Summary: Recovering an unsaved or deleted MS Word document may seem challenging, but it is not that difficult. This blog explains how to recover deleted Word document for free using some of the simplest methods. Other than the free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) methods given in this blog to recover accidentally deleted Word files, you can use a data recovery software for quick and hassle-free Word document recovery.
Microsoft Word is one of the most revered word processors used by billions of students and professionals globally for different purposes. However, the easier they are to create, edit, share, and manage, the more likely they are to issues such as accidental deletion, corruption, etc. A simple Google search gives numerous queries on how to recover unsaved Word documents.
Accidental deletion or loss of access to Word documents can be infuriating if the deleted files had sensitive or confidential data such as banking details, business plans, or personal records.
Refer to the following query:
“I’ve been working on a large document; it had over 1200 pages. So when I checked again today, about 500 or more pages were gone. I can’t find them anymore. I can’t even go back because I activated “automatic saving,” so if there had been a version with all of the pages, it’s gone now.”
Whether a file is deleted accidentally or lost for any other reason, you need not panic as it’s no rocket science to recover lost Word documents.
But before we learn how to recover unsaved Word document for free, let’s look at the major reasons why we lose a Word document in the first place.
There can be various situations wherein you may lose Microsoft Word documents from your Windows computer. In this blog, we’ve covered some common scenarios that may lead to Word file loss:
Document recovery in Word is not as complex as brain surgery. You can recover deleted Word documents no matter how and when you deleted or lost them. You can relate to the most likely cause of your file loss and directly jump to the relevant method explained below to find and restore deleted Word documents for free.
Applicability: If you wonder how to recover a deleted Word file from Windows trash bin, this method will come in handy. This method helps recover Word files and other documents deleted using the Del key on Windows 11, 10, 8, and older versions of the Windows operating system.
If you have deleted a Word Document by pressing the Delete key, you can restore it from the Recycle Bin. By default, deleted files go to the Recycle Bin if they are not configured to automatically-bypass the Recycle Bin.
The files deleted with the Del key stay in the Recycle Bin for 30 days, after which they are deleted permanently from the Recycle Bin). There may be times when you want to recover a Word doc from the Recycle Bin. The process of doc recovery for Word files from the Recycle Bin is pretty straightforward.
Follow the steps given below to recover deleted Word documents from Recycle Bin:
This method explains how to recover a Word document from the Recycle Bin. The recovered files get saved to the location from where you deleted them.
|Note: You cannot restore Word files or documents deleted using the Shift + Del key from the Recycle Bin since they bypass the Recycle Bin and get deleted permanently. To recover permanently deleted Word files, you will need a backup of those files or an efficient Free Word File Recovery Software.|
Applicability: This method will help you understand how to recover unsaved Word documents after a system or application crash.
An open Word document may suddenly close due to a system or application crash, or a file may need a forced closure if it freezes. In such cases, you may lose valuable information stored on the document and fail to find or restore the same later on. This method will help you understand the unsaved Word doc recovery process without using any file retrieval tool.
In general, MS Word searches for AutoRecover files every time it starts and shows results in the ‘Document Recovery’ pane. If the ‘Document Recovery’ pane doesn’t open, you may find it with the ‘Recover Unsaved Word Document’ feature.
Here’s how to find auto-recovered Word documents and restore them:
“AutoRecover” is another feature used for recovering a Word file. AutoRecover creates an automatic backup of an active Word document in set intervals while you work on it. The AutoRecover feature works in the background to save a temporary copy (in the .asd file format) of your live Word document without explicitly saving it.
When you open crashed or corrupt Word documents, the application automatically prompts you to recover an auto-saved file (in the .asd format) and save it on your computer as a temporary file.
In case you don’t get a system prompt recovering unsaved Word documents, follow these steps to search for the AutoRecovery temporary files (.asd) and save them on your system for unsaved Word document recovery:
Applicability: This method will help you understand how to recover a Word document from Windows or OneDrive Backup. If you have a backup copy of your Word file on Microsoft OneDrive or Windows, you can retrieve it no matter if you lost the file due to permanent file deletion, corruption, or drive formatting.
Using Backup & Restore, a Windows built-in utility, you can create a daily, weekly, or monthly backup.
Here’s How to Recover Permanently Deleted Word documents for free?
Therefore, you must always create a backup copy Word document that you can use in case the original file gets misplaced, lost, or damaged.
File History is another Windows built-in backup utility that may help you recover deleted, corrupt, or lost files.
Here’s How to Retrieve Unsaved Word Documents:
The method will help you understand how to recover Word document from previous versions of your existing file. This utility helps restore different versions of the file you deleted or lost.
You can choose the file version you want to retrieve with the following steps:
This method explains how to recover Word document from Microsoft OneDrive. Suppose you have Microsoft 365 or OneDrive Standalone subscription. In that case, you can turn ON the PC folder backup option to automatically sync up the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your Windows system to your OneDrive cloud storage. These synced files are available and accessible via any supported device.
If you’ve deleted a Word document or lost a file due to corruption or formatting, you can restore it from OneDrive, using the following options:
Scenario 1: Recovering a Word File Deleted from OneDrive Recycle bin
Note: This option is available to users who have only a OneDrive subscription and do not use Microsoft 365.
Scenario 2: Retrieve an older version of a file stored on OneDrive
Note: This option for Microsoft Office Word doc recovery applies to OneDrive users who don’t have Microsoft 365 subscription.
