How to Recover Unsaved Word Documents – [Best Methods]

We all use MS Word in our day-to-day life to make professional-quality documents, letters, reports, etc. Developed by Microsoft, Word files offer several advanced features using which you can format and edit your files and documents. But sometimes, MS Word files get deleted from your system, and you might not be aware of that. Such instances usually occur when you close the Word file accidentally or if there is any sudden program/system crash.

Whenever you experience such an issue, it is important to recover Word documents quickly and reliably. You need to apply some professional data recovery methods to get your deleted MS Word files back. Here, in this article, we have mentioned some useful ways to recover unsaved word documents. Furthermore, we also introduce you to professional data recovery software to help you recover deleted or permanently deleted Word files. So keep reading this article to learn how to recover unsaved Word documents on the Windows system.

Can I Recover an Unsaved Word document?

Whether you are using Word documents for personal or business purposes, losing an unsaved document may put you in trouble. But don’t panic as there are some data recovery professional methods and tools available online that you can use to get your files back.

There are also specific steps and precautions that you must keep in mind to have safe and efficient file recovery. However, the moment you realize that your file has been deleted, start the data recovery process immediately. You can even find your recently deleted Word files in the Recycle Bin or apply a few DIY methods to retrieve them.

Quick DIY Methods to Recover Unsaved Word Documents

Go through the below-mentioned methods one by one to recover unsaved Word document. Microsoft even provided you with some in-built options to get your unsaved Word back on your device. Along with those methods, you can use professional data recovery software, like the Stellar data recovery tool. Let’s discuss each of the MS Word recovery methods in detail.

Method 01: Recover Unsaved Word Documents from Temporary Files

Microsoft Word has a built-in AutoRecover option that you can use to find previous versions of your Word documents. If you are not able to find your Word file even after the AutoRecover option is turned on, you can try to find them manually. These files are saved with the .asd extension, and you can recover them using the following steps:

  1. Firstly, open the MS Word application in your system and then navigate to the File tab.
  2. Then, go to “Manage Document”. Select the “Recover Unsaved Documents”.

3. If your Word file was recently deleted, it will appear in the dialogue box.

4. Now, you need to open the recovered Word document and tap the “Save As” button.

Additional Help – How Can You Turn On AutoRecover?

The above set of steps is only applicable when you have enabled the “AutoRecove” option in your Word file. For this, all you have to do is:

  1. Launch Word app, navigate to “File” > “Options” > “Save”.
  2. Tick the “Save AutoRecover information every XX minutes* box. Also, enable “Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving”.
  3. At last, click the “OK” button to complete the process.

Method 02: Recover Unsaved Word Document from AutoRecover

Deletion of unsaved Word documents is a very unpleasant issue. If you have turned ON the AutoSave feature on Microsoft Word, you can find the unsaved file through the following path:


Or, you can apply the following steps:

  1. In MS Word, click the “File” tab located in the upper left corner of the ribbon appearing at the top.
  2. Then, go to Options > Save > Save AutoRecover information every_minutes.

If this option is selected, you can restore the Word file from the Document Recovery Pane appearing on the left. Go to the given steps:

  1. Open any Word file. If there is an automatically recoverable file, it will appear in the Document Recovery pane.
  2. Now, double-click the file name that you want to recover and then click the “Save as” button.
  3. Choose the destination folder where you want to save the file and tap Save with .docx extension.

Method 03: Recover Deleted Word Documents From Recycle Bin

When any file is deleted from the local storage of your system, it is moved to the Recycle Bin until it is permanently deleted. You can apply the following steps to recover unsaved Word documents from Recycle Bin:

  1. Launch Recycle Bin on the Desktop and select the accidentally deleted file there.
  2. If the file appears on the screen, right-click on it and click the “Restore” option.
  3. After that, the file will be restored to a safe location. You can even drag and drop the file to save it to the previous location.

Method 04: Use the ‘Recover Unsaved Documents’ Feature

As mentioned above, MS Word locates the AutoRecover files when it appears in the Document Recovery pane. However, if you fail to find the file there, you can search it using the ‘Recover Unsaved Document’ feature. For this:

  1. Launch the Word application and go to File > Options.
  2. From the left panel, click on the Save option. Go to Save documents and then click AutoRecover file location.
  3. If any file is present there, copy its location path.
  4. Then, go to File Explorer, and paste the copied file location in the Menu Bar appearing at the top. Press Enter key.
  5. You will get the unsaved Word file on your screen. These files are usually saved with the .asd extension.
  6. Right-click on the file and copy the path of the .asd file.
  7. Now, you need to again open the Word application and go to File > Open.
  8. Scroll down and tap the “Recover Unsaved Document” button.
  9. Then, paste the .asd file location path in the File name and click the Open button.
  10. A temporary file with a message, indicating  “RECOVERED UNSAVED FILE -This is a recovered .asd file temporarily stored on your computer” will appear.
  11. At last, click the “Save As” button to save the file where you want.

Once you are done with the above steps, check if the recently recovered file is accessible or not.

Method 05: Use Word Documents Recovery Software

If the above methods fail to recover your unsaved Word documents, you can use professional data recovery software. There are several recovery software available online that you can use to recover unsaved Word documents. These software programs allow you to recover Word files deleted due to drive formatting or corruption.

You can use word file recovery software, like Stellar Data Recovery Professional to get your unsaved word documents back. The software is easy-to-use and supports recovery from Windows and Mac devices. You can even recover your deleted or unsaved Word files from HDDs, SSDs, USB drives, SD cards, and other storage devices.

Given below are some simple steps that you need to apply in order to recover lost or deleted Word files:

  1. First, download and install the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software in your system.
  2. Launch the software and from the ‘Select What to Recover screen, click Office Documents > Next.
  3. Now, from the “Recover From” screen, choose the location from where you need to recover the lost file. Click the “Scan” button to continue.
  4. After completion of the scanning process, select the file that you want to restore, see its preview, and tap the “Recover” button.

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac?

By default, Mac systems have enabled the “AutoRecover” feature. In such cases, you can use the below-mentioned to recover unsaved Word on Mac.

Method 01: Restore Unsaved Word Document in Finder

  1. Open your Mac and launch the Finder app.
  2. Search for AutoRecovery in the search bar located at the top. It will display a list of Word files named “AutoRecovery save of”.
  3. Now, select the Word document that you have to recover.
  4. At last, tap the “File” menu and select the “Save As” option. Change the name of the restored files and tap the Save button.

Method 02: Recover Unsaved Word Document Using Terminal

  1. On your Mac, go to “Applications” > “Utilities” > “Terminal”.
  2. Enter open $TMPDIR and locate the folder named “TemporaryItems” from the list.
  3. Find the file that you want you to recover. Open and save it to save the recovered Word documents.

Wrapping Up:

In this blog, we have provided five methods to answer how to recover unsaved Word documents on Windows and Mac devices. You can use Stellar data recovery professional software to restore lost Word documents. The recovery software can help you to recover deleted or corrupted Word files. Just apply these reliable, safe, and user-friendly methods to recover your lost or deleted word file for free.