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How to Recover Deleted Word Documents for Free?

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    Summary: Did you accidentally delete your Word document? How to recover an unsaved word file? No matter how you lost your File, this guide will help you recover deleted Word documents.

    Everyone from college-goer to content writers to business executives knows the panic of their Word document disappearing when it’s just seconds away from being completed.

    Fortunately, there are various ways to recover Word documents lost due to accidental deletion, system crashes, or malware attacks. Here’s the simple DIY guide which explains how to recover permanently deleted Word documents in Windows 10/11.

    Is it Possible to Recover Deleted Word Files?

    Losing saved or unsaved Word documents can be terrible when you rely on MS Word for personal or professional tasks. But the recovery of deleted Word files is possible, and that too, for free.

    Moreover, following extra precautions may ensure safe and efficient recovery of Word files. First, initiate the recovery process right away when you lose a file by first checking the Recycle Bin.

    However, if you use the Shift + Delete key to remove the data, you have to switch to professional data recovery software for retrieving deleted Word files.

    How to recover permanently deleted word documents?

    Let’s dive into a few effective DIY methods to recover deleted Word document files in Windows 10/11.

    1. Search for Auto Recover Files

    Use the AutoRecover feature of Microsoft Word to recover word documents lost due to system crashes or human error. When AutoRecover is enabled, Word keeps saving your files at regular intervals while you’re working on it. This feature eliminates the need to save the document physically, and a temporary folder is created to recover the word document during any data loss situation.

    Now follow these steps to search for auto-recovered files:

    • Type .asd in the Windows search bar.
    type .asd in Windows Search
    • Select the desired file based on the ‘Date-modified’ and open the file in MS Word.
    open .asd file using MS Word
    • Then save the file at your desired location by clicking on the Save button.
    Note:  Enable ‘Autorecover’ feature in word document:  Click on File > Options > Save. Then select the minutes for the ‘Save Autocorrect information’ option and click OK to save the changes.

    2. Restart Microsoft Word

    While working on Word, if your system witnesses an unexpected crash, but the Autorecover feature is turned on, you can easily recover deleted Word documents. Follow these quick steps:

    • Try opening Word Document once your system restarts.
    • The Document Recovery panel will be visible on the left side.
    document recovery panel
    • Here you will see the Autosaved versions of your File with the timestamp.
    • Open the version you want to recover and Save it.
    document recovery pop
    • Then a pop-up will appear; choose the correct option depending upon your requirement.

    3. Search and Restore the Word Auto-Backup File

    The ‘Backup copy’ feature in Microsoft Word creates the backup copy of your File. It can recover permanently deleted Word documents during unexpected system errors, if enabled. Now, follow these steps to search for the auto backup file that has .wbk extensions:

    • Type .wbk in the Windows Search bar at the bottom of your Windows.
    open .wbk files
    • Choose the auto-backup file from the scanned list.
    • Assign a name to the file and choose the desired location for saving this file.
    • Click Save to save the file.

    4. Recover from Temporary Files

    The feature of creating temporary files while your system is in running condition works best in Windows for recovery purpose. For example, if you are opening a Word document, Windows creates a hidden temporary file at the location like – “%systemdrive%\Windows\Temp,” “%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Temp.” Then, recover deleted Word Documents from these temporary file locations.

    • Click on the Search icon and select Document.
    search .tmp files
    • Type .tmp in the search field and click Open.
    search result for temp files
    • Scroll through the scanned result and check for the files that match your requirement.

    5. Restore Deleted Word Documents from OneDrive

    If you have the OneDrive or Microsoft 365 subscription, enable the sync-up feature to save your files in the OneDrive account instead of saving them locally on your PC. Moreover, OneDrive has its own Recycle Bin to recover the permanently deleted Word Documents.

    • Go to OneDrive and sign in to your account.
    • Navigate to Recycle Bin and open it.
    • Select the Word documents you wish to recover and click Restore.

    5. Recover Word Documents from Recycle Bin

    Recycle Bin temporarily stores your deleted or lost files so that you can restore them easily within 30 days. Because after 30 days, these files are permanently removed from the system.

    • Open the Recycle Bin folder.
    open recycle bin
    • Browse through the files to check for the files you need.
    • Select the desired Word file and right-click on it to choose the ‘Restore’ option.
    restore deleted files from Recycle Bin
    • The recovered Word file is saved at its original location.

    7. Use Data Recovery Software for Windows

    Use Stellar Data Recovery for Windows to recover deleted, shift-deleted, corrupted Word Documents, photos, and videos from all types of internal and external storage drives. It ensures 100% data retrieval in all data loss scenarios like corruption, accidental deletion, and virus attack.

    image 12

    Follow these steps to recover permanently deleted Word documents using this efficient data recovery software:

    • Launch the Stellar Data Recovery for Windows after installing it.
    • In ‘Select What to Recover’ screen, select Office Documents and click Next.
    select Office document in What to Recover screen
    • Now select the location from where you want to recover and click Scan.
    select location in WDR standard
    • Preview the recovered files from the scanned list and click Recover.
    preview the recovered files and then save it
    • Now, browse the location where you want to save the recovered files.

