Recover Deleted, Lost, Unsaved Word Documents

Roxanne updated on Sep 17, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


Stop using the device or hard drive when you deleted word documents, emptied the recycle bin, or closed Word file without saving. Here are 6 practical methods available to help. You can use recycle bin recovery, EaseUS file recovery software, Recover Unsaved Document option, AutoRecovery and Temp file recovery to restore deleted, lost, and unsaved Microsoft Word 2016/2010/2007 documents.

Don't worry when you deleted or lost Microsoft Word file by mistake, Word suddenly closed or crashed without saving the document. Follow this page, you'll learn how to bring the deleted, lost and even unsaved Word document back with 6 trustworthy and practical methods.

Undelete Word Documents from Recycle Bin
Recover Deleted Word File with File Recovery Software
Use Unsaved Document Option in Office Word
Restore from AutoRecover Folder in Word
Recover from Temporary Files
Repair Corrupted Word File and Application

Note: If you have created a backup of the lost Word document, congratulations. You can stop here and go to restore the lost Word file from your backup. 

If you don't have a backup, you've come to the right place. Read on and you'll find the best solution to undelete and restore your lost Word file. 

Method 1. Undelete Word Documents from Recycle Bin

Applies to: undelete Word after right-click deleting, dragging files to recycle bin

Mostly, the delete word documents on Windows PC will be moved to the Recycle Bin. You can easily recover word documents from the Recycle Bin. Here's how:

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 it.

restore word files from 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 Method 2 here in the following to recover deleted Word with reliable file recovery software.

Method 2. Recover Deleted Word File with File Recovery Software

Applies to: Bring lost Word after emptying recycle bin, shift+delete, formatting, device becomes raw, etc. 

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin after deleting the word files, you still have a chance to recover them. Instead of destroying the deleted files, Windows simply marks the hard drive space as being available for use.

Important: Once you lost files, stop using the storage device and don't save new data there. With the help of professional file recovery software, you can easily get the deleted files, including the permanently deleted word documents, back.

With the constantly improved algorithm, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard simplifies the whole recovery process into 3 steps: select & scan device - preview - restore.

You only need to choose the right version and bring all lost files back in only 3 steps on your current computer. (If you are a Mac user, choose the Mac version of this software for help.) 

Here is a video tutorial of how to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore the lost files, including Word files:

If you prefer a step-by-step guide, go through the guidelines below: 

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing "Documents" from the drop-down list in "Filter". 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

If your Word file gets closed without saving, don't worry. Continue reading, you'll learn how to restore the lost or unsaved Word document with the following methods.

Method 3. Use Unsaved Document Option in Office Word

Applies to: Restore Word file closed without saving, unsaved Word due to MS Word crash, lost Word content without saving, etc.

The Unsaved Document Option is mainly designed for Office users to bring files that are closed without saving, restoring the under-editing content on Word, Excel, PowerPoint. 

If you have a Word file that was closed without saving the content, you may go through the process to bring the content back:

Step 1. Open a new document or create a new document in Word.

Step 2. Click "File" and click "Open" on the left pane, click "Recover Unsaved Documents" under "Recent Documents".

Open unsaved files.

Note: If you don't see the Recover Unsaved Document option, go to click "Files" > "Info" > expand "Manage Versions" > select "Recover Unsaved Documents" to bring it up.

Open unsaved Word file.

Step 3. Double-click or select the listed unsaved document and click "Open" to check the content on a new window in Word.

Open and check unsaved Word file.

Step 4. Click the Save As button at the right top corner to save the Word content as a new .doc or .docx file.

Saved unsaved Word as new file.

If you are Mac user and lost Word file without saving, follow this link to learn how to recover unsaved word document on Mac.

Method 4. Restore from AutoRecover Folder in Word

Applies to: Bring back deleted, unsaved and crashed Word file, etc.

This method only works when you have enabled the AutoSave feature in Microsoft Word application. With this feature turned on, Word will automatically save the files that you are editing every 5 or set minutes.

