5 Ways to Recover Unsaved Word Documents

Recover Unsaved Word Documents – Everybody has had a document they were working on suddenly vanish after Microsoft Word crashed. It’s a terrible feeling that can lead to frustration and missed deadlines. If you close Microsoft Word unexpectedly, the program crashes, or your computer experiences an unexpected error, any changes you’ve made to your document may be lost. You’ll need to take steps to recover unsaved Word documents. 

Recover Unsaved Word Documents
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This often leads to a waste of time, energy, and information. If you forget to save a Word document, don’t worry; there are a few methods you can try to restore it. Please don’t give up on this just yet! It’s possible that you could restore your work exactly as you left it on your computer.

But before you spend hours upon hours painstakingly re-creating the document, read this guide. If you’ve ever lost a Word document because you forgot to save it or because of an error, this article will explain every possible method for retrieving it. Right away, shall we get started.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Documents

Here are some tried-and-true methods for rescuing lost, deleted, or unsaved Word documents. If you haven’t saved your Word document, you can give it another go by:

  1. Searching for Word documents
  2. Searching for Word backup files
  3. Checking the Recycle Bin
  4. Using Windows File Recovery Tool
  5. Searching for temporary files


  1. Recover Unsaved Word Documents by Searching for Word documents

Try looking for the file in Windows by typing:

  • In Windows 8.1, enter the document’s name in the Search box after selecting Start and clicking the Enter key.
  • Double-click the document to open it in Word if it appears in the Documents list (or Files list in Windows 8.1).


  1. Recover Unsaved Word Documents by Searching for Word backup files

The “.wbk” extension is used for Word backup file names. A backup copy of the file might exist if Word’s “backup copy” option is checked. By choosing File > Options > Advanced, scrolling down to the Save section, and selecting Always create backup copy, you can determine whether this setting is active.

Check these two folder locations for a backup file if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription:

  • C:\Users<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users<UserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Note: In these paths, replace <UserName> with your username.

Select Start, then type.wbk into the Search box, and hit Enter to access the file’s backup. Double-clicking on the name of a file with the “Backup of” prefix and the name of the missing file in it should launch the backup copy.


  1. Recover Unsaved Word Documents by Checking the Recycle Bin

Word documents can be recovered from the Recycle Bin if they were accidentally deleted before being removed permanently.

  1. Double-click the Recycle Bin on the Desktop.
  2. To see if the deleted Word document is still there, look through the list of documents. If you are unsure of the file’s name, search for file types ending in.doc,.docx, or.dot.
  3. If you locate the desired Word file, simply right-click it and choose Restore to restore it.


  1. Recover Unsaved Word Documents by Using Windows File Recovery Tool

You can try the Windows File Recovery tool if you are running Windows 10, version 2004 or later. You can purchase Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. It can be utilized to restore permanently deleted files. See Recover lost files on Windows 10 for more details on this tool.

To recover previously deleted files from SharePoint or Teams, go to the Recycle Bin. Restore deleted files or folders in OneDrive to access previously uploaded or synchronized files.

Word takes several measures to safeguard your edits: If you edit a document stored in SharePoint or OneDrive and then save it in Word, the changes will be automatically saved to the cloud. Keep the AutoSave setting activated, as it is recommended. In the screenshot, AutoSave is toggled to the “On” position.

When you make changes to a document in Word and then save it to a local disk or network shared folder, Word creates an AutoRecover file. AutoRecover’s default backup time is 10 minutes. When in doubt, keep AutoRecover on.


  1. Recover Unsaved Word Documents by Searching for Temporary Files

The.tmp extension is used for temporary file names. Follow these steps to locate these files.:

  1. Select Start, type .tmp (in Windows 8.1, type .asd in the Search box), and then press Enter.
  2. Select the Documents tab.
  3. To find files with names that match the most recent dates and times you edited the document, scroll through the files.
    • If you find the missing file, go to step 4.
    • If you don’t find the file, repeat steps 1 through 3, but search on the tilde character (~) instead of .tmp (temporary file names start with a tilde).
  4. In Word, go to File > Open, and then select the Folders tab.
  5. Open the folder contents pane by navigating to or searching for the folder where you discovered the.tmp file.
  6. Choose the folder name from the list at the top of the pane. It launches File Explorer.
  7. Change the file type setting in File Explorer to All files (near the bottom, next to the file name field).
  8. Open the .tmp file.


Although these techniques can be helpful to recover unsaved Word documents, it is still important to regularly save your work in progress. Maintaining frequent backups of important documents is the best way to guarantee you will never lose any of your hard work.