How To Recover Unsaved Word Documents? [Hacks & Mods]

Have you ever accidentally closed a word document without saving it? Yes, we have all been through those typical OMG situations.

However did you know that there is a way to recover unsaved word documents, or create a provision to automatically documents?

Also Read: Microsoft Word Alternatives | Microsoft Office Alternatives

Microsoft Word 2007 and above has an option to setup auto recovery of documents.

Go to the Word option (Microsoft Word 2007) from the word menu and navigate to Advanced tab, you will find various unchecked boxes, now check Always create backup copy then Allow background saves that will help you to recover files automatically in the future. The backup of word files are saved with .wbk extension.

In addition to that you can also recover documents from temporary file locations, here is where you might want to look at.

  • C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp

Thanks to Rockstar Sid, for this useful tip.

Don’t Forget to Check Out Some Free Alternatives for Microsoft Office And Tips and Tricks for Office

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Narges

    I’m trying to find a word file that i didn’t save by mistake but when i try to go to: C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Word

    there is no ‘application data folder on my computer!
    what does this mean?

    • @Narges – Which version of Windows are you using? If you are using XP it should be Application Data, if it is Vista or Windows 7 it should be AppData. Also make sure to enable viewing hidden folders.

      • Jack Schmitt

        Where do I go on my computer to find the following File? I have Windows XP. C:Documents and SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftWord

      • Charles

        what if out of my mind i didn't save even if it ask to save my document and shut down my comp, and realize "shocks what ive done?" how can i recover that

        • Deven

          yes if you are using word 2010 if you open word go to the open tab there should be a folder down the bottom saying recover unsaved documents use that

      • Hi can u give me instructions on how to get back an unsaved file on microsoft 2007 about 4 hours ago?

    • Steven

      You need to enable your folder options to show hidden files/folders.

      When viewing your Documents and Settings directory, click tools>folder options>view>show hidden files and folders.

      • SC

        Seriously, I was just crying in my office – you just saved me sooooo much time – thank you!

      • Richard Serridge

        What do you do after this? I have vista… I did exactly this and nothing happened.

  • Teresa

    Thank you so much! You saved my life!

  • Eric

    You just saved me two hours of work.

    much <3

  • kelly

    Thanks so much for saving my OMG situation. Just recovered a document and sanity by following your advice. Thanks a million!

  • dumi

    I follow your instruction…and i find files with wbk extension….how can i open it?

  • Chris

    Thank you so much you honeslty saved my life.

  • Jessica


  • Marjan

    I’ve been saving changes to a word document (2007), but when i closed the window the changes were not saved to the source file (which was in a winrar folder and not extracted). is there any way to recover that?
    i’m using window 7 as well.

  • Colton

    I wrote a paper on word for mac and was stupid and didnt save any of it. Is there anyway I can recover it!?

  • yin

    how can i recover unsaved document in Microsoft word 2003?

  • Name (required field)

    I love you!! I was on the verge of breaking down!! THANK YOU SO MUCH

  • Duncan


  • rachel

    please please please help me. I have sat here for hours on end completing work and my comp just turned off and didnt save any of the data please help me find it

  • Sue_marie

    This advice has saved my day! Thank you very much!

  • Jon

    where do i find the .wbk extension??

  • pat

    can i retrieve adcument on microsoft word if this keeps coming up. The document name or path is not validCheck the file permissions for the document or drive

  • ned

    i downloaded a word document that i had sent to myself, worked on it and saved it, it doesant seem to be anywere on my laptop??? can anyone help?

  • Tim

    Same as everyone else. I emailed myself a document, worked on it for 7 hours ( a script) and when i went to save my masterpiece it did nothing, (even though i thought it did) and now it doesnt exist. How do i recover it?

  • DInesh

    You are the man! It might be simple for you! but for me you saved me from OMG situation. Thank a lot and lot,

  • humy

    i saved some work on my usb but my usb desnt wok anymore is there any way i can retrieve my work from the computer please help me it was coursework like 3 weeks wok and im going to have to do itall again p,lease please help

  • Bikram

    Hi Guys, for the minority still using Office 2003 on WIN XP, the path to find these lost temp files is:
    C:\Documents and Settings\\My Documents\Word\Autorecover

    • JOhn

      But I was using windows 7 and saw no file folder named appdata and have tried to find it – help neededd now

  • mell

    I tried saving my Essay thats due tommorow and something must of went wrong because its gone now. And it says its located in temporary internet files but its not. i tried going into autorecover and clicked file location, autorecover,modify but its not there there is nothing there. what should i do now? am i completely Screwed?

  • Eonblue

    what a life saver!!!

  • tom

    Ok so my computer shut itself down to install updates and shut itself down before I saved my doc on Word and I cannot find it anywhere, it didnt auto recover and doesn’t appear in ‘AppData’ ..?

    Any ideas?

  • Yvonne

    I was typing a document on my mac os x and I accidentally shut off the power, can I retrieve the document?