By Delia / Last update March 18, 2022

Many users have had the experience of closing a document accidentally without saving, or encountered a power outage, computer freeze, Word crash and other accidents. The document that took a lot of time to edit is gone, and hours or even a day of effort is wasted, this is indeed a very anxiety-provoking situation. So is there any way to recover unsaved Word documents?

In fact, many users have