Recover unsaved documents in Microsoft Word: on Mac, Windows

Recover unsaved documents in Microsoft Word: on Mac, Windows

No one is safe from a power outage or computer crash, so you need to take every precaution to save your data when working on important documents. This can be helped by enabling and configuring your AutoSave and AutoRecover options in Microsoft Office. In doing so, you'll help to prevent data loss, and facilitate the recovery of your unsaved files.

How to enable AutoSave and AutoRecovery in Microsoft Office in Windows?

Open the desired Office program (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Project...) and click on the File menu > Options > Save > Save documents.

Make sure that the Save AutoRecover information every [_] minutes checkbox is ticked and then choose how often you'd like MS Office to automatically save your documents (select a value between 1 and 120).

How to enable file AutoRecovery in MS Office?

  • The Keep the last autosaved version if close without saving option enables you to recover unsaved documents (with minimal loss of data).
  • Once you've enabled this feature, MS Office will save copies of the last autosaved versions of your documents in the UnsavedFiles folder (located in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office).
  • To recover unsaved files, you simply have to open a new or existing document and then click on File > Info > Manage Versions > Recover Unsaved Documents.
  • Files are kept for a period of 4 days.

How to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac?

  • To recover your Word document on a Mac computer, open Finder and type "AutoRecovery" in the Search tab.
  • You'll see a list of unsaved files that can be recovered. Double-click on the file you'd like to recover and it will be opened in Microsoft Word. 
  • Finally, click on File menu and choose Save As, then select the name and your file will be saved on your desktop/documents folder.
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