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Have you ever accidentally quit your Word 2016 document without saving? Accidents happen. But with Word, not all is lost. We’re going to show you how to get your work back quickly.
We’ll also show you how to make the most of an Office feature called AutoRecover. Banging your head in frustration will be a thing of the past!
How to Recover Unsaved Documents
Here’s the scenario. You’re toiling away on your Word document. You hit the close button. A window pops up, asking if you want to save your changes. By mistake, you click Don’t Save. Disaster! Or is it?
First, open Word. Navigate to File > Open. Here you will see a list of all your recent documents. At the bottom, click Recover Unsaved Documents. This will open a folder that contains all of your unsaved documents from the last 4 days.
Simply double-click your file to open it. Below the ribbon, you’ll see a message that This is a recovered file that is temporarily stored on your computer. Click Save As and choose somewhere on your system to permanently store the file. Once chosen, click Save.
If you can’t get to this step and are encountering problems opening the file, it might be that it’s become corrupted. Click your file from the list and click the dropdown arrow next to Open. Here you can select Open and Repair, which will try to automatically fix any problems.
Alternatively, if you want to navigate to the unsaved documents folder manually, press Windows key + R to open Run. Input the following and press OK:
How to Use AutoRecover
To use AutoRecover, launch Word and you should see the Document Recovery panel. This will list all of the available files with their title and time stamp.
You can click each file in turn to see what it contains. If there’s any you want to save, click the dropdown arrow next to the file and click Save As… Here you can choose somewhere permanent to save your file.
Word may only offer the recovered documents on this initial launch, so don’t delay if there’s something you want to save.
How to Customize AutoRecover
AutoRecover should be enabled by default, but let’s double check that and see how to tweak it while we’re at it. Open Word and go to File > Options > Save. If it isn’t already, tick Save AutoRecover information every X minutes.
You may want to adjust the minute interval for how regularly your files are automatically saved. Something like 10 is a good idea.
Also, tick Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving.
Beneath this, you’ll find the AutoRecover file location. If you want to change it, click Browse…, go to a folder path and click OK. However, the default folder path will probably be fine.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you recover the Word 2016 file that you thought was gone forever.
Remember, nothing beats constantly saving your work. Check out our guide on how to automatically save your work in Windows for some tips on that. In addition to Office’s AutoRecover, we also introduce you to auto-save features in your browser, Outlook, Notepad, and third-party tools that will help you keep your work backed up at all times.
If you want even more help with bringing back Word files, check out our information on how to recover corrupted Office files. You’ll be resurrecting your Word files with ease.
We’ve previously shown you how to recover unsaved Excel files. This article included a method for recovering overwritten files that you might want to adopt for all your Office files: make it a habit to store your documents in your OneDrive folder. Now if you ever overwrite or delete a file, you can use OneDrive’s version history to recover it.
If you’re a Mac user, refer to this guide on how to restore files.
Has this advice helped you get a file back you thought you’d lost? Do you have your own tips to share for recovering a Word 2016 file?