You need to recover an important Word document, lost after a blackout, a software crash or just a distraction, but do not know which procedure to follow? In the next lines we will explain how to recover deleted Word documents.

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How to recover deleted Word documents: standard procedure

Microsoft has integrated a feature in the 2013 and 2016 versions of Microsoft Word that allows you to restore unsaved documents in a few simple steps.

Let’s see how to proceed:

  • Open the Redmond giant software and click on the empty document template.
  • At this point, press the File menu at the top left and choose Information from the left sidebar.
  • In the next step, press the Manage versions icon and then click Recover unsaved documents from the small drop-down menu that appears.
  • Now, a window will open automatically showing a list of unsaved Word files. If there is anything you want to restore, select it with the left mouse button and then press the Open button located at the bottom right.

If you have Microsoft Word 2010, however, you have to click on the File menu in the upper left, select Recent, click on Recover unsaved files from the next screen and use the window that appears to restore the automatic saves.

On Word 2007 you need to perform a slightly more complex procedure that we will give you below:

  • Press on the Office button located at the top left, press on Word Options and then click on Save.
  • Once you have done this, identify the Auto-save file location box, make a note of the path to the location (eg C:/Programs/Microsoft Word/UnsavedFiles ) and close the program.
  • Now, open Windows File Explorer, paste the previously copied path in the address bar at the top and give Enter from the keyboard.
  • In the next step, identify the .asd file of your interest and open it with Microsoft Word using the appropriate command found in the context menu (which appears after clicking the right mouse button on it).

How to recover deleted Word documents: alternative procedure

In the case where the procedure seen a little while ago has had no effect, you can take advantage of an alternative solution which basically consists in recovering the temporary files that are created by Microsoft Word to temporarily contain information while creating a new file. Therefore, if you have lost an entire document or only a part of it, there is the possibility to retrieve the information lost through a temporary file, identifiable by the extension .tmp.

To find these files you just need to reach the save folder that you find in File > Options > Save, in the words File path auto save. After closing Microsoft Word, use File ExplorerWindows Explorer, or Finder and navigate to the path shown in the box.

From here, identify the .tmp (or .wbk ) file you are interested in and open it with the Microsoft program through the Open command with the context menu. If this fails, then we suggest that you manually search all the .wbk, .tmp and .asd files on your Windows or Mac PC via the Start menu or Spotlight.

How to recover deleted Word documents with LibreOffice Writer

In case you use LibreOffice to create, manage and edit Word files, then you can use the Writer program (included in the open source suite) to try and recover an unsaved Word file. In this case, we have already written and published an ad hoc guide that you will find below.

How to recover deleted Word documents with Disk Drill

Disk Drill is a powerful free software available for both Mac and Windows which allows you to recover many types of files deleted by mistake. Therefore, it is an excellent software to restore deleted Word documents by mistake.

Let’s see how to use it best:

  • Log on to the official website of Disk Drill and, depending on the operating system in your possession ( Windows or MacOS ), click on the items Data Recovery for Mac and Data Recovery for Windows link at the top.
  • To start downloading the software, simply click on the green Free Download button.
  • Once the installation is completed successfully, start Disk Drill and select the disk to be scanned and recovered.
  • After choosing, press the Recover button that you find in its correspondence. Alternatively, press the down arrow (next to the button) and select Quick Scan or Deep Scan based on whether you want to start a quick scan or a deeper scan. Please note that clicking on the Recover button will automatically start the quick scan.
  • From the screen that appears, you can follow the progress of the process through the blue bar.
  • Once completed, click on the Documents item on the side, expand the Documents folder by clicking on the + and locate the above extensions ( .wbk , .tmp or .asd ) or .doc or .docx.
  • If successful, put a check mark next to the empty box of the file you want to restore and then click on the Recover button that you find at the top right.
  • The saved file will be located in the folder whose path is shown in the field next to Recover to. If you want to change it, simply press the folder icon, select the preferred one and confirm by clicking OK.


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