    How to Prevent Your Word Files from Being Lost or Deleted?

    Losing the Word file in which you’ve spent so much time working can be annoying. Although there are various ways to recover deleted Word documents in Windows 10/11, taking precautions to prevent data loss scenarios will save your time and effort.

    • Enable the Autorecover feature in Word to help you recover documents lost due to user errors or system crashes.
    • Keep multiple backups of your Word documents across different devices.
    • Never store your Word documents on the same drive as your operating system, as system failure and malware attacks affect this drive and can lead to data loss. Instead, save your word files on a separate drive.
    • Use advanced options like versioning and tracked changes in MS Word to avoid user errors. These features allow you to record the changes and return to any particular version without losing data.


    Whether your Microsoft Word document was deleted or corrupted, it can be recovered regardless of how they were lost. These data loss scenarios are unpredictable and can happen to anyone anytime. Therefore, enabling the Autorecover option in Word is recommended, and even taking backup of your files regularly is recommended. Because when your system is armed with regular backups, Word file recovery is easily possible. Moreover, you can always use Stellar Data Recovery for Windows software for flawless recovery of Word files, videos, PDFs, music, and other data.

    FAQ About Deleted or Unsaved Word Document Recovery

    1. How to change the frequency with which Microsoft Word autosaves your documents?

    Go to File > Options > Save and then change the number of minutes after which your Windows will directly autosave your documents.

    2. How do I recover deleted Word files on Windows 11?

    You can use various methods to recover deleted Word documents in Windows 11.
    – Use AutoRecover Feature.
    – Recover from Windows Recycle Bin.
    – Recover Word documents using OneDrive.
    – Use Stellar Data Recovery Software for Word document recovery.

    3. Where can I find the unsaved Word document?

    You can often find the unsaved Word documents in the Temp folder stored in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Word.

    4. Does Microsoft Word backup your Word files?

    MS Word does not automatically save the backup copies of your documents unless and until you have enabled the AutoRecover feature.

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    About The Author

    Jyoti Prakash linkdin

    Problem solver and Data recovery specialist. Usually share informative articles on data recovery, database corruption and ways to recover lost data.


    1. I can’t imagine a free utility for permanently deleted word file recovery. I thanked the manufacturer for this amazing tool.

    2. Can someone help me to recover important word files from lost hard drive partition? Thanks in Advance.

      1. Hello Berry,

        Please download and Install Stellar Windows Data Recovery Software and try to recover the hard drive partition using Can’t Find Drive feature.

    3. Nice Article! I appreciate it. Using NTFS requires ejection utility be used, before data lost. Fat32 is better for casual use thumb drives.

    4. How about damage or corrupted words document after restored from recycle bin? can it be restored by this software? Thanks

      1. Hello Roy,

        As you wish to restore the damage or corrupted words documents, we recommend you to try the demo version of Stellar Data Recovery from the below mentioned link:

        Download Link

        After installing the software, please follow the below mentioned steps

        1. Run Stellar Windows Data Recovery.
        2. From Select What to Recover screen, select the type of data i.e. Everything, Documents, Folders & Emails or Multimedia Files, you want to recover.
        3. Click Next.
        4. On Select Location screen, select Can’t Find Drive from Other Locations
        5. Now click on ‘Scan’ button.
        6. In the Select Drive section, all the hard drives connected to the system are listed with their details. From this section, choose a hard drive you want to scan for lost partitions and click Search. A scan for lost or deleted partitions will be performed in the selected disk or drive.
        7. Any ‘lost partition’ detected, will be listed in the Partition Found section.
        8. From the list of partitions found, select any desired partition and click Scan to continue with the recovery process.

        To save the recovered files on the desired location, you need to register the software.

    5. For any type of deleted data recovery, I always trust Stellar data recovery products for both Windows and Mac.

      1. Hello Brian,

        Thanks for trusting and using our software.
        Please don’t forgot to follow us on twitter for more updates and offers.

        Team Stellar Data Recovery

    6. Luckily, the inbuilt word auto recovery tool recover my accidental data. The steps mentioned in the blog post helps me a lot during the recovery process. Shared this post with my friends and colleagues.

    7. Once I forgot to take backup of my important files. It was above mentioned third party software which helps to retrieve all my MS Words files. Most of my major college notes are in the word format. Further, the steps mentioned in the blog helps me a lot in recovering important notes. Nice software!

    8. I always trust and use Stellar software in case of word related documents. The new interface is also user-friendly.

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