4 Best Methods to Recover Unsaved Word Document

This is a common mishap that we sometimes lose Word document. This is really bothersome, and it can cost you if the document is really important. The situation is probably the cause of accidently closing Word document without saving it before. The latest version of Word gives us option to turn "AutoSave" on but if it is off and the document is closed, you might be in trouble. So how to recover unsaved word document? Here are some methods you can try to recover the document if your work was accidentally deleted, lost in a Microsoft Word crash, or simply disappeared.

Option 1. Recover Unsaved Word Document from Recycle Bin

This is a simple method. If you have or someone else deleted your file accidently which was saved and it is still in recycle bin, you can easily recover it from there. It seems amazing but this is not a so complicated thing. This method can be used to recover unsaved Word document mac. Your file remains unharmed if it is deleted and is in "Recycle Bin" or "Trash" in case of macOS. Following are the steps:

Step 1: Double click on Recycle Bin or Right-click on it and then click "Open".

recycle bin

Step 2: When Recycle Bin is open, find your deleted document. You can restore the Word document either by clicking and then selecting "Restore the selected items" or Right-click on it and click "Restore".


Step 3: In macOS you will find the deleted file in "Trash". From there you can restore it by right-clicking and then click "Put Back".

Option 2. Recover Unsaved Word Document from Temporary Files

This method is useful when you do not know how to recover word document not saved. Go to this url in file browser C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles. There you can find the temporary stored Word documents which you can used if you have accidentally deleted the file without saving it. You can also follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Word document and click on "File".


Step 2: Click on "Manage Document" and then on "Recover Unsaved Documents". A window will open which has all the unsaved documents.

recover unsaved documents

Step 3: Click on the file you want to recover and then click "Open".

open unsaved document

For Mac follow the below steps:

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities and open "Terminal".

Step 2: Type "open $TMPDIR" and you will be navigated to TMP folder.

Step 3: Open folder named "TemporaryItems". Look for the desired unsaved Word document and open it with MS Word.

Step 4: Now save it to another location to use it afterwards.

temporary items

Step 5: You have successfully recovered the Word document which was unsaved and accidently lost.

Option 3. Recover Unsaved Word Document from AutoRecover Files

You can also search for the Word document backup files to recover the unsaved files.

Step 1: These files are saved in another folder whose url is following.
C:\Users\ admin\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word

Step 2: There you can see the files which are autosaved and are backup of your Word documents.

autosaved document

How to recover unsaved word document in mac? For macOS follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open "Finder" and head to Go > Go to Folder.

Step 2: Type ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery and click on "Go".

Step 3: Open the folder and look for the file you want to recover.

Step 4: Rename the file by adding the ".doc" filename extension.

Step 5: Double click the file and it will open in Word for Mac.

Step 6: Save it with a new name in another folder.


Step 7: You have recovered the unsaved file.

Option 4. Recover Unsaved Word Files from Document Recovery

If you have turned on "AutoSave" option, then it is a real-life saver because it periodically saves the Word document. So, when your Word application crashes or Windows restart without any notice while you are working you may panic because all of your work is lost. But with this option turned on, your work will remain saved.

Step 1: When you will open the Word document afterward you will see the file in left pane in Document Recovery.

document recovery

Step 2: Open it and save it so that it will not be lost later.

Bonus Tip: Recover Unsaved Word Password with PassFab for Word

If you recover unsaved word document which is password protected and you do not know the password. What will you do? Certainly, you cannot access the file and your important data is just locked due to password. You can use PassFab for Word, which is a password remover application and saves you from a lot of trouble. PassFab for Word is a professional tool which give you freedom to recover or remove password from Word document. You can easily crack the password with this. You do not have to be computer geek to know how to use the software. You can recover password with 3 simple steps.

  • Import Word document which is password protected.
  • Select password recovery mood.
  • Start the recovery process.

It provides 3 types of recovery options which are:

  • Brute-force Attack: This recovery method tries all possible character's combinations.
  • Brute-force with Mask Attack: This recovery method can be used if you remember some part of your password.
  • Dictionary Attack: This recovery method gets the possible password based on a dictionary.

Following is the full guide of how to use this Word password recovery.

Step 1: Download, install and open PassFab for Word.

Step 2: Import the Word file which is password protected. Click "Add" and then select the password protected file.

add file

Step 3: Select recovery method. You can choose from Dictionary Attack, Brute-force with Mask Attack and Brute-force Attack.

attack methods

Step 4: Now click on "Start" and wait till the program finds your password. You can use the password to decrypt the file easily.

found password

Now you have all the best methods which can be used to recover the Word document which is not saved or lost. So, if you have any trouble you can use any of the method and solve your problem.

/ Posted by Shirley Howard to Word Tips / Follow @Shirley Howard


Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>