How to recover a lost Word document

For a Microsoft Word 2000 version of this article, see 316950 .


To fix this problem, use the following methods in the order in which they're presented, as appropriate for your situation.
Method 1: Search for the original document
Method 2: Search for Word backup files
Method 3: Search for AutoRecover files
Method 4: Search for temporary files
Method 5: Search for "~" files
Method 6: How to troubleshoot damaged documents

More Information

You can lose a Word document in certain situations. For example, the document may be lost if an error occurs that forces Word to close, if you experience a power interruption while editing, or if you close the document without saving your changes.

Note The whole document may be lost if you have not recently saved the document. If you have saved your document, you may lose only the changes that you made since the last save. Be aware that some lost documents may not be recoverable.

The AutoRecover feature in Word performs an emergency backup of open documents when an error occurs. Some errors can interfere with the AutoRecover functionality. The AutoRecover feature is not a substitute for saving your files.

We do not provide any utilities to recover deleted documents. However, some third-party utilities to recover deleted documents may be available on the Internet.

For more information about AutoRecover, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Article ID: 316951 - Last Review: 13 Jan 2014 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Word 2010