Recover a Lost Word File: Step by Step Guide

Recover an unsaved or deleted Word document
Recover an unsaved or deleted Word document

Last updated: June 4, 2024

We have all experienced this very frustrating situation. While we were on a Word document for long hours, a problem closed this document you were working on.

The problem is that in this kind of situation, you haven't always saved your work. From then on, these are potentially hours of work that you have just lost in a few seconds. So you are wondering how to recover a document?

Do not be discouraged ! Indeed, it is possible to recover unsaved word document. In this article, we tell you what to do depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Recover unsaved Word document from Windows

Recover Word Document via Autosave

For years, there have been a few users who lost their data and searched how to recover unsaved Word document. So the Word developers thought of them.

Indeed, they have included in their software an automatic backup option. Thus, at regular intervals your work is saved so that you no longer have to do it yourself!

Open your Word, click File >Information>Manage the document>Recover unsaved documents.

This is a very useful solution in case of problems. Because you will no longer have to wonder how to recover an unsaved Word file on Windows 10. This will be done directly by the software. Be careful though, you could still have lost the last few minutes of work.

Recover unsaved Word document from temporary files

You may not know it, but it is possible to recover an unsaved Word file for 4 days! For this, you must go through what are called temporary files.

To access it, you must first press the key Windows + E at the same time. Once done, a command prompt will appear on your computer.

To access your files, type the following command:

  • Windows 7:C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel
  • Windows 11/10/8:C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Once done, a new window will open and you will see the various files that you have not backed up. You can then take the one that interests you the most from the lot.

Recover Unsaved Word File from Old Version

If you have a file that you've been working on for a while, chances are you've made backups previously. Therefore, it is entirely possible to recover a Word file not saved on Windows 10.

This is good news, even if, for example, you simply did something wrong. Thus, you can go back to an old version of this document in just a few clicks.

To do this, you will need to go to File, then to Information. Once you're there, you should find "Manage Versions". Click on it and you should see older versions.

Find the one you want to resume and click on it. Once that's done, all you have to do is click Allow Content, then Restore. There you go, you have recovered an old version of your file!

How do I enable Office AutoSave?

A few moments ago, we told you about a solution to recover an unsaved Word document, automatic saving. It is a tool which is extremely practical, but which is surprisingly enough not necessarily activated on the basis of Word!

In fact, you will have to activate it manually to be able to benefit from these backups at regular intervals. There's nothing complicated about this, don't worry. You need to go to Files.

Once you're there, go to the options, then to Recording. Once there you will see the option to enable automatic saving of your files, do it!

That's it, now you can enjoy your word document and work calmly. Even if something goes wrong, you won't have to try for hours to recover an unsaved Word file.