recover unsaved Word documents

How to Recover Unsaved Word Documents:

In Microsoft Office Word, go to choose the File tab. Then, selecting "Document Management" > Recover Unsaved Documents option. The new window will display a list of all unfinished Microsoft Word documents.

Applied to: Microsoft Office Word 2020, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003

How to Retrieve Unsaved Word Documents in 5 Ways

Why did my Word document disappear? Closing the Word accidentally or a program/system crash may cause the Word document not saved to disappear. Luckily, there is still a chance to recover unsaved Microsoft Word documents in Windows 10/11 from Temp Files, AutoRecover, or Word Recovery.

Besides, if your saved Word document gets deleted, you can restore the deleted Word document from the Recycle Bin or by using one of the best data recovery software

🔮Word Document Recovery with Software This method applies to cases where the files are permanently deleted, corrupted, or lost for various reasons.
🗂️Word Recovery from Temporary Files This method recovers a considerable amount of work but relies on the temp files still being available and not overwritten by newer files.
🖱️Recover Word from AutoRecover This method is effective if the AutoRecover save is enabled on the computer and a copy of the document is saved. 
🔁Word Document Recovery This method applies when Word crashes or accidentally closes Word without saving; it presents an option to recover an unsaved document. 
🗑️Restore Word from Recycle Bin When a Microsoft Word document is deleted and not permanently removed, it's still in the Recycle Bin. This method is effective if the documents are not permanently deleted.

Have you accidentally closed your Microsoft Word application without saving the document you had been working on for a few hours? Have you lost the Word file unsaved due to a sudden program crash? Or mistakenly deleted some saved and essential Word files? If you are looking for an effective solution, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we will show you the most useful ways to recover unsaved Word documents. Furthermore, we also introduce you to a renowned office file recovery tool - EaseUS data recovery software- to help you restore unsaved Microsoft Word files with a few clicks. It is also competent to repair corrupted DOCX/DOC files as well as other documents.

recover unsaved word documents

Solution 1. How to Recover a Word Document with Word File Recovery Software

Unsaved Word recovery is possible. If you have lost Word documents because of careless deletion, hard drive formatting, or system errors, the above ways won't work. At this time, you have to resort to a professional unsaved file recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

With this capable tool, you can recover deleted files and unsaved files in Windows 11/10/8/7 in various formats. It can recover unsaved Excel files and PPT files. You can follow the tutorial below to get back unsaved Microsoft Word files with EaseUS recovery software when you can't find Word documents and without Word backup files.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on the computer. Choose the disk where you lost the unsaved files, and click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. You'll see the Path and Type tab on the left side,  click "Type" and "Unsaved Files". You can double-click the folder to open it or click "Open". This unsaved file recovery software will help you recover unsaved Word, Excel, PPT, and other files with ease.

choose unsaved files

Step 3. Choose target files and click the "Preview" button. Then, click "Recover" to restore these unsaved files. Be careful not to revert the recovered files to the original location, as this may overwrite the file.

recover unsaved files

We recommend you try the EaseUS Word recovery tool to recover unsaved documents. This program can help you recover Word documents that have not been saved and also recover files that you have deleted. With this all-in-one recovery tool, you can save a lot of time!

Solution 2. Restore Unsaved Word Documents from Temporary Files

Unsaved MS Word documents vanishing is a very unpleasant problem. Take it easy. There are three possible ways to find a Microsoft Word document that is not saved. The following operations use the Word 2016 edition as an example. The steps for Word 2013-2019 are similar.

Recovering unsaved documents requires you to turn on AutoSave in advance. If this feature is turned on, you can find the unsaved missing files and perform unsaved doc recovery through the following path:


recover unsaved word document from temporary files

Open the folder in the File Explorer by pasting the path or follow the steps below to do it.

Step 1. In MS Word, click the "File" tab in the upper left.

open file tab in word

Step 2. Click "Manage Document" and select the Recover Unsaved Documents option from the drop-down list.

find unsaved word documents

Step 3. Check for your missing File in the dialog box. If it was a recent loss, it should appear.

select the unsaved word document

Step 4. Open the recovered Word document and click the "Save As" button in the top banner.

click save as to restore unsaved word documents

Additional Help - How to Turn on AutoRecover

Many of us have experienced a situation where we have created a Word document and then accidentally closed it out without saving it. To avoid this kind of situation, you'd better enable AutoRecover.

Step 1. Open Word, go to "File" > "Options" > "Save".

Step 2. Tick the box of "Save AutoRecover information every * minutes" and "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving".

Step 3. Click "OK" to save the changes.

how to enable autorecover in Word

Excel, like Word, is an indispensable office software. If you lose an unsaved Excel document, you can use the methods we recommend to retrieve it.

related articles

How to Recover Unsaved Excel Documents on Windows 10

If you have lost unsaved Excel files due to a program crash, a power failure, or a maloperation, do not worry; you can restore unsaved Excel files in a few ways.

recover unsaved Excel file

Solution 3. How to Find Unsaved Word Documents from AutoRecover

Another way to get back an unsaved Word workbook is by using AutoRecover. AutoRecover file names end in the .asd file name extension. By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files every time that it starts, and then it displays any data found in the Document Recovery task pane. If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for auto-recovered files. To do this, use one of the following procedures according to your Word version:

For Word 2010 - 2019:

Step 1. Open the Word program, and click "File" > "Options". In the left navigation pane, click "Save". Copy the AutoRecover file location path and paste it into File Explorer.

