How to get back an unsaved Word document: methods and instructions

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How to get back an unsaved Word document: methods and instructions
How to get back an unsaved Word document: methods and instructions

Microsoft Word, as well as the operating systems of this developer, have one unpleasant property, which is that the editor quite often crashes, which leads to the loss of all changes in the created or edited document. But typing tons of text again can be quite problematic. So what to do? How to get back an unsaved Word document? For this, ordinary users can offer several simple methods. But first, let's see what measures can be taken to avoid such situations.

Preventive measures

So, in order to protect yourself from the disappearance of unsaved files or important changes made in the process of working on a document, you need to perform a few simple steps. To avoid such situations, the editor itself provides a special function for automatically saving data (and even for those cases when youthe document was not saved, that is, it was not given a specific name).

How to save documents in Word using automatic mode? Everything is simple! Through the file menu, call up the options window, and then go to the save subsection.

Autosave Interval and Folder of Word Files
Autosave Interval and Folder of Word Files

In the options shown on the right side of the main window at the very top there is a field for setting the time interval for performing automatic saving. By default, the interval is usually set to ten minutes. Set autosave with an interval of one minute and save the changes (it will not work for less than a minute). After that, even if you yourself did not save the created or edited document, it can be restored quite simply.

Note: to quickly save a document at a time when autosave is inactive, in older versions of the editor you can use the standard combination Ctrl + S, in modifications of 2010 and higher, the combination Shift + F10 is used.

Use to restore Word backups

We'll talk about manual file recovery a little later, but for now let's focus on the automated tools of the editor itself. Probably, many people noticed that when a program or system freezes, when either a repeated restart of a failed application or a complete restart of Windows is performed, Word displays a special panel on the left at startup, in which autosaved copies of the last edited document are marked indicating the time of the last changes. Themthere may be several.

Automatic recovery of a Word document
Automatic recovery of a Word document

Simply select the file that is closest to the original (either the original document or the file with changes), and then click the restore button. In this case, it is desirable to immediately save the document again, giving it a different name, which should be different from the one created automatically.

Return document when opened

Despite this automation, relying only on this method is not worth it, because sometimes you may not get the desired result. How to get back the unsaved Word document in this situation? One of the easiest options is to use the editor's own tools.

If anyone paid attention, when working with any documents opened in Microsoft Word, the program automatically creates a hidden copy of it even before saving is activated.

Temporary files of open and saved documents
Temporary files of open and saved documents

Usually, such files are hidden and contain a tilde (“~”) sign as the first character in the name, and the standard.tmp format corresponding to temporary files is used as an extension for them.

Opening a copy of a file with recovery
Opening a copy of a file with recovery

In order not to use complex software tools at first, after starting the editor, if recovery is not offered, you can use the options for opening the document, then from the list opened by clicking on the arrow on the open button, select the option "Open and restore". Quite possible,in the list of objects potentially suitable for recovery, and your document will be present. Again, the method is far from the most convenient, and for "clean" files that you have not physically saved, it is far from always suitable.

Can I find my unsaved Word document?

Based on the above, now we can assume that you did not achieve a positive result when using the previous methods and tools. In this case, you can try to find the desired document (or rather, its copy) on your own. This can be done quite simply. Firstly, the editor itself creates such copies in ASD and WBK formats by default. Secondly, in the autosave settings, you can immediately view the folders specified for placing copies.

Search for automatically saved copies of documents
Search for automatically saved copies of documents

Thus, you can either find the desired copy along the path of the files themselves, or search for unsaved Word documents in the most common "Explorer" by expanding objects by entering the desired one with a separator (dot) from the above in the search field and concluding it on both sides (or only on the left) into asterisks ("").

To open a copy, use the standard method, but specify all files as the object type to open, and then use the browse function to specify the full path to the document you are looking for. If a regular open doesn't work, follow the open and restore action as described above.

Note: sometimes the UnsavedFiles folder located in the AppData directory (orApplicationData on legacy versions of Windows) the main user directory on the system partition.

Finding the UnsavedFiles Directory
Finding the UnsavedFiles Directory

In order not to search for it for a long time, you can use the Windows search engine, and enter the name of the directory you are looking for in the search field. The inconvenience of this technique is only that the recovery of Word documents will be available only for those files that were created no more than four days ago. Otherwise, among the available copies, you simply will not find them.

Restoring documents using the editor

Now let's see how to get back an unsaved Word document using another tool that most ordinary users don't know about. This method is also quite simple.

Restoring documents using the Word editor
Restoring documents using the Word editor

To perform the necessary operations through the file menu, go to the document control block (in older versions it may be called "Version Control" and be located in the information subsection), click on the main button to the left of the file list and click on the recovery pop-up window, after which you will be presented with a list of copies available for return. Again, this technique is only applicable when autosave is enabled and active in the editor itself.

Activate text converter

One more tool can be suggested as one of the alternative methods. This is a special format converter. It is believed to be activated in means"Office" initially, but sometimes it can be disabled.

First of all, use the programs and components section, find either the full office suite or a separately installed Word text editor there, then click on the delete / change button, select add components and in the general Office tools through the filter section select the text file converter, then activate the document recovery converter. For it, you need to set the option to run from a computer.

After performing the preliminary settings, use the options section directly in the editor, and in the additional general options, check the format conversion confirmation box.

Recovering documents using a converter

Now let's see how to get back an unsaved Word document using an activated converter.

Recovery of text from any document
Recovery of text from any document

To do this, you will need to open the backup, specifying the path to the automatically saved file, set the text recovery option in the type field, and then select the recovery of the previously saved copy from the open button menu. In this case, as you might have guessed, only the text content of the document can be returned. If there is graphics, it will naturally be converted and will not be restored, so such objects will have to be inserted into the text again.

Third party software

Finally, if for some reason you are not satisfied with your own Word or Office tools or none of the abovesituations with yours has nothing to do, we can recommend several universal applications that work just as well.

Magic Word Recovery
Magic Word Recovery

First of all, you can look at utilities like the paid application Hetman Office Recovery or the free program for recovering unsaved Word documents called Magic Word Recovery. In the case of deleting files from a hard disk without going through the Recycle Bin, general-purpose programs like 7-Undelete, EaseUS, Wondershare Data Recovery, Active Undelete, etc. are good. In extreme cases, you can even use such a primitive utility as Recuva, in which, based on a custom filter, you can specify the search for only lost office documents.

If, after deleting files, additional actions were taken to save other objects that theoretically could be placed in the same sectors of the hard disk where records of deleted documents were originally stored, it is best to use the R-Studio program, which many experts called the undisputed leader among such applications. By the way, it is this application that can find deleted objects on any media even after they are completely formatted.

Summary of conclusions

Summing up, it remains to be noted that the easiest way is to use the tools of the editor itself, since software products from third-party developers may not be at hand at the right time. Unequivocally answer which of the proposed methods looks fully functional onall one hundred is quite difficult, because it all depends on the current situation.

However, if you evaluate all the tools from a practical point of view, it is easiest to immediately open saved copies of the ASD and WBK formats. Also, to simplify the actions performed, it does not hurt to activate the text converter. Of course, don't forget to set a minimum interval for autosaving documents so that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the future.

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