How to Recover Unsaved/Deleted Word Document?

MS Word is a word-processing program that is reputed all over the world! Primarily, it is used to create important documents such as brochures, books, letters, answer sheets, essays, etc. It is most famous amongst students and office workers to create many official assignments. Other than that, there are many useful features available for its users, too. Some of these features are:

Best Features of Word Documents

Spell and Grammar Checker

While creating a document of MS Word, you don't have to worry about making a grammatical or spelling error, because every time that you do, the spell and grammar checker identifies the mistakes and make them prominent for you so that you can correct them. This way, you get an error-free document!

Protect Word Document with Passwords

On MS Word, you can also save your documents and secure them with a password. It's very simple to do. All that you have to do is, choose the option of 'Encrypt Document' from the 'Prepare' option that you'll find in the Office list.

You can organize your documents by using this option of adding header, footer, and page number to your document. It makes it a lot easier for the user to classify the constitution of the document.

Not just that, but by using MS Word, you can earn money while being at home! If you the technicalities of this program, you can do freelancing since it has a great scope in this world.

Education is a very important part of our lives! As technology evolves, the ways of teaching are also being altered. In most parts of the world, educational institutes use MS Word programmers as a source of giving and gaining an education.

Not just education, but it is also the backbone of office works since all the important files and documents are created as well as on government levels; the important documents that need to be secured. It is also used as a source of briefing and communication other than emails between fellows.

The majority of the authors use MS Word to type the contents of their books before being published. From fonts to error corrector, Word has it all! The document is then forwarded to Kindle and other editors to edit the document before it is finalized.

To lose a Word document is none less than a nightmare! It can be the worst scenario of someone's life! Students are most likely to come across the nightmare as they are assigned to create considerably long and detailed assignments including thesis and other documents. As much as we try to make sure that the document has been saved, a few incidents may occur out of the blue to behold responsible for a great loss of your hard work and efforts; Word documents.

If you have also suffered the loss of your efforts, you don't have to worry anymore! We got you covered! In this guide, we are going to share with you every possible way of recovering a lost word document, regardless of the reason behind its loss. All that you need to do is read this guide thoroughly!

But before moving on to our main topic, it's important to look at the reasons that may be responsible for your documents' deletion, in case you were wondering.

Here's a link to beginner's guide to MS Word:

Causes of Word's Document Deletion

Here's a list of incidents that can cause your documents' deletion:

Accidental Deletion

Sometimes, we're so much in a rush of completing assignments that we take unexpected, unintentional steps such as closing the document without saving it on the device.

System Update

When you update the system of your device, there's a huge risk of getting all your saved Word documents deleted. This can be an unfortunate event for anyone. That's why it is important to create a backup of your important files before you perform a system update.

Microsoft Word Crashing

If you're creating documents while using a Microsoft version of Word that is incompatible with your device, the software may crash. This crashing can lead to the deletion of Word documents including the preexisting ones.

Since we have learned about the reasons that may cause the deletion of Word documents, let's move on to our main topic; how to recover a deleted Word document.

Best Ways to Recover Unsaved/Deleted Word Documents

Follow these step-by-step methods to recover your unsaved or deleted word documents:

1. Look for the Original Document

If you using Windows 7 or 10, trying to recover the document by looking for its original file should be your priority! To do so, follow the easy steps mentioned below:

  • Navigate to the Cortana search bar by clicking on it.
  • Search for the respective document by typing its name in the search bar.
  • Press Enter .
  • If you see the desired document on the list of search results, click on it, and open it.
  • Otherwise, implement method #2.

2. Explore the Word Backup Files

In case the first method didn't work for you, here's another method for you that you can use to achieve your goal.

In case you don't know, there is an option "Always Create Backup Copy" in Microsoft Word. By enabling this option, your document gets saved automatically in the backup with a '.wbk' extension. If you haven't done it already, you can enable the option by clicking on the 'File' option and further clicking on 'Options' and choose 'Advance' from the list. Let this action be followed by choosing the option of 'Save Selection' and enable the option of creating a backup.

For the Users of Windows 10:

  • Open the Microsoft Word app.
  • On the top-left on the display, locate 'File' and click on it.
  • On the bottom-right of your screen, you'll see 'Word Options' and click on it.
  • Just as you perform the previous step, a list of options will display on your screen. From that list, choose 'Advanced.'
  • Tick on 'Always Save Documents' option.
  • To locate your desired file, open the folder in which you had saved your document.
  • Locate files with .wbk extensions.
  • If you don't find any, follow the next steps that are mostly used for Windows 7 users.
Explore the Word Backup Files
Explore the Word Backup Files

For Windows 7 Users:

  • From the desktop, click on the 'Start' menu.
  • Click on the search bar , and search for '.wbk' extension.
  • Press Enter .
  • If the result doesn't match your search, move on to the next method.

3. Look for Auto-Recover Files

  • Click on the 'Start' menu.
  • Select the search bar , and type ' Task Manager ' and once it is located, click on 'Open Task Manager.'
  • Now, when you see a tab called 'Processes ,' choose Winword.exe.
  • Once done, select 'End Task' or 'End Option' .
Look for Auto-Recover Files
Look for Auto-Recover Files

  • Keep repeating the same process unless you make your way out of all the instances of Word or Winword.exe.
  • Once you have exited all of the Task Manager dialogue boxes, open the Microsoft Word software.
  • Once you have recovered the document, save it.
  • While saving, make sure to change its extension to '.docx.'
  • If you find yourself unsuccessful at recovering the respective document, we suggest you search for the Auto-Recover Files in a manual mode.

For Word 2019, Word 2016, or Word 2013

  • Open Word.
  • Click on the 'File' option that is located on the top-left of your screen.
  • From the list that is further displayed, choose 'Open' by clicking on it.
  • Furthermore, another list will be displayed on your screen, showing the types of files. From that list, click on ' All Files .'
  • Choose the .asd file that you had lost. Click on it and open it.
Look for Auto-Recover Files
Look for Auto-Recover Files

4. Explore the Temporary Files

All the temporary files are saved with the '.tmp' extension. To recover the document by using this method, follow the easy steps that are mentioned below:

  • On the desktop, click on the 'Start' menu option.
  • Just like the other methods, go for the search bar .
  • To search, type '.temp' in the bar.
  • From the toolbar, click on 'Other.'
  • It is important to remember the time and date when you last edited the document before you lost it. Keeping the details in mind, explore the displayed documents, trying to locate your desired file.
  • When you have successfully found your file, save it by renaming its extension.

5. Search for the Files

  • Select the Start button and access the search bar.
  • Type '~' then press the Enter icon.
  • Remember the date and period you last updated the text and navigate through the relative archives to recover the unsaved / deleted Word document.

Here's a video link to how to recover the lost or unsaved documents:


In this guide, we tried to mention all the possible ways that you can use to recover the documents of Microsoft Word that you accidentally lost due to any technical error. Try to go through each method to see which one works for you. If you still find yourself unable to recover your desired document, unfortunately, you'd have to recreate it from the scratch.

If you found this guide helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends and family. Help them out by telling them the methods of recovering a lost file on Word.

Thank you!

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