How to recover the lost word documents?

You may lose Microsoft Word documents in certain situations. For example, a document may lost if your computer has a power interruption while you're writing, or if Word editing process is forced to quit unexpectedly, or if a document closed without saving changes.

If you don't know how the Word document was lost, or it was deleted a long time ago, please use M3 Data Recovery. This product is able to recover lost Word documents even if parts of the original file have been overwritten, by searching for previously saved copies made while the document was being created and edited.

First, look for the lost Word document in the Recycle Bin! If the document is not in the Recycle Bin, and you are sure it has been deleted recently, then use the M3 Data Recovery Free to recover the deleted Word document.

Recover lost word documents

Method 1: Search for the original document

1. Click "Search" in "Start Menu" of Windows, and then click "For Files or Folders".
2. Type the file name in the "Search for files or folders" named box.
3. In the Look in box, click "My Computer". (This will searches your entire computer - if you know that the file is in a specific area, for example, "D:\My Documents", then change this accordingly.)
4. Click "Search Now". If the Search Results box does not show the file, continue with the following steps to search for all Word documents.
5. Type *.doc. in the "Search for files or folders" named box. (In computer terminology, the asterisk * is used to select all options. By entering *.doc you're telling Windows to search for all files with the .doc extension.)
6. Click "Search Now".

Method 2: Search for Word backup files

If the Always create backup copy option is selected, there may be a backup copy of the file.

Follow these steps to find the backup copy of the file:

1. Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing file.

2. Search for files with the ".wbk" file name extension.


If you find any files that have the name "Backup of" followed by the name of the missing file, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running.

1. Start the appropriate version of Word.

2. Click "Open" on the File menu.

3. Click "All Files" in the Files of type list (All Word documents).

4. Click the backup file that you found, and then click Open.

If there is no ".wbk" file in the original folder, search the computer for any .wbk files as follow these steps:

1. Click "Start" in Windows, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
2. Type "*.WBK" in the Search for files or folders named box.
3. In the Look in box, point to the arrow, and then click My Computer.
4. Click Search Now.

Tips: To locate this option, click "Options" on the "Tools" menu, and then click the "Save" tab. In Word 2007, choose Word Options from the Office button. In Word 2010, choose Options from the File menu.

Method 3: Search for AutoRecover files

Search for AutoRecover files, if the preceding method does not locate the missing file. By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files each time that it starts, and then displays all that it finds in the Document Recovery task pane.

Step 1: Use Task Manager

1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to start the task manager.

2. Terminate all instance of Word.exe on the Processes tab of Task Manager.

3. Close Task Manager, and then restart Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Search manually

If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for AutoRecover files. To do this, follow these step, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running.

For Micorsoft Word 2010

1. Click "Recent" on the File menu.

2. Click "Recover Unsaved Documents"

For Microsoft Word 2007

1. Click "Word Options" after start Micorsoft Word 2007.

2. Click "Save" in the Navigation Pane.

3. Click "Cancel" in the AutoRecover file location box.

4. Close the word software.

5. Open the folder that you noted in step 3.

6. Look for files whose names end in .asd.

For Microsoft Word 2003 and Word 2002

1. Click "Options" on the tools menu.

2. Double-click AutoRecover files in the File Locations tab.

3. Close the word software.

4. Locate the AutoRecover file location.

5. Look for files whose names end in .asd.

Tips: The AutoRecover feature in Word is designed to perform an emergency backup of open documents when an error occurs. Some errors can interfere with the creation of an AutoRecover file. The AutoRecover feature is not a substitute for saving your file.

Method 4: Search for temporary files

Try to recover temporary files, if the previous methods do not find the file. To do this, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Windows that you are running.

1. Click "Search" to search files and folders on the windows start menu.

2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type *.tmp.

3. In the Look in box, point to the arrow, and then click My Computer(If you know that the file is in a specific area, for example, "My Documents", then change this accordingly.).

4. If the Search Options are not visible, click Search Options.

5. Click to select the Date check box, click in the last "n" days, and then change "n" to the number of days since you last opened the file.

6. Click "Search Now".

7. On the View menu, click Details, point to Arrange Icons, and click by Date.

8. Scroll down searching for files that match the last few dates and times that you edited the document.

Method 5: Search for "~" files

Some temporary file names start with the tilde (~) character. To find those files, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Windows that you are running.

For Windows Vista and above.

1. Click "Start", type "~" in the "Start Search" box.

For Windows XP

1. In Windows, click Start, click Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type ~*.*.
3. Click Search Now.
4. On the View menu, click Details and then sort by Date.
5. Scroll through the files for documents that match the last date that you edited the document.

Recover word documents lost due to deletion or overwritten operations

Step 1: Choose Undelete module to recover deleted word documents

Step 2: Choose partition where you want to recover deleted word documents.

Step 3: Choose the deleted word documents you want to reover or type ".doc" or ".docx" in the search box, then click "Search" button to find the lost word files.

Besides recovering deleted word documents, M3 Data Recovery can also recover lost word documents from a formatted partition, a delete or lost partition or data lost due to virus attack, system crash, software crash, etc.