Help, I’ve Lost a Word Document! 5 Crucial Step to Take

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Were you writing a report using Microsoft Word?

Millions of people now choose to save their documents on the cloud via Google Docs. However, Word still has a lot of following for various reasons.

If you have no plans of switching from Word, consider learning how to find and retrieve your missing documents. Continue reading below for five vital steps after you lost a Word document.

1. Check Your File List

The first step in recovering a lost Word document is to check your File List. Press the Windows key and type your file name on the Search bar. If it appears, click it to open your document.

Select “File” and hit “Open” if you failed to save your document. Look for the “Recover Unsaved Documents” button under the “Recent File List.” Microsoft Word can only keep your unsaved documents for up to four days.

2. Check the Backup Files

If you cannot find your document using the Search box, move on to the backup files. These files are easy to identify since they have a .wbk extension. Go to “File,” hit “Options,” and select “Advanced.”

Look for the “Save” section and choose “Always create a backup copy.” If you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription, check the following directories:

  • C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Make sure to replace the Username field with your username. Select “Start” and type .wbk in the Search box to search for a backup copy of your document. Hit “Enter” to display files with the name “Backup of” followed by the name of your missing document.

3. Open the Recycle Bin

If you do not empty your Recycle Bin, you are likely to find your missing document there. Look for the Recycle Bin on your desktop and double-click the icon. Check whether your deleted document is there.

Did you forget your document file name? Go through file types falling under DOC, DOCX, or DOT. If you find the file, hit “Restore” after selecting it.

4. The Task Manager Can Help

Microsoft Office has an auto-recovery feature accessible via the Task Manager. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select “Task Manager.” Click on the “Process” tab and look for “Winword.exe” or “Microsoft Word” in the list.

Select these and press “End Task.” Repeat until you remove every process with the same name.

Re-open your Microsoft Word and look for the “Document Recovery” tab on the left side of the screen. Check whether your file is there. If so, hit “Save As” and pick .docx as its file type.

5. Enable AutoSave

Searching for missing documents can be a hassle. With this, saving a Word document via the AutoSave feature is essential. Open your Microsoft Word and click the “File” tab. Select “Options” and wait for a window to appear.

Go to the left side and click “Save.” Look for the AutoSave option and enable it. Press “OK” to complete the process.

Recovering Documents on Mac

Did you lose a Word document on your MacBook? You can also search for it on your Mac file list. Go to the upper right corner of your desktop and click on the spotlight icon.

Check whether your document appears on the File list. Double-click the file to open and save it.

You may also use task manager to search for your files. Go to the upper left corner of your screen and click the Apple icon. Select “Force Quit” and pick Microsoft Word.

What if you accidentally deleted a Word document? Open your Trash Can and find the file you wish to recover. Right-click on the file and select “Put Back” to return it to its original location.

Alternatively, use the AutoRecover feature. Open your Finder and select “Go” from the menu. Choose “Go To Folder” and enter the following: /Users//Library/Containers/com.Microsoft/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery. Make sure it contains your Mac profile username.

Doing this will take you to the “Containers” folder, where you will find “com.Microsoft.Word” in the library. Click on it and search for your missing document. You can also recover Word document without AutoRecovery.

Restoring Documents in OneDrive

If you save your Word documents on the cloud using OneDrive, you may restore your deleted documents using the AutoSave feature. To start, sign in to your OneDrive account. Open the Recycle Bin from the navigational panel.

Select the Word document and hit “Restore” to recover it.

Recovering After a Crash

Open your Microsoft Word to recover a document after a computer crash. Check whether the application recovered your unsaved document. If you cannot find the file from the AutoRecover list, go to “File,” select “Options,” and press “Save.”

Look for the AutoRecover file path and copy it to your clipboard. Paste it into the File Explorer address bar. Open the folder carrying your document name.

Check for the most recent .asd file and time of modification and copy it.

Go back to Word and click on “File,” select “Open,” and hit “Recover Unsaved Documents.” Wait for a folder to pop out and paste the copied file. Complete the recovery process by opening the file.

Tips to Keep You from Losing Your Documents

Before emptying your Recycle Bin, check the items you are about to delete. Ensure you are running trustworthy antivirus software. Otherwise, malware can corrupt your files and compromise your data.

Prevent data loss from system crashes by investing in a reliable surge protector. It ensures your computer suffers little to no damage from power surges.

Lost a Word Document? Recover It Today!

Even if you lost a Word document, follow these crucial steps to restore it. After recovering your document, you can continue your work. Doing these will only take a short while, preventing considerable downtime.

However, discovering how to use Word and recovering files are a few of the many skills to learn about computers. Consider expanding your knowledge by learning other related topics. Otherwise, you will become stagnant and less likely to learn newer technologies.

Are you looking for more valuable guides? If so, consider checking our other posts now.

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