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

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document in 5 Ways

Closing the Word accidentally or a program/system crash may cause the unsaved Word document to disappear. Luckily, there is still a chance to recover unsaved Word documents in Windows 10/11 from Temporary Files, AutoRecover, or Word Document Recovery.

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

🗂️Word Recovery from Temporary Files This method recovers a considerable amount of work but relies on the temporary 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 fails to close correctly; it presents an option to recover an unsaved document. 
🗑️Restore Word from Recycle Bin When a 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.
🔮Word Document Recovery with Software This method applies to cases where the files are permanently deleted, corrupted, or lost for various reasons.

Have you accidentally closed your Word application without saving the document you had been working 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 document? 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 Wizard to help you restore deleted or permanently deleted Word documents in a few clicks. It is also competent to repair corrupted DOCX/DOC files as well as other documents.

Solution 1. Recover Unsaved Word Document from Temporary Files

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

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


recover unsaved word document from temporary files

Or you can follow the steps given 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 "Recover Unsaved Documents" 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 recover unsaved Excel file in a few ways.

recover unsaved Excel file

Solution 2. How to Recover Unsaved Word Document from AutoRecover

Another way to get back an unsaved Word document 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 Document 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 the 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.

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 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 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 AutoRecover files. Close Word.

3. Look for files whose names end in .asd (AutoRecover files) 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 3. How to Restore Unsaved Word with Document Recovery

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

how to recover unsaved Word document

Solution 4. How to Recover Word Document 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 it.

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 restore deleted Word documents with a data recovery program.

Solution 5. How to Recover a Word Document with Word File Recovery Software

If you have lost saved 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 hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

With this capable tool, you can recover deleted files in Windows 11/10/8/7 in various formats, including documents, videos, audio files, emails, ZIP, and more.

Note: This solution can be only used to recover deleted or lost Word documents that were saved on your computer before. 

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

Step 1. Choose the Word file location

Choose the drive or a specific folder and click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Locate your Word files

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive. After the scan, click the "Documents" option in the left panel. Choose "Word" from the category bar. Then, click "Preview".

scan word files

Step 3. Recover Word files

After previewing the lost Word files, select the desired Word files and click "Recover". Then, select a folder to store the Word files.

select word documents and recover

We don't recommend you try any data recovery software to recover unsaved Word documents. This type of program only helps you recover lost saved Word document due to accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, partition loss, etc. Namely, there needs to be an original file saved before on your computer or storage media.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document 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 Document 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 files and click the Save button. 

Solution 2. Restore Unsaved Word Document with Terminal

The unsaved Word document 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 recover unsaved Word documents. 


In this tutorial, you can learn five ways to recover unsaved Word documents on Windows and Mac devices. With the help of EaseUS file recovery software, you can restore lost Word documents, whether they are deleted, encrypted by malware, or corrupted when it was saved on a faulty partition. 

 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.

Recover Unsaved Word Document 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 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 recover unsaved Word document 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 an unsaved Word document 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 recover unsaved Word document 2016?

Try these methods to restore unsaved Word document 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 documents 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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