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How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

Updated on Dec 06, 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 documents 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 you were unsuccessful with these methods.

Important notes regarding Microsoft Word for Mac file recovery:

  • Word for Mac temporarily saves documents that the user has not yet saved themselves in a "Recovered items" folder, located in the Trash. If there are no recovered files, this folder will not appear.
  • 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. Open the Trash by clicking the dock icon.

Step 2. Look for a folder labeled Recovered items. If it is there, click into it and look for your unsaved Word file. If you cannot find it, continue on to the next possible solution.

Recover from the Temporary Folder

Step 1. Go to the Finder. In the header tab, select 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. Right-click the desired unsaved Word files and "Open with..." Microsoft Word.

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. In Finder, click on Documents in the left panel. If you don't see it use the header tab to select Go > Documents. 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 for recovering unsaved Word documents. Typically, the third-party software only helps when you at least had an original file located on your computer's hard disk or a connected flash drive, that is later missing due to accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, partition loss, etc.

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 a last-ditch effort to take after all the other methods have failed. If there was a file saved at some point, manually or automatically, and you emptied the trash bin, the saved file will show up in the software's scan. and the recovered items folder disappeared forever.

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 to search for you missing files. And since your problem is only for a few lost Word files, the 2GB recovery limit should be more than enough. The scan & recover process is very simple, we’ll show you how it works.

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