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How to Recover Lost Word files - Part 1

Microsoft Word will lose documents in certain situations. For example, it may lose a document if Word is forced to quit unexpectedly, if your computer has a power interruption while you're writing, or if you close the document without saving changes.

In this article we explain different ways to recover these lost documents. Lets start by searching for the original document. In other words: you know that you saved your document, but you're not quite sure where you saved it to.

I know what you're thinking, but this happens to even the best of us!

Finding Word Files that you lost

1. In Windows, click Start, Search, and then For Files or Folders.

2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type the file name.

3. In the Look in box, click My Computer.

This searches your entire computer. If you know that the file is in a specific area, for example, My Documents, then change this accordingly.

4. Click Search.

If the Search Results box does not show the file, continue with the following steps to search for all Word Documents.

5. In the Search for files or folders named box, type *.doc.

Tip: In computer terminology, the asterisk * is used to select all options. By entering *.doc you're telling the computer to search for all files with the .doc extension.

6. Click Search.


Searching the Recycle Bin

If you still cannot find the file, open the Recycle Bin and follow these steps:

1. Open the Recycle Bin.

2. On the View menu, click Details.

3. Click Arrange Icons and click by Delete Date. This allows you to filter this list according to the date when the files were deleted. If you know that your files went missing yesterday, you can look at this date.

4. When you find the document that you are looking for, right-click on it, and click Restore.

This returns the document to its original location. Open the file and examine its contents.


How to Search for AutoRecover Files

Word creates AutoRecover files of the documents that you were working on whenever it crashes. When you re-open Word, it displays these AutoRecover files in the Document Recovery task pane.

If Word finds the AutoRecover file, the Document Recovery task pane opens on the left side of the screen, and the missing document is listed as "document name [Original]" or as "document name [Recovered]".

1. Double-click the file in the Document Recovery pane.

2. Click Save As.

3. Save the document as a .doc file.


Other ways to search for files

You can also manually search for AutoRecover files:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

2. Click the File Locations tab, double-click AutoRecover files, and write down the path.

3. Click Cancel and Close.

3. Close Word.

4. Open the AutoRecover file location (based on the path you wrote down).

5. Search for files that end with .asd.



How to Search for ~ Files

Some temporary file names start with the tilde (~) symbol. To find these files, follow these steps:

1. In Windows, click Start, click Search, and then click For Files or Folders.

2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type ~*.*.

3. Click Search.

4. On the View menu, click Details and then sort by Date.

5. Scroll through the files for documents that match the last date that you edited the document.

Other Links

How to force Word to close after it crashes

How to Recover Text from a Crashed Word File

How to search for Microsoft Word's Temporary Files

How to search for Microsoft Word's Lost Files

Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on this? Drop me a line at ivan at klariti dot com

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