How To Recover An Unsaved MS Word 2010 Document In Seconds

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word   How To Recover An Unsaved MS Word 2010 Document In SecondsThe general consensus is that most mishaps on our working with computers occur because of carelessness and an itchy trigger happy finger. It’s a bitter lesson that’s taught to us while working on documents like MS Word, MS Excel, or any other like MS PowerPoint. The lesson says – save and save early.

Even with the right MS Office etiquette in place, documents disappear from the screen before you can save them. The notorious Windows system crash or your house power on the blink could cause you to lose your work before you can click on save. Lot of times we also tend to close an unsaved document after taking a printout. So, how can you recover that unsaved MS Office document and restore your work (and also save yourself from a hair-tearing apoplectic attack)?

We turn to a little Microsoft Office 2010 feature that lets us recover document drafts in a second.

Bringing Back The Draft

Here’s my open MS Word document that will be taken through some deliberate steps to demonstrate the ‘life-saving’ feature that’s present in MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint (MS Office 2010 only).

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After closing the Word file unwittingly, open up a new MS Word document again. Go to File – Info – Manage Versions. Click on the little dropdown and select Recover Unsaved Documents. In Excel 2010 click on Recover Unsaved Workbooks or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.

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MS Word opens the location where a copy of the draft resides.

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Now, it’s just a matter of selecting the draft, opening it up as a fresh MS Word document and saving it properly using the Save As button on the business bar at the top of the document; something which we ‘forgot ‘to do the last time around. Copies of unsaved documents are kept for four days and then they are automatically deleted.

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While opening the unsaved document, you can also make use of the Open& Repair feature for troubleshooting documents that might have got corrupted or damaged.

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You can browse to the following file locations to open the file manually, depending on your operating system:

Windows 7/Windows Vista: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\<Application_Name>

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username> \Application Data\Microsoft\<App Name>

Saving of drafts takes place automatically in all applications within MS Office. The Auto Recover option kicks in if the document has been open for some period of time. You can easily change the Auto recover interval by going to File – Options – Save. The default is 10 minutes as indicated under – Save AutoRecover Information. I prefer setting it to a more frequent 3 – 5 minutes. Remember that AutoRecover may be a lifesaver, but it is not a substitute for the good habit of regularly saving your file while you are working on it.

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AutoRecover is a feature to rely on and more often than not it will help save you from all that can go wrong while working on a long document. Microsoft Office 2010 makes it slightly easier to get back an unsaved document than the earlier versions of Office. If you are still on MS Office 2007, check out how you can use AutoRecover to come to your rescue. We have a substantial lineup of other MS Word tips for you. Were you aware of this one?

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15 Comments - Write a Comment



Wow, nice work.  Didn’t know about recovering unsaved documents is now a feature in MS Office and it’s my business to know about data recovery from MS Office.

Saikat Basu

Well, it was possible in 2007 too but in a more roundabout way. 2010 has made the process a lot easier. Both depend on the Auto Recover function.


Priyanka Bhowmick

nice but I can’t see the ‘File’ option in Word. 


On Word 2007 you can click on the MS Office logo on top right position of the screen instead of File tab on MS 2010. 



It’s only Word 2010 not Word 2007 or 2003.


Pedro Parkero

“Manage versions”? You mean Word 2010 can track changes in the document and save the in different autorecover files? That’s cool if ever I mistakenly overwrite a file…

Saikat Basu

True. You can manage different versions of the document and also get to
compare different auto saved versions. You can review different
versions, delete or recover previous auto saved versions. You can literally use it to track all the changes made to the document while editing.



thats a useful share 



anything like this in Mac 2011 version


Erin Thornton

so anyone know what to do if you are writing on a website such as faceebook and accidently closed it?



I’m afraid if your browser is not set to automatically temp-save these entries for you, then you can not do anything once the text is gone.

This would be a question for MakeUseOf Answers and I think you did submit it and I couldn’t publish it.

If you would like to know how to set up your browser so that this won’t ever happen to you (again), feel free to post a new question and do include which operating system and browser, including which versions, you are using.


Paul D Pruitt


Try using Chrome or FireFox and then install Lazarus:  You need to keep the installation up to date.

I also know with Chrome if you shut down a tab with text in it you can right click on any remaining tab and choose “Reopen closed tab” and the closed tab, say of Facebook, should reappear with your typed text still there…



When i click Recover Unsaved Documents the folder of unsaved files opens ut its empty….my required document is not in there…=(

Saikat Basu

It’s not a hidden file but just try refreshing the folder. You can try searching for the file using Windows Search. Follow the steps mentioned here on this Support article.



thank you so much you are a saviour man i thought i lost all my hours of work

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