8 Ways to Recover a Lost Word Document (.doc / .docx)


Writing out an essay all night, pouring your brain with ideas and data, then typing it all on word documents, but before the day you have to hand it in, you suddenly cannot find the word document you saved.

You start panicking since you may have to do it all over again, and you won’t even have the time to find the data and write the essay or complete the assignment again. What if you could not do anything and lose points for the assignment being late?

Luckily for you, there are ways you could get the lost word documents back again before you start panicking you should try to recover the word document you lost.

How To Recover Lost Word Documents

recover lost word documents

01. Do This First

These steps can be used in Microsoft Office 2016 also can be applied to Microsoft Office 2010.

    1. Open the Microsoft Word Application
    2. Click the File Tab
    3. Click on the Manage Document drop-down menu
    4. Choose Recover Unsaved Documents (same goes for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint)
    5. When the document opens, save it in a place that you won’t forget or save it in OneDrive.

If these steps did not work out for you, then you should try the steps mentioned down below.

02. Doc Search Party

If you forgot where you saved your word document, you can first thing you can do is search for it where you would save word document normally. If you could not find it there, you can do a throughout search on your computer.

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer

Step 2: If you remember at least part of the word document name, enter it to the search bar, if you don’t type “.doc” in the search bar to get all the word documents you have on your computer

Step 3: That’s it, after the search is complete, look for your file.

Step 4: Save it in a place that you would remember.

02. Directly Browse Unsaved Word Documents

If you want to access your unsaved word documents directly, you can follow these steps (Notice that these steps only work in Windows Operating System)

Step 1: Go to “C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles” (change user name to your user name)


Open Run Program (Windows Key + R) and type “%appdata%MicrosoftWord“

Step 2: Look For The Word Document

Step 3: Open and Then Save the Word Document.

03. The Recycle Bin

If your search party did not get the answer, you want, you may want to take a look at the recycle bin.

If you could not find the file there, you can try System Restore and search for the time that you save the file.

Then Go to that point and save the word document.

04. Temporary Files

If you could not find any .doc or .docx files in the search you did, look for .tmp files, which are temporary files.

05. Temporary Folder

Check your temp folder for your lost word document.

To do that,

Step 1: Open Run Program (Windows Button+R)

Step 2: Type “%tmp%” , then press enter

Or Directly go to “C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Local Settings\Temp”

Step 3: Look for the word document

Step 4: If you find the file you are looking for, save it.

06. Look For .wbk Files

In your folder that you normally save word documents, search for .wbk files, which may be the word document that you are looking for.

07. WBK Search Party

Do a computer-wide search for .wbk files to see if your file got saved elsewhere.

08. Recover Lost Word Documents Using a Recovery Program

During the time your word document has been lost, it is possible that the word application could have rewritten the document. Damage to the word document structure will make the word file unreadable.

If that has happened, what you could do is use a file recovery app such as Recuva, one of the best file recovery apps out there, and it is free to use.

The Conclusion – How to Recover a Word Document

You may lose your word documents, and before you start panicking or start to do it all over again, you should try these simple methods and try to recover your lost word documents.

Some of these methods can also be applied to lost Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel files. However, after you find your file, be sure to save it in a place you won’t forget. Another best option would be uploading it to Onedrive.

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