Data recovery has become more and more important in our daily life. Many people may be struggling in finding back the Word documents that are lost or unsaved, due to the unexpected system crashing or Office corrupted. In these circumstances, you may want to know how to recover Word document, as easy as possible.

Part 1: How to Recover Word Document on Windows

If you are a Windows user, you have 5 possible methods to recover your Word document, whether you are using Microsoft Office 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, or 2003, you can always find a fix to recover your Word files. Check out these methods:

Fix 1: Recover Word Document from Recycle Bin

If you just deleted your Word document from your Windows computer, and you want to retrieve it, this fix would be helpful. Since the deleted files are all moved to Recycle Bin, you can definitely recover your files from Recycle Bin, as long as you didn’t permanently delete it from Recycle Bin or Recycle Bin isn’t full.

To restore Word document from Recycle Bin:

1. Go to the desktop screen on your computer, then click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop.

2. Basically, there would be lots of files and folders and you’ll have a difficulty to find your files. So you can click Item Type on the column, and select Microsoft Word Document, then all the Word documents will be listed.

3. Locate the Word document that you want to recover, right click it and select Restore.

restore word document from recycle bin

4. Then your Word Document can be recovered easily.

If your Word document has been unsaved or corrupted, then this method doesn’t work for you, and you can try the methods below.

Fix 2: Recover Word Document from Document Recovery

If your Word document was closed in the middle of editing and it was too late for you to save it, or sometimes your computer shuts down for no reason before you want to save your Word document, then this method should be working.

Microsoft Office provides a Document Recovery feature, and it works when Office is closed unexpectedly and not saved before closing. Then when you open Office next time, you will see a Document Recovery pane on your current file.

So, here is what you can do:

1. Just open a Word document as you like, then you should see a Document Recovery pane on your current Word screen.

recovery word file from document recovery pane

2. Find the document name that you want to recover, then click the down-arrow button and choose Save As.

31. Choose where you want to save this document, and save it.

In this way you can recover your lost Word document easily.

Fix 3: Recover Word Document via AutoRecover Settings in Word Options

Another possible way to recover Word document is to retrieve via AutoRecover Settings in Word files. AutoRecover is a built-in Word feature saves your unsaved Word document to your File Explorer so that you can find it later.

Here is how to recover Word document via AutoRecover:

1. Open a Word document (edited Word document or blank document is okay).

2. Click File, then click Options.

3. Click Save on the left of the pane, and find Save documents, and locate AutoRecover file location. This is where your auto recovered documents are saved.

recover word file from autorecover 1

4. Copy that file path into your clipboard.

5. Open File Explorer, and paste the path into the address bar in File Explorer, and press Enter key.

6. Then you should see all the auto recovered files here.

recovery word file from autorecover 2

7. Select the file you want to recover, copy that file.

8. Create a new blank Word document, paste your document in this new blank document, and save your Word document this time.

There you go. Your Word document should be recovered successfully.

Fix 4: Recover Word Document from Info

If you are using a newer version of Microsoft Office, you will notice that you can manage unsaved or lost document from Info. The Info settings allow Office users to view and edit Word documents in Compatibility Mode when it’s not working properly, protect Word documents with passwords, and recover unsaved documents.

1. Open a blank new Word document, and click File > Info.

2. Click Manage Document > Recover Unsaved Document, then you can browse all the unsaved Word documents.

recover word document from Word info

3. Now you can select the one you want to recover.

This is a quite easy way to recover Word documents in your Windows computer.

Fix 5: Recover Word Document Using Stellar Repair for Word

All the methods above help you recover Word document manually, which means that you need to find out the Word document and recovery it by yourself. If you are not familiar with Office, or if you don’t have the time, you can do it automatically with Stellar Repair for Word.

Stellar Repair for Word enables you to recover Word documents easily, and it helps you find out all the corrupted Word documents even if you don’t know where they are.

1. Download and install Stellar Repair for Word in your computer.

2. Click Browse if you know the path of your Word file, or click Search if you don’t know where the Word file is.

recover word doc via stellar repair for word 1

3. Locate the Word file to recover, and you can click to preview it before recovering.

recover word doc via stellar repair for word

4. Click Save file to recover and save your Word document.

Voila! Your Word document should be recovered now.

Part 2: How to Recover Word Document on Mac

The solutions above are for Windows users. If you are a Mac user, you can try the solutions below.

Fix 1: Recover Word Document from Trash

One of the effective ways to recover Word document on Mac, is to recover it from Trash. So if you accidentally deleted your Word files, you can recover from Trash.

1. On your Mac desktop, double click the Trash icon at the bottom.

2. Locate the Word file that you want to recover.

3. Right click on that document, and click Put Back.

recover word file from trash on mac

4. Then your Word document will be restored to the folder where it was saved before deleted.

5. Now open the folder of your deleted document and you will find it there.

Fix 2: Recover Word Document via Time Machine

Time Machine is the built-in backup feature provided by macOS. So if you have turned on Time Machine in your Mac before, you can recover Word document via Time Machine.

Here is how to do it:

1. Open Time Machine in your Mac.

2. Try to locate your Word document using the timeline.

3. Select the Word document that you want to restore, and click Restore.

recover word on mac from time machine

hen you have done it successfully.

Fix 3: Recover Word Document in AutoRecovery Folder

The Mac version of Microsoft Office also has the AutoRecovery feature, so that you can recover your Word files using AutoRecovery folder.

1. Open Finder in Mac, then click Go > Go to the folder.

2. Type this path aka Word AutoRecovery Folder: ~/Library/Containers/

3. Select the file to recover and add a .doc extension for it.

recover word on mac from autorecover folder

4. Double click to open the file and be sure to save it.

Recovering Word document is that easy, isn’t it?!

Fix 4: Recover Word Document from Temporary Folder

The forth way to recover Word document is from Temporary Folder. Temporary Folder:

1. Open Terminal application in your Mac by navigating to Applications > Utilities.

2. type “open $TMPDIR ” and press Enter. This will open the TEMP folder.

3. Open TemporaryItems and you will find your unsaved Word documents here.

recover word files on mac from temp folder

4. Open the Word file that you want to recover and save it.

Hopefully these methods help in recovering Word document on Mac.


This article introduces different ways to recovery Word documents on Windows and Mac, and you can find the way that works the best for you. Manually recovering Word documents on your computer may take some time and efforts. So if you want to recovery your Word document easily without tech skills, try Stellar Repair for Word.

By the way, if you forgot your Word open password, you can recover Word document password using PassFab for Word.

Part 3: FAQs about Recovering Word Document

Q1: Is there a way to recover Word document?

Yes, definitely! You can recover Word document using the Office recovery features, or try a third-party Word recovery tool like Stellar Repair for Word.

Q2: How to retrieve Word document that is corrupted or unsaved?

It’s quite easy to retrieve Word documents that are corrupted or unsaved. Just check this article and you will find the answers.