Here are the steps to bring lost Word back from AutoRecover folder:

Step 1. Locate the AutoRecover folder on your PC.

For Word 2010 - 2019 users: Open a new Word, go to File > Options > click "Save" > find the AutoRecover file location as shown in the below picture:

Locate autorecover file.

For Word 2007 users: Click the Office button menu > click "Word Options" > click "Save" > find the AutoRecover file location.

For Word 2003 and 2002 users: Click the Tools menu > Options > File Location > double-click AutoRecover files and find the location.

Step 2. Copy the file location path in File Explorer and open the AutoRecover folder.

Step 3. Find and copy the unsaved Word document which is saved with .asd extension.

Find Autosaved word file.

Step 4. Go back to the Word, click File > Open > Recover Unsaved Documents > paste the .asd file at the file name column and click "Open".

Open autorecover file.

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

Open and repair corrupted Word file.

Step 5. Check the file content and save the file as a new Word file at another secure location.

If the "Open" or "Open and Repair" options don't work, copy and save the .asd file as .doc, .docx or other formats.
Then try to open this file with Office Word or other file editing applications. 

Method 5. Recover from Temporary Files

Applies to: recover lost Word file due to deleting, unsaved or MS Word crash, etc.

Notice that this method is similar to the AutoRecover in Method 4. It also requires you to turn on the AutoSave feature so that you can find the temp files of lost or unsaved Word file on PC.

Step 1. Open the temporary file path where Word saves temp files on your PC:


Locate temporary files.

Step 2. Copy the unsaved files with .asd or .tmp extension to another secure location on your PC.

Step 3. Change the copied file extension .asd/.tmp to .doc, .docx or other file extensions.

Resave temproary word file as new file.

Step 4. Re-open the changed file with Word or other document editing application to check the content.

Note: If Microsoft Office Word doesn't work or cannot open the re-saved file, don't worry. You can use other file editing applications to open the document, copy the content and save it as another new Word file. 

Method 6. Repair Corrupted Word File and Application

Applies to: repair corrupted Word file and Office Word application

When the Word file or Word applications corrupted, you may suffer from file loss issues. What's worse, you may even can't continue working with the corrupted Word application.

Fortunately, you still have a chance to resolve this issue. Here we've collected some tools that are recommended online for Office repair and you may apply one to repair the corrupted Word:

1. Use Word Repair Tool to Repair Corrupted Word File and Application

Here are some recommended tools that can help you repair the corrupted Word files and application:

  • Kernal for Word Repair
  • Repair My Word
  • Recovery Toolbox for Word
  • Office Recovery

2. Reinstall Office to Fix Word Corruption Issue

Another way that you can try is to reinstall Microsoft Office on your computer. By doing so, the corrupted Word application will be replaced by the new one. And you can use the new Word application to open and edit document files again.

Bonus Tip: Regularly Back Up Word Files 

To sum up, when you deleted Word files or lost Word without saving on Windows PC, don't save new files on the drive where you lost Word document. Then you can apply the above-provided methods to restore Word files with ease.

Besides this, we also collected two useful tips here to prevent the Word file loss issue by creating regular Word backups. Here are the detailed steps:

1. Enable AutoRecover to Back Up Word Files 

This way is designed to back up documents that are under editing. You can simply enable this feature with the below steps:

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.

Enable AutoRecover feature.

After this, even if you suddenly close Word without saving, you can always go back to Method 4 to bring the unsaved Word content back with ease.

2. Use Automated File Backup Software for Help

The other reliable way to protect your saved Word documents and other important files on Windows PC is to use automated file backup software for help.

EaseUS Todo Backup enables you to create a backup image of specific files, including Word, Excel, PPT or other types of files, in only 3 steps. 

With it, you can back up selected files to a local or external hard drive and even network shared drive.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

With the backup image, whenever you lose locally saved files, you can always restore them from the backup image with the help of EaseUS Todo Backup.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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