How to Recover Unsaved Word Document {UPDATED 2024}

It can be annoying and stressful to lose a Word project you’ve been working on for hours. But the good thing is that it is often possible to get back Word documents that were not saved. 

Microsoft Word has a feature that saves your document automatically at regular intervals, but sometimes the software can crash or stop before you can save your work.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document

You can recover Word papers that haven’t been saved in a few different ways. For example, you can check the AutoRecover folder, look for temporary files, use Word’s “Recover Unsaved Documents” feature, or use third-party recovery tools.

Wait. It’s not complicated! Recovering your unsaved Word document is no big deal; as you make it to the end of this article, you will realize the same!

We will explain all the methods in a step-by-step manner in this blog post. So, let’s get into it, shall we?

Method 1: Recovering Word Documents Via Temporary Files

You must turn on AutoSave first to get back Word documents you didn’t save via this method. You can find the lost document at this address if this function is turned on.


Additionally, you can follow this step-by-step guide to get there!

Step 1: Open MS Word and click on the “file” option; in the next tab, click on the “info” option.

Step 2: Click on “managed documents.” A drop-down menu will appear, in that click on “recover unsaved documents.”

Step 3: A dialogue box should appear. Check to see if the file you’re looking for is there. If it were recently lost, it would show up there. When you find it, open it.

Click the “Save As” button while the Word file is open.

How To Turn On The “Auto Recover Option”

Auto recover option can be a savior as you no longer have to worry about the files being unsaved in case your laptop or PC dies. 

To add a cherry on top, setting up auto recover is quick too. Here is a step-by-step guide to doing it.

Step 1: Open MS Word and click on the “file” option. Once the sidebar has opened, find the “options” button and click on it.

Step 2: A dialogue box should appear. Click the “save” option.

Make sure you have ticked both the options that are highlighted in the below screenshot.

The “Save AutoRecover information every” option will be set to 10 minutes by default; make sure you bring it down to 1 minute.

Method 2: Recovering Word Documents Via AutoRecover Option

You may feel this method is kind of similar to the first one. Although it is, the approach is different. We tried recovering the same file using the first method, and it did not work. The file got recovered when we took this approach.

Let me show you how:

Step 1: Open MS Word and Click on “file” and then on the “Options” button, which will be located at the very bottom, as shown in the screenshot.

Step 2: A dialogue box will appear. Click on the “save” option, then click the “browse” button to go directly to the AutoRecover File Location.

Step 3: Copy the .asd file which you wish to recover.

Step 4: Now Go Back to MS Word, Click on the “file” then on“open,” and then on “Recover Unsaved Documents”

Step 5: Paste the .asd file in the “file name” box and click on “open”

You can also click on “open and repair” if MS Word shoots an error.

Method 3: How To Recover Word File From The Recycle Bin

When you delete any Word file from your computer, It goes to the recycle bin section first. It remains there until you empty the recycle bin. There is a way to recover the file if you haven’t emptied the bin. Here is how you can do it.

Step 1: Go to the recycle bin (it is located on your computer’s home screen)

See whether the deleted Word file is still in the bin.

Step 2: Once you find the file, right-click on it and click on the “Restore” button.

Softwares To Recover Deleted Word Files (2023)

We are in 2023, and there is software available to help you recover lost Word files. These apps basically examine your computer for any signs of the missing document. They strive to reassemble the file and save it to a new place after identifying any parts of it.

These recovery applications are available in both free and paid versions, but we will recommend the free options in the list below. While the recovery procedure is still quite technical, using software to recover deleted Word files might be a useful alternative for recovering an essential document when you thought you lost the file for good.

Here is a list of a few good names in the market:


Recoverit can help you recover lost, erased, or formatted files from hard disks, USB drives, SD cards, and other storage devices. It supports over 1000 file formats, including Word documents, images, movies, and audio files.

How to Use It:

  1. Download and install Recoverit on your computer.
  2. Launch Recoverit and select the “Deleted Files Recovery” mode.
  3. Choose the location where your Word files were stored and click “Start” to begin the scanning process.
  4. Once the scanning is complete, preview the recoverable Word files and select the ones you want to recover.
  5. Click “Recover” to retrieve the selected Word files to a safe location.

Hetman Recovery

Hetman Word Recovery restores lost or deleted documents in Microsoft Word and Open Office formats, as well as Adobe PDF files and various plain text files. All other forms of storage media are supported too!

How To Use It

  1. Download and install Hetman Recovery on your computer.
  2. Launch the software and select the type of storage device where the lost Word file was located.
  3. Choose the location where the Word file was stored and click “Next” to begin the scanning process.
  4. Once the scanning is complete, preview the recoverable Word files and select the ones you want to recover.
  5. Click “Recovery” to retrieve the selected Word files to a safe location.

More Options:


We all have been in a situation where we accidentally end up losing an unsaved Word document -Be it your important assignment, your client’s work, or your next meeting’s tasks. 

The panic that it follows after not knowing how to recover can be another nightmare. Fortunately, you no longer have to worry about how to recover your Word documents anymore, as this guide gives you a complete solution. 

We hope you can recover your Word file after reading our detailed guides. If all the in-house methods don’t work, you can always use the software mentioned to recover your essential data.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can The Third Party Software Really Recover My Lost Word File?

Yes, there is software out there that can scrape storage devices and recover your Word file. However, do not use any software, as they can even harm your computer and compromise your data. Make sure to go for only the trusted ones. Do your research before going for any!

2. Why Can’t I See My Word File In Recycle Bin?
There might be two options. You either press “shift” + “delete” while deleting the file. This action permanently deletes the file without moving it to the recycle bin.

Another scenario might be that your recycle bin was full when deleting the file. In this case, the computer asks whether to delete the file permanently, and you must’ve pressed “yes.”

Also Read:

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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Google Photos

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