How can I recover a longer Word document I overwrote with a shorter one?

Joyce Meade April 3, 2013

I accidentally saved a Word document using the same name as a longer document, previously saved. Can the longer one be recovered?

  1. Mark mohan
    May 10, 2013 at 10:11 am


    You can take a chance with Kernel for Word repair Software. It completely restores all the data including, images, tables, bulleted lists, chart and even complete formatting.The tool has got some of the most stunning features that make entire MS Word file repair operation lot easier and quicker.

  2. Bon Maria
    April 16, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Any overwritten document or file can not be recovered.

  3. maria cater
    April 7, 2013 at 2:54 am

    so sorry to tell u that, overwritten data can't be recovered,

  4. Alan Wade
    April 3, 2013 at 9:54 am
  5. ha14
    April 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

    How to Recover Earlier Versions of Word Documents

  6. Alan Wade
    April 3, 2013 at 8:06 am

    If you have system restore turned on then right-click the file and click Restore previous versions.
    Depending on the restore points you should be able to select an earlier version of the file.

    • Oron Joffe
      April 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

      System restore preserves important system files (hence the name), but NOT data.

    • Alan Wade
      April 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

      You need system restore turned on to enable the Restore Previous Versions option otherwise you will not have that option.

    • Paul Pruitt
      April 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Oron, with Vista Business versions and Windows 7 what you said is not true. Those versions make a "System Snapshot" when a restore point is made. This snapshot makes a kind of record on the "block level" of both system and non-system files. When any file is subsequently changed the system know it and records the changes and makes available the supposedly complete copy of the previous versions of file called a "Shadow Copy". Just as reported if you right click there will be a choice called "Restore previous versions". If you are lucky, you have done a System Restore Point before you overwrote the file and can restore your file from the Shadow Copy understanding of the OS between the difference between your new version and the old version.

      Indeed, in some XP environments where there is a Windows 2003 Server involved, the administrators can turn on the Restore Previous versions system. They also have to install the Shadow Copy Client,, on the XP machines to make that work.

      There is more...With Windows Vista Home versions the Shadow copies of the files are still created, but there is no client to view them. Luckily, there are some freeware clients for viewing them. Shadow Explorer,, is excellent. Another is my piece of freeware called Vista Previous Version Recoverer, My piece of freeware has a currently unresolved issue of only working for the C: drive.

      In fact even in Windows 8, the Shadow Copy Service exists and is turned on by default. The restore previous versions system is deprecated though and again you need a client, like my Vista Previous Versions Recoverer or Shadow Explorer.

      Microsoft explains that the restore previous versions system was buggy and didn't work well along with requiring too much overhead and that is the reason it is deprecated. In my experience indeed Windows 8 previous version files recovered with my client have large mysterious regions of the files filled with null characters, a problem that didn't seem to exist before, so they are perhaps not investing in continuing to make it work.

      Finally there are two other avenues for recovering previous versions of files. One is to look for temporary version of your file and the other is to look for deleted (usually also originally temporary versions) of the file. The latter is handled by the freeware PC Inspector FIle Repair: If your file has a docx not a doc extension, then you need the commercial programs, like Recover My Files,, or the Word file dedicated, Word Regenerator, (my affiliate link) or (the original website).

      Finally for temporary versions of the file still stored on your machine, my freeware Word Recovery app:, works when you click on the "Restore from Backup" button, which is a kind of a misnomer as neither you nor the computer purposely backed up the file but it still works looking for temproary versions fo your file that end with the extension .tmp, .wbk or .asd. Apparently you should look also in files named ~*.* as explained here:

Ads by Google