Look for the one that matches the name of your unsaved document and double-click on it.
  4. Your document will open, and you can save it to your desired location.

Method 3: Check the Temporary Files Folder

If the above methods don’t work, you can also check the Temporary Files folder on your computer. This folder contains all the temporary files created by Word, and your unsaved document may be among them.

To check the Temporary Files folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on your computer.
  2. In the search bar, type in %temp% and hit Enter.
  3. This will open the Temporary Files folder. Look for the file that matches the name of your unsaved document and double-click on it.
  4. Your document will open, and you can save it to your desired location.

How to Prevent Unsaved Word Documents

Now that you know how to retrieve unsaved Word documents, it’s important to take steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Here are a few tips to help you avoid losing your work:

Save Your Document Regularly

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning – save your document regularly. Get into the habit of hitting the Save button every few minutes, especially if you’re working on a long document. This will ensure that even if something happens, you won’t lose too much of your work.

Use the AutoRecover Feature

As mentioned earlier, the AutoRecover feature automatically saves your document at regular intervals. By default, this feature is turned on, but you can check to make sure it’s enabled by following these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Options and then click on Save.
  3. Make sure the Save AutoRecover information every box is checked and that the time interval is set to your desired frequency.

Enable AutoSave

In addition to the AutoRecover feature, Word also has an AutoSave feature that saves your document to OneDrive or SharePoint every few seconds. This ensures that even if your computer crashes, your document will be saved to the cloud.

To enable AutoSave, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Options and then click on Save.
  3. Make sure the AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Word box is checked.

Use the Save As Feature

Another way to prevent losing your work is to use the Save As feature. This allows you to save a copy of your document to a different location, so if something happens to the original document, you’ll still have a backup.

To use the Save As feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the File tab and then click on Save As.
  3. Choose a location to save your document and click Save.

Conclusion

Losing an unsaved Word document can be a stressful and frustrating experience. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can retrieve your document and prevent this from happening in the future. Remember to save your document regularly, use the AutoRecover and AutoSave features, and make use of the Save As feature to keep your work safe. Happy writing!

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.