Follow the steps given below to restore a Word document to an earlier version:
Scenario 3: Restore the entire OneDrive
Note: This option to recover an unsaved Word Docx is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
This option to recover an unsaved Word Docx is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Using this option, you can restore the entire OneDrive to a previous version. This option to recover documents on Word helps restore multiple deleted, corrupted, or damaged files at once.
Here’s how to recover a deleted Word document from OneDrive:
Applicability: This method explains how to recover lost Word document if you’ve lost it permanently and have run out of backup.
Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery tool is a free command-line tool that can recover multiple file types. It comes with three modes of operation, including Default, Segment, and Signature.
The software works primarily with NTFS-based hard drives, for which you can choose Default or Segment mode. However, it also works with other file systems such as FAT, exFAT, and ReFS-based hard drives, for which you’d need to choose the Signature mode of operation.
Limitations with Windows File Recovery tool
Applicability: This method recovers the files deleted using the shift + delete command or emptied from Windows Recycle Bin, and there is no Backup available. The software also gets back the files lost due to malware infection, corruption, or drive formatting.
Here’s how to Recover a Deleted Word Document using Stellar Data Recovery Software:
Stellar flaunts an advanced data retrieval algorithms analyze the content of your storage devices, including USB Flash Drive, Pen Drive, External HDD, SD & Micro-SD cards, and more.
It ensures 100% data retrieval regardless of the reason that caused data loss. Stellar data recovery program flaunts an intuitive and user-friendly document recovery task pane that helps recover an unsaved Word data file.
On initiating a Scan to recover data, its Deep Scan engine searches for even the tiniest bits and pieces of your lost data. After the scanning process is complete, the Stellar Data Recovery Wizard merges the recovered bits and pieces to save the Word document in its original form. Millions of customers trust Stellar Data Recovery Software to retrieve files lost due to accidental deletion, virus attack, corruption, and other prevalent data loss scenarios.
It saves you from the monotonous, time-consuming task of manually finding and recovering deleted or unsaved files in Word. In addition, its trial version allows you to recover documents on Word for free at up to 1 GB.
So, if you’re wondering how to recover a deleted Word document for free, count on Stellar File Recovery Software to recover deleted or unsaved Word documents. Stellar’s deleted or unsaved Word document retrieval software is compatible with Windows 10, 8, and older versions.
It can be infuriating to lose your Word document when you have invested so much time preparing it. Though there are numerous methods available to help you recover unsaved or lost Word data files, it makes sense to follow some good file-keeping practices that can avoid data loss in the first place.
A. Maintain diversified backup
Create multiple backups of your Word docs and store them at different locations to avoid data loss. Stellar recommends you keep saving your doc at regular intervals and create backups on multiple devices.
To prevent permanent loss of sensitive data, you can create MS Word doc backup on external hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, on-the-cloud, etc. It ensures recovery of the deleted Word Doc or Docx files easily and quickly, whenever required.
B. Enable AutoRecover Files
MS Word’s built-in AutoRecover Feature comes handy for document recovery of a Word file lost due to technical glitches such as application errors, user errors, Microsoft Word crashed errors, etc.
You must make sure that you have turned the AutoRecover feature ON to protect your Microsoft Word docs in these scenarios.
C. Avoid overloading your hard drives
Avoid storing your lost data on the same hard drive as your operating system/application directory.
In general, malware intrusions or Microsoft Word crashes impact your OS drive first, meaning all your data stored on the OS drive may get deleted. Therefore, you must ensure your Word documents are stored on a separate drive to prevent data loss.
D. Beware of user errors
Consider using advanced options such as tracked changes and versioning features in MS Word to avoid user errors and protect your files. Sometimes you can lose data while deleting or editing certain portions of your Word doc.
These advanced features track changes made to your document and helps you roll back to a particular version of your Word doc if required, without losing data.
Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processing application. So, you might face a situation where you delete a Word file and want it back later.
In this blog we shared different methods to recover Word documents lost under various situations, such as accidental deletion, a closed document without saving, corruption, malware attack, system crash, etc. This blog will help you learn how to recover deleted Word document using several different methods.
You can opt for any solution discussed in this blog to recover unsaved or lost Word document Word file. Do not forget to share your views in the comments section below.
You can recover an unsaved Word doc using any method discussed in this post. Whether your system gets shut down unexpectedly while working on the Word file or the Word program suddenly crashes due to any reason, you can use the information given in this blog to understand how to recover lost Word data files. For detailed information on lost Word file recovery, follow the methods explained in our blog on How to Recover Unsaved Word Document:
Whenever a file gets removed from a location in the Windows system, it doesn’t get lost forever. Only the file pointers that specify the beginning and the ending points of the file’s existence get deleted.
As a result, the deleted files become inaccessible to the users despite the data still available on the computer. So, it is possible to recover a deleted Word document until other data overwrites the file.
Yes. With reliable data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery for Windows, you can recover a Word document from a formatted or corrupted HDD, SSD, USB drives, and even SD cards.
The software efficiently restores all data types, such as documents, emails, folders, PDFs, photos, videos, etc. You can read our complete guide on recovering Word documents from a formatted USB drive for detailed information on the process.
Yes, the Stellar Data Recovery Software Free Edition is available to download and use. It supports data recovery from all internal and external storage drives in case of formatting, corruption, malware attack, BitLocker encrypted drives, etc. You can recover up to 1 GB of data with the free version.
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