Tip: You can change the time of AutoSave interval in "Save AutoRecover information every xx minutes" and click OK.

how to recover unsaved Word document with autorecover - 1

Step 2. Go to File Explorer, find the unsaved document, and copy the .asd file.

how to recover unsaved Word document with autorecover - 2

Step 3. Go to your Word app, click "File" > "Open" > "Recover Unsaved Documents" at the bottom to restore the previous version of the Word document.

how to recover unsaved Word document with autorecover - 3

Step 4. Paste the copied .asd file into the File Name box popping up. Open the Word file and recover it.

how to recover unsaved Word document with autorecover - 4

If Word warns that "Word experienced an error...", repeat the steps and click "Open and Repair" at the open Unsaved Document window.

repair word error to restore unsaved word document

For Word 2002 - 2007:

Versions Steps
Word 2007

1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click "Word Options" > "Save".  

2. In the AutoRecover file location box, note the path, and then click "Cancel" and close Word.

3. Open the folder that you noted in step 2.

4. Look for the Microsoft Word document that you are looking for ends in .asd (AutoRecover files). Then, double-click it to open and save it immediately.

Word 2003 & 2002

1. On the "Tools" menu, click "Options".

2. Click the File Locations tab, double-click AutoRecover files, note the path, click "Cancel", and then click "Close".

Note: In the Modify Location dialog box, you may have to click the down arrow in the Folder name list to see the whole path to your files. Close Word.

3. Look for files whose names end in .asd after locating the AutoRecover file location.

4. Double-click the Word document to open it. Next, save it immediately.

Then, you can check the file content and save it as a new Word file at another secure location.

Solution 4. How to Restore Unsaved Word with Document Recovery

If your Word crashes or closes abruptly, it will automatically restore unsaved Microsoft Office Word documents when it comes back online, in most cases. You can find the unsaved documents on the left panel under Document Recovery. 

how to recover unsaved Word document

Solution 5. How to Recover Deleted Word Documents from Recycle Bin

If you deleted a Word document without emptying the Recycle Bin, you could undelete the Word document with simple clicks.

Step 1. Go to the Recycle Bin. Check if the deleted Word file is still there. If you don't know the name, look for file types such as DOC, DOCX, DOT, etc.

Step 2. Select the Word file and click "Restore" to recover deleted Word documents.

recover deleted word document from Windows recycle bin

If you have emptied the recycle bin after deleting files, the deleted Word file may have been permanently removed. If you are in the same case, follow the next solution to recover deleted Word documents with a data recovery program.

How to Restore Unsaved Word Documents on Mac in 2 Ways

On Mac, AutoRecover is turned on by default. Take the two methods below to recover unsaved Word on Mac by using the AutoRecover function.

Solution 1. Restore Unsaved Word Files in Finder

Step 1. Start your Mac and open the Finder window.

Step 2. Search for AutoRecovery in the search bar. A list of files Word documents named "AutoRecovery save of" will appear. 

Word auto recovery file on Mac

Step 3. Find and open the Word document you want to recover. 

Step 4. Click the "File" menu and choose "Save As". Rename the restored the missing files and click the Save button. 

Solution 2. Restore Unsaved Word Document with Terminal

The unsaved MS Office Word documents can be recovered from the temporary folder by using Terminal.

Step 1. Open your Mac and go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Terminal".

Step 2. Type open $TMPDIR and find the TemporaryItems folder on the list. 

temp folder on Mac

Step 3. Find the file you need. Open and save it to retrieve unsaved Word files. 


In this tutorial, you can learn five ways to restore unsaved Word workbooks on Windows and Mac devices. With the help of EaseUS MS Office file recovery software, you can restore lost, unsaved, and deleted Word documents without any Word backup files.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Hope these solutions can help you get back any lost Word documents, and remember to create a backup copy of your Word documents if you don't want to lost files in the future!

Restore Unsaved Word Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some Word recovery problems, you can read the following questions and answers to get more help.

How do I recover an unsaved Word document from Windows 10?

Step 1. Click the "File tab", then choose "Info", then select "Manage Documents".

Step 2. Select "Recover Unsaved Documents" from the drop-down menu.

Step 3. Click "Open" when you have selected the document you want to recover.

Step 4. Click the "Save As" button and save your Word document.

How to retrieve unsaved Word documents from USB?

If you have unsaved changes to a Word document that is stored on a USB drive, you can recover your work in two ways:

One way is to try opening the document from the Recent Documents list in Microsoft Word. To do this, open Word and click on the File menu. Then, click on Open and select Recent Documents. If your unsaved document is listed, you should be able to open it and recover your work.

Another way to recover Word files from a USB drive is to use the Autosave feature. To do this, open the document that you were working on and look for the Autosave folder. If you find the file, you can recover your work by opening it in Word.

How to retrieve unsaved Word document 2016?

Try these methods to restore unsaved Word documents in Word 2019, 2016, 2013, or 2010:

  • Check your recently opened documents
  • Try opening a temporary file
  • Use the AutoRecover tool

Where are unsaved Word files stored?

These Word files can be found via "File> Open" and click the "Recover Unsaved Documents" button at the very bottom of the Recent File List.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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