Ultimate Guide On How To Recover A Word Document

With the wide spread of Microsoft Office, we are used to saving personal information, business data and study materials in Word documents, Excel files and PowerPoint files. Those files are easily seen in computer hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, and so on. However, if you don't back up those documents and files, the data stored in them could be risky.

After all, accidental operations (deletion, formatting, etc.), virus attack and hardware failures can all result in lost Word document. And in most cases, the data stored in that lost document are very valuable. Do you have any such experience?

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In fact, this is a common problem that lots of people are facing with or have ever met. Some of them struggle to find the answer to how to recover a Word document. That's what we'll focus on in this article.

We plan to introduce two wonderful solutions to help users recover lost Word document without trouble. One is recovering by using the built-in AutoSave feature of Microsoft Word and the other is seeking help from a professional Word recovery program – MiniTool Power Data Recovery. We'll show them in detail and then tell you more specific information about Microsoft Word.



AutoSave Function of Microsoft Word

Luckily, there's a built-in AutoSave function Microsoft Word which enables us to recover Word document easily from the automatically saved versions.

Note: since Microsoft Word 2010 is widely used, we'll take it as an example to show you how to complete the recovery work.


Introduction to This Function

The AutoSave function of Microsoft Office software, including Word 2010 is enabled by default. And the default time interval is set as 10 minutes (of course, you can change it by choosing an integer from 1 to 120).

The timer will be initialized every time when new modification has been made to document after the completion of the last auto-save/manual saving. And when the specified time interval is reached, another new version will be generated.

If you choose to manually save current changes by pressing "Save" button, the timer will be cleared and stop working until new changes are made to document after the manual saving. This is easy to understand after you read what we have said in previous paragraph.

How to Find AutoSave Function

Click "File" -> "Options" -> "Save" in order and this "Word Options" window will burst into your eyes. Here you can see both "Save AutoRecover information every _ minutes" and "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving" are checked by default, as we have mentioned above.


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The former means that Word will save the documents automatically for users in every certain minute according to their settings. So, various versions of documents are available for them to choose from while they're editing. The latter means that, if users accidentally closed the document and chose not to save it, the last automatically saved document version will be saved to "AutoRecover file location" (which we can see below). So users are able to find lost document by going to the certain location if any accident happens.

If you find your Word document with very important information stored in is missing, you should read following ways carefully in order to retrieve Word document all by yourself, without paying.

How to Recover a Word Document with AutoSave

Definitely, the first solution is making use of AutoSave function in Word.

When editing & managing the information saved in a Word 2010 document, some users, who are relatively familiar with computer operation, would prefer to use "Ctrl + Z" to undo previous operations. This is a very convenient way to let your document go back to last state.

However, the "Ctrl + Z" method could fail since it has limitation in undo times. At this time, recovering saved over/unsaved Word document from previous automatically saved versions is a perfect solution.

Recover a Word Document That Was Saved Over

To recover a Word document that was saved over, you need to rely on following tips:

  • Click "File" button in the upper left corner.
  • At this time, you'll see "Info" is chosen by default and three options are provided – "Permissions", "Prepare for Sharing" and "Versions". All automatically saved versions of current Word document are displayed in order according to saving time.
  • Now, you need to click the certain version to open it in a new window, in which you can choose to "Compare" it with current version or just "Restore" it.
  • Certainly, you can also go to find the automatically saved versions in computer by resorting to the "AutoRecover file location" and then double click on the certain version to open and restore it.

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Recover Unsaved Word Document

It seems getting worse if you close a document in which many changes have been made without saving because you could not find the previous automatically saved versions by clicking "File" -> "Info". How can we solve this problem?

Well, you can still go to "AutoRecover file location" to check and recover the needed version.

If you can't remember or don't know the exact file location for AutoSaved Word document versions, you can go to see it as we said before:

  • Open any Word document on your computer
  • Click "File", "Options" and "Save" to find out.

After that, go to the certain folder and start to search for the desired Word document version. Generally, the AutoSaved Word document files will be stored in computer with a name formed by your original file name, "Unsaved" and some special symbols and numbers (see picture). Beside, this file is read-only and saved as an ASD file.

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When you finally find your needed document, just double click it to open in Microsoft Office Word. Now, you're given the choices of "Compare" and "Restore"; just click "Restore" to recover the unsaved Word document version and then it will replace the current version of that document.

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How to Recover a Word Document with Power Data Recovery

Above two methods are indeed very practical for Word 2010 users. However, they're not enough when the automatically saved Word document versions are lost due to mistaken deletion, virus attack or other reasons.

Apart from this, if there's no automatically saved file when the original Word document is missing, file recovery by using AutoSave function would be impossible. What are users expected to do at this time? Our suggestion is using the professional Word recovery program called MiniTool Power Data Recovery.


Here's how to recover Word document:

Step 1: install MiniTool Power Data Recovery to computer and then launch it to see the main interface. Now, you are supposed to choose one from the displayed five function modules to start recovering missing Word document.

Some tips on choosing a suitable module:

  • If only your Word document is deleted by accident or lost after system crash, and there's no damage been brought to the partition, you should just select "Undelete Recovery".

