WD2000: Why You Are Unable to Recover a Lost Document


Word may be unable to automatically recover your document after Word shuts down unexpectedly.


This problem may occur when any of the following conditions are true:

  • An AutoRecover file has not been created yet.
    By default, an AutoRecover file is not saved until 10 minutes after you start work on it. After 10 minutes, the AutoRecover file is created. If a failure shuts down Word prematurely, Word uses the AutoRecover file to recover the document.


  • An AutoRecover file is deleted after the document has been saved.
    A new AutoRecover file is not created until after the next AutoRecover duration (by default: 10 minutes after you start working on the document).


  • The document is closed and changes are not saved.
    After a document has been closed, the AutoRecover file is deleted. There is no way to recover the document after the file is closed and changes are not saved.


To change the AutoRecover Save duration, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.
  2. In the Save AutoRecover info every list box, change the number to the time interval that you want, and then click OK.
NOTE: AutoRecover is not a substitute for saving your document. When you use AutoRecover, Word creates a temporary file to recover your document if Word shuts down unexpectedly. You must still save your document in order to retain your changes.

More Information

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

212274 WD2000: How to Recover Text from Any File