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How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

Updated on Jul 17, 2018 by Abby Haines to Mac File Recovery


Did you accidentally close Word without saving the work on Mac? Here you can learn how to recover unsaved Word document on Mac OS X from the Temporary Folder and AutoRecovery. In the end, do not forget to try EaseUS free data recovery software for Mac if attempts failed.

About Microsoft Word for the Mac operating system:

  • Word for Mac temporarily saves documents that the user has not yet saved themselves in the path <Trash -Recovered items folder>.
  • Word for Mac saves a copy of the unsaved document named as Word Work File in a Temporary folder.
  • Word for Mac includes an AutoRecovery option. It is turned on by default. The app will automatically save a copy of an open Word file every 10 minutes. If Word freezes while you're working on a document, or if the computer crashes, you can use the AutoRecovery copy to recover unsaved Word document with the changes or additions that you made in your last Word for Mac session.

Recover Unsaved Word Documents on Mac (3 Ways)

► Recover from the Recovered items folder in Trash

Step 1. To open the Trash and see if the Recovered items are in there, click its icon in the Dock. A Finder window called Trash opens and display any files it contains.

Step 2. If you do find the Recovered items folder, please feel no hesitate to move the copy of the unsaved Word file to a location on your Mac and load it up in Word to continue working on it.

► Recover from the Temporary Folder

Step 1. Go to the Finder, navigate to Go -> Go to folder.

Step 2. Type /private/var/folders and find the files named "Word Work File" inside a "Temporary items" folder.

Step 3. Drag folders or files to the Desktop (before dropping them on Microsoft Word's icon).

Step 4. Save the Word file by clicking on File > Save As and save it to a safe location.

► Recover from the AutoRecovery

Step 1. Close Word for Mac.

Step 2. On the Go menu, click Home. Open the Documents folder, and then open the Microsoft User Data folder.

Step 3. Locate all the files that start with the words "AutoRecovery save of". Select the one you want to recover, rename the file. Then, add the ".doc" file name extension.

Step 4. Double-click the file. The document now opens in Word for Mac.

Step 5. Click the File menu and select Save As. Type a new name for the file into the Name field, select a folder for the file and click the Save button.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Note: We don't recommend you try any Mac data recovery software on the market. Typically, all the third-party software only helps when you have had at least an original file located on your computer's hard disk or a connected flash drive, later it's gone by accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, partition loss etc.

So, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is not an exception in retrieving an unsaved Word document on Mac OS X. Even so, it's still an alternate solution to all of you after all the attempts failed in the following cases.

  • Emptied the trash bin and the recovered items folder disappeared forever.
  • Can't locate the Word Work File in the Temporary folder or the Autosaved folder.

Anyway, it's worth a try. You're strongly recommended to download its free version for the first attempt. It won't cost you a penny until all the desired Word documents were found. Learn the user guide in details.

Step 1. Select the location where your important Word documents were lost and click Scan button.

select the location where your documents lost and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will start immediately a quick scan as well as a deep scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane.

scan the selected drive to find lost documents

Step 3. By Path and Type, you can quickly filter the Word files you've lost earlier. Select the target files and click Recover Now button to get them back at once.

click the recover now button to recover lost documents on your Mac