How to recover an unsaved Word file

Sometimes, for whatever reason, Word closes badly and does not save the file, even losing all, or a large part, of what we had written. We have suffered this drama from time to time, so we are going to tell you what to do to recover a Word file that has not been saved .

The first thing we are going to do is be cautious and we are going to start this tutorial by explaining how to activate Word’s autosave. It is true that this option is activated by default in the most recent versions, but just in case we will also explain it to be able to recover the documents.

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Autosave and backups in Word

In the most modern versions of Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016 and Word 2013 , there is the option to vary the time of the autosave, and to do this, you must follow these steps:

  • Open Word.
  • If it takes you directly to a blank document, click on “File” (upper left corner).
  • Then in the side menu, at the bottom, “Options” appears . Click and continue with the steps.
  • In the dialog box select the “Save” option .
  • Look for the “Word AutoRecover” option .
  • Write the number you want, that way every X minutes the Word document will be saved automatically.
  • Don’t forget to check the “Save to PC by default” box .
  • Then click on “OK” and all changes will be saved.
  • Click on “File” again in the upper left corner.
  • Go back to the “Options” of the side menu.
  • And now click on “Advanced” or “Advanced”.
  • Scroll through the dialog box until you find the “Save” section .
  • Check the “Always create backup” box .

In case your Word does not belong to Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016 and Word 2013, but is Word 2010 , then you have to click on “File” , then on “Options” , and in the “Save” section , check the option “Always create backup”.

As you can see, all the steps are very similar, no matter the version of Word that is installed, although the most correct thing would be to update to the latest version to have a better design and greater functions.

As an extra note, at the top left of most modern versions of Word, there is a box called “Autosave . ” Click there every time you open a new document and start working on it. Just by accessing OneDrive, you can retrieve your document at any time.

Once this is clarified, we can continue with the tutorial. Now we are going to try to locate and recover a Word file that has not been saved.

Locate your unsaved Word file

If your Word belongs to Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016 and Word 2013 , then you have to follow these steps:

  • Open a Word document.
  • Click on “File” , upper left corner.
  • Then click on “Open” , and then on “Browse” .
  • In the dialog box that opens, choose the option “All files” where it says “Word files”.
  • If you find the backup file, double-click on it to recover the document and it will open . It allows you to continue with the work, but first it is advisable to review the content, as it is likely that you have lost the last progress.

If the Word you use is from 2010 , then you have to follow these steps:

  • Open a new document.
  • Click on the “File” tab .
  • Now click on “Open” .
  • In the list of file types, select the “All files” option .
  • If you find the backup, double click on it and the file is recovered . Then continue with it where you left off before losing it, checking that nothing is missing, in which case, it will be time to do it again.

Word file auto-recovery

In this section we are going to “force” the appearance and recovery of files that have not been previously saved manually and consciously:

  • Point the mouse to the Windows search bar and right-click.
  • Choose the “Task Manager” option .
  • Next, click where it says “Microsoft Word” .
  • Then click on “End task”.
  • Close the dialog box and open Word normally.
  • When you access it, you will see the recovered file on the left side .
  • Click on that file and you can continue your work. We recommend that you review it thoroughly, since not everything was saved and the last movements may be missing.

With the different steps that you have taken throughout this tutorial, you have surely managed to recover the Word document that you had not saved . Now you can continue as normal and keep in mind the “Autosave” option that we say at the beginning of the article.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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