If Microsoft Word Crashes, Do This Right Away to Recover Unsaved Work

Ben Stegner 30-05-2017

Is there anything worse than having to re-do work you’ve already done? Spending hours on a paper only to have Microsoft Word crash when you’re about to finish is crushing. While you should get into the habit 10 Essential Microsoft Word Routines You Have to Know The word "routine" is the very image of boring. Except when it comes to a productivity app like Microsoft Word. Every second saved adds to the comfort of using it for our daily needs. Read More of pressing the Ctrl + S shortcut regularly, thankfully Word automatically saves backups in case of crashes.


Next time Microsoft Word crashes, try this method to recover unsaved documents.

Open a File Explorer window, then navigate to This PC. In the search box in the upper-right, type .asd. This is the file extension The File Extension Guide: How to Fix and Batch Rename Your Files Do you have broken files with missing or messed up file extensions? Adding the right extension could make those files readable again. We'll show you how to mass edit file extensions. Read More for Microsoft Word backups. Give your computer a minute to search for anything with that extension. If it finds a file, that’s almost certainly the recovery copy of the document you just lost.

Double-click it to open it back up in Word. If this doesn’t work, open Word and go to File > Open to access it manually. Then, of course, you should save the file to another location so you don’t lose it. Make sure to perform this search right away and don’t reboot your computer, so that Word doesn’t discard the saved copy.

This brings up an important distinction between two Word recovery functions. With AutoSave, which is the old method of document protection, Office would simply save changes to your file every few minutes so you didn’t lose them. Now, Office apps keep track of your changes in a temporary file, but it’s only used if Word crashes. If you close Word normally, and say No when asked if you want to save changes, your edits are lost.

Office 2013 and newer versions include a function to recover unsaved documents, which can help in the above situation. Head to File > Open > Recover Unsaved Documents (at the bottom of the window). Really, though, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about this. Hit Ctrl + S regularly to save changes you’ve made, and use the above recovery method to get your changes back if Word crashes. It’s not worth taking a chance on Word’s auto-recovery just because you forgot to save regularly.


Deleted an Office file by mistake? Fortunately, you can recover files you’ve trashed How to Recover Deleted Office Files Lost a crucial file and need to get it back? These tips will help you recover your Office documents in no time at all. Read More , too.

Have you ever lost a Word document and hours of work with it? Were you able to recover a file using one of these methods? Tell us about it below!

Image Credit: Laborant via Shutterstock

Related topics: Data Recovery, Microsoft Word.

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  1. Zoya
    May 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you soooo so much it saved my hours.