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Losing a document while working on it on MS Word isn’t uncommon. Several factors, such as power outages, app crashes, or closing the program accidentally, can cause you to lose your document. 

Fortunately, this does not mean you lose your document forever. Microsoft Word has auto-recovery features that can help you recover unsaved Word documents that closed unexpectedly. In this article, we will help you recover unsaved Word documents by locating the auto-save folder on your desktop, so keep reading!

How to Enable AutoRecovery on Word Document?

Before you proceed with recovering your documents, you need to have the AutoSave option enabled on your Word program. The following methods below would not be applicable to you if you had the option disabled when you lost your document.

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You can check if the option is toggled on or off in the top-left corner of your Word program.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Documents?

There are exactly four ways you can recover your unsaved document on MS word. You can recover your documents using the Document Recovery wizard, Recover Unsaved Documents feature from the Word application itself. Additionally, you can also recover unsaved documents from your device’s temporary files.

However, before recovering your file, remember that MS Word saves your documents at the interval of 5-10 minutes; therefore, all your data might not be recovered.

Use Document Recovery Wizard

When Microsoft notices that the program has been unexpectedly shut, it triggers the Document Recovery wizard. When you restart MS Word, a new panel to your left called Document Recovery will appear, asking you if you wish to recover the unsaved file. Select the version you want to autosave and select Open.

Locate Recovery File

You can also locate the AutoSaved files from the Save tab in Word Options. You can browse to this location in your File Explorer to open the documents to recover them. If you wish to locate your AutoSave folder from MS word, follow these steps:

  1. Launch MS Word.
  2. Select Options from the sidebar.
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  3. Choose Save from the left panel.
  4. In the AutoRecover file location, select the Browse button.
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  5. Locate your file and select to open it.

Use Recover Unsaved Document Tool

You can recover your unsaved documents using the Recover Unsaved Document tool on MS word. You can access this tool from the Info tab of the Word homepage. Here are the steps you can follow to use Recover Unsaved Document on MS Word:

  1. From your word document, head to File.
  2. Select the Info tab from the sidebar.
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  3. Choose Manage documents > Recover Unsaved Documents.
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  4. Select your document and open it to recover your document.

From File Explorer

Microsoft Word has a folder on your device that holds unsaved documents temporarily. If your system unexpectedly closes, you can visit the location on your file explorer and open your unsaved document. After you open your document, you can go ahead and Save your document.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to:
    C:Users(insert username)AppDataLocalMicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles.
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  3. Locate your unsaved document and double-click to open it.
  4. Use Ctrl + S to save your document.
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How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Word Files?

If you accidentally deleted a Word file, you can still recover it from the Recycle Bin of your device. The Recycle Bin holds deleted files from your desktop for 30 days until it’s permanently deleted. If you haven’t emptied your recycle bin, you can still discover your deleted word file from the application by following these steps:

  1. Open Recycle Bin.
  2. Locate your file and right-click on it.
  3. Choose Restore.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Save Recovered Files Permanently?

You do not have to go through additional steps to save the files you have recovered. You can simply select Ctrl + S to save your recovered document as you usually would any other document. You can also go to File > Save as to save your document through File.

How Do I Change Autosave Time?

By default, MS Word autosaves your document in the interval of 10 minutes. However, if you wish to change it, you can change it from the Word Options. Here are the steps you can follow to change the autosave time in MS Word:

  1. Launch MS Word.
  2. Select Options from the sidebar.
  3. Head to the Save tab.
  4. Use the arrows in the Save AutoRecover information in section to change the AutoSave time.
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