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8 Methods to Recover Lost or Deleted Word Document

Maybe your Microsoft Word documents have been lost in following certain situations.

  1. The document may be lost if an error occurs that forces Word to quit.
  2. You experience a power interruption while editing Word document.
  3. You close the document without saving changes.

If the lost word documents are important to you, you want to recover them. How can you do to recover lost Word documents?

Now the article will list 8 methods that you could use to recover lost word document in different situations, especially explain how to recover word 2010 document in Windows 7 computer.

Method 1: Search for the original word document

Step 1: Click Start, type the word document name in the Start Search box, and press Enter.

search lost word document by name

Step 2: If the Files list contains the document, double-click the document to open it on Word.

If the Files list does not contain the document, go to step 3.

Step 3: Click Start, type *.docx in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.

search lost word document by file type

If the Files list does not contain the document you find, continue to Method 2.

Method 2: Restart Microsoft Word to look for Word document.

Step 1: End all Word related processes in Windows Task Manager.

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open Task Manager option, select it and open Task Manager in Windows 7 computer.

end Word process in Windows Task Manager

On the Processes tab in Task Manager window, click Winword.exe or Microsoft Word, and then click End Process. Repeat this until you have quit all instances of Winword.exe and Word.

Close Windows Task Manager dialog box.

Step 2: Restart Microsoft Word and then see if there is missing file displayed in the Document Recovery task pane. By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files each time it starts.

word document recovery

Step 3: Double click the AutoRecover files one by one. Once you find the lost word file, saved it immediately.

Method 3: Search for AutoRecover files

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word, on the File menu, click Recent.

Step 2: Click Recover Unsaved Documents.

search for unsaved word documents

Step 3: If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.

recover unsaved word document

Step 4: Save it immediately.

Method 4: Search for Word backup files to recover documents

Step 1: Start Microsoft Word 2010.

Step 2: Click the File menu, and then click Open.

Step 3: Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing file.

Step 4: In the Files of type list, click All Files. The backup file usually has the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file.

search word backup file to recover document

Step 5: Click the backup file, and then click Open.

Method 5: Search for temporary files to look for lost word document

Step 1: Just like the method 1, but now perform a search for temporary files (*.tmp files).

search temporary file to find lost word document

Step 2: Save all the temporary files to a location.

save temporary files

Step 3: Start Microsoft Word 2010. And click File > Open.

open temporary file in Word

Step 4: Browse to the location that you saved the temporary files, and then click All files, because if you do not click All Files, the temporary files may not be displayed.

Step 5: Open temporary files one by one.

Step 6: Once you find the lost word document, save it immediately.

Method 6: Search “~” files to find lost word document

If you cannot find lost word document in temporary files, probably these temporary files are not lost word documents, or some temporary files names starts with the tilde (~) character. So you cannot find it with method 5. To find those files, follow the steps:

Step 1: Refer to method 1 and search ~*.* files (temporary files).

Step 2: Refer to step 2- 6 in method 5 to check the temporary files.

Method 7: Check the Recycling Bin to restore lost word document

Step 1: On the computer desktop, open the Recycling Bin.

Step 2: If you find the lost word document there, right-click it and the click Restore.

restore lost word document from recycling bin

The document will be returned to its original location. If you are not sure where it is actually restored to, refer to method 1 to search it.

Method 8: Recover lost word document with data recovery tool

If you don’t want to check which method above could recover lost word document, this method could help you to return word document back, no matter it is temporary file, unsaved word document, deleted word document.

First, you need to get a data recovery tool, such as iSunshare Data Genius, which is free to recover lost or deleted files from computer hard drive, external storage device etc.

Second, run Data Genius on computer and choose a data recovery type according to probable data loss reason.

Third, choose the drive that word document may be lost from to scan.

At last, preview lost data and look for lost word document to recover.

More details about how Data Genius recovers lost data, you can see the user guide of Data Genius.

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