  • If your document is included in a partition which is lost from computer now due to some reasons, you need to choose "Lost Partition Recovery", absolutely.

  • If you want to recover corrupt Word document from a partition damaged by virus (couldn't be opened or become RAW), "Damaged Partition Recovery" module would be your best choice.

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Step 2: select the target partition/disk to scan by clicking on "Scan" button (in "Undelete Recovery") or "Full Scan" button (in other modules).

You can choose to search for only Word files by:
  • Clicking "Settings" button from lower left corner;
  • Unchecking all file systems;
  • Checking only "Office WORD Document" & "Office2007 Word Document" under "Document" option and unchecking all other file types;
  • Clicking on "OK" to confirm changes.

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Step 3: check all Word documents to recover by clicking on "Save" button and choosing a storage path afterwards.

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When your Word document is hidden by virus, you should read How To Recover Files Hidden By A Virus Easier & Faster and then use the methods mentioned in it to regain hidden document files.


Outstanding Features of Microsoft Office Word 2010

Up to now, Microsoft has released Microsoft Word 97, Microsoft Word 98, Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Word 2001, Microsoft Word 2002/XP, Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2004, Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Word 2013.

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Among them, the Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 are the most popular ones. Since we find lots of people are asking questions about how to recover a Word document in 2010, we decide to talk about Microsoft Word 2010 more specifically.

You might be wondering why Word 2010 is popular, don't you? What's the difference between it and other versions of Microsoft Word? Now, we'll solve your doubts. There're some fascinating aspects.

Create Documents with Amazing Visual Impact without Trouble

Word 2010 offers us a range of new and improved tools that allow them to design documents like an expert and highlight important content very easily.

Whether you know it or not, the impressive formatting effects (such as gradient fills and images) can be added directly to the text. You can apply image effects (such as shadow, bump, light and image) and perform formatting settings to text in order to seamlessly blend it with your image. All those can be operated quickly and easily just through a few clicks of the mouse.

  • You're able to create a new SmartArt graphics to build your impressive charts within just several minutes. With the newly added photos editing tool in Word 2010, you can insert, crop and add picture effects without the help of third-party photo editing software.

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  • You're also able to choose from the many customizable Office themes to adjust colors, fonts, and graphics formatting effects in Word document. The same Office themes could also be applied for Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel 2010 to easily impart consistency and professional look for all documents.

Save Time & Simplify Work


  • Firstly, improved search and navigation experience has been added to Word 2010 to help us find information more conveniently than before. Graphics, tables, footnotes and annotations can all be used to find target content. The improved navigation pane provides us a visual representation of the document, making it possible for quickly browsing, sorting and searching the desired content.

  • Then, you can easily cross the barriers of different languages when using Word 2010. We mean, after all, it can translate words, phrases or documents for you. In this way, you're endowed with the ability to set different languages for the on-screen instructions, help content and display content. It gets better that you'll even be able to send the entire document to the site for parallel translation.

  • In addition, you can insert screenshots to capture visual icon, and then incorporate it into your work. When you decide to reuse the screenshots cross documents, you're allowed to see its appearance before placing the added content to target location with assistance from Paste Preview function.

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Want to know the best part Word 2010 simplifies the way you use functions; the new Microsoft Office Backstage view replaces the traditional file menu, so document saving, sharing, printing and publishing could be done after a few clicks of mouse; the improved function area enables you to quickly access the frequently used commands and create custom tabs.

Enhance Teamwork Effectively

Word 2010 redefines the way people deal with a document together. With co-authoring function, you can share your ideas with others while editing documents.

For enterprises and organizations, the integration with Office Communicator does them a big favor – they could easily find whether the certain person, who is editing the document together with them, is available or not. And also, they could start a session easily without even leaving Word.

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Access Information from Various Locations

It's possible that you don't have a computer at hand when you burst of creativity, or come across project and work emergencies. Fortunately, you can now use Web or Smartphone to access previous Word document and then complete your work at the time and place needed.

Microsoft Word Web App is a perfect online companion of Microsoft Word. As long as you publish the document online, you're able to access, view and edit these documents anywhere through your computer or Windows Mobile-based Smartphone.

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Recover Lost Word Document Content

Last but not the least, Word 2010 leaves users a chance to recover documents from previous saved versions when unexpected accidents happen.

  • You accidentally close the document without saving after working on it for some time;
  • You come across power supply failure/system crash while editing document;
  • You have deleted useful document by regarding it as a useless one;
  • Your computer is attacked by virus and some Word documents disappear.

Have you ever been in those situations? You must have thought: oh my god, how could this happen. Could I find the lost Word document? Of course you can; just try the methods we mentioned just now to regain valuable document quickly.

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Bottom Line

Word document missing seems to be inevitable and non-ignorable. Almost all users have ever been stuck in Word document loss issues. What a pity! But such situations do not represent the end of the world. You can still cheer up and find them back.

In summary, both the built-in AutoSave function and MiniTool Power Data Recovery software can be your lifesaver. They can help you regain lost document in most of the case. Just choose the proper method for your actual situation, and then follow the instructions we give to complete recovery work easily and rapidly.

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