Real case from Microsoft community ( See it happens on your case): "Word found unreadable content error. Several of my Word files are unable to open and display the error message: "Word found unreadable content in......No matter which option I select, it then shows the message......I've tried Open and Repair, Recover Text from Any File, etc. but nothing has worked so far.

It is really frustrating that your files get such an error in the middle of the work. Here some methods come! In this article, we are going to provide different ways to fix unreadable content in word.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Apply EaseUS Word Repair Tool If Word unreadable error occurs, use EaseUS data recovery software to recover and repair corrupted Word documents. If can automatically repair damaged Word...Full steps
Fix 2. Use Recover Text from Any File Function Use a text recovery converter from Microsoft Word to fix the unreadable content error. Open Word, go to File tab > click Open > click Browse on the right panel...Full steps
Fix 3. Use Open and Repair Tool Microsoft's Open and Repair tool also can be helpful in solving unreadable content in Word. Open Word, click File tab > Open > Browse. Choose the damaged file...Full steps

What Is Unreadable Content in Word

The error may happen when your files get damaged or corrupted for some reasons, such as:

1. The Word document was not closed correctly, including files that suddenly shut down, unexpected power interruption, laptop battery exhaustion, system crash, etc.

2. Virus attack.

The virus may attack your Office data contains Word file. If your file gets infected, then your document has unreadable content.

3. Text convert error. When you convert word files to another format, your file will appear "Word found unreadable content" message or "Word was unable to read this document" warning.

word found unreadable error

Don't worry. Your Word document is still there. Follow us and pick out the great method in the next part.

How to Fix Unreadable Word Documents in Windows

Check one automatic way and two built-in functions in this part.

Fix 1 - Apply EaseUS Word Repair Tool

If an unreadable error happens, the most urgent thing you need to do is find and recover all lost documents. To save your time and apply the simple steps, one of the best data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, is your wise choice.

Trusted by users for 17 years, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can retrieve and repair your lost data in a few clicks. No matter Word documents get corrupted by software or human errors, this app can get them back as soon as possible and repair your corrupted word files during the previewing process.

EaseUS File Repair Tool 

  • Fix corrupted JPEG, JPG, PNG, and BMP images efficiently 
  • Repair corrupted Excel, PPT, Word, and PDF documents
  • Repair corrupted files for free after data recovery
  • Fix damaged, broken, and corrupted files on various storage devices, such as HDD, USB, SD card, external hard drive, etc.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Download this utility and apply 3 simple steps to repair Word files:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and then scan disk with corrupted documents. This software enables you to fix damaged Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files in same steps. 

select the disk with corrupted documents

Step 2. EaseUS data recovery and repair tool will scan for all lost and corrupted files. You can find the target files by file type or type the file name in the search box. 

find corrupted documents

Step 3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can repair your damaged documents automatically. After file preview, you can click "Recover" to save the repaired Word, Excel, and PDF document files to a safe location.

repair corrrupt documents

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

Fix 2 - Use "Recover Text from Any File" Function

If you want to search for some manual ways, you can use a text recovery converter from Microsoft Word. Now Open Microsoft word and follow the steps.

Step 1. Navigate to File tab > Click Open on the left panel > Click Browse on the right panel.

repair word files 1

Step 2. On the Microsoft Open window, select the unreadable word files.

Step 3. Choose Recover Text from Any File from the drop-down menu.

repair word files 2

Step 4. Click Open and wait. Your damaged file will open and you had better save it as a new file.

Fix 3 - Use "Open and Repair" Function

Solution 3 is also a built-in function. And the steps part is the same as the second fix. Check step-by-step guide.

Step 1. Move to File tab > Open > Browse.

Step 2. Choose the damaged file in the new window.

Step 3. Click the small triangle arrow icon > Choose Open and Repair.

repair word files 3

Step 4. The file can be open and you can save it as a new file.

Fix Word Found Unreadable Content Android by OneDrive

If you have saved your word files to OneDrive, then you can use the Version History function of OneDrive to restore the word document to the previous version. The following steps are best done on a computer.

If you are using the web version of OneDrive, follow the steps:

Step 1. Log in to your OneDrive account.

Step 2. Select the files you want to restore to the previous version, right-click it and choose Version History.

Step 3. On the Version History window, select the arrow next to the file, and click Restore.

onedrive restore to the previous version

If you are running the OneDrive app on PC, you can go to File Explorer.

Step 1. Click OneDrive on the left panel > Click Document folder and choose the files you want to recover.

Step 2. Choose Version History > Click the dots next to the wanted version > Click Restore.

Windows/Android User: Get Your Answer Here

Have you fixed the unreadable content error in Microsoft Word? We have outlined 3 ways compatible with Windows in part 1 and one reliable way available on Android in part 2. To avoid data loss down the alongside, we recommended you can use File History to back up your word file in your spare time.

Word Found Unreadable Content FAQs

Read the frequently asked questions to get additional help on unreadable content in Word.

1. Why did everything disappear from my Word document?

Here's the reason why the Word document disappeared:

Microsoft Word documents can disappear in certain situations. For example, it may be gone after a forced quit, power interruption, or close without saving changes.

2. Can you fix a corrupted Word file?

Yes. Follow the steps below to repair corrupted Word online:

  • Select the corrupted Word .doc/.docx file.
  • Type your email address to receive repaired Word file.
  • Wait for the repair process to complete.

3. How to recover unsaved Word documents?

Steps to recover unsaved word documents in Windows 10:

  • In MS Word, click the File tab in the upper left.
  • Click Manage Document and select Recover Unsaved Documents from the drop-down list.
  • Check for your missing File in the dialog box. If it was a recent loss, it should appear.
  • Open the recovered Word document and click the Save As button in the top banner.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors and data recovery specialists of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is mainly good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization of RAID 0, 5, and 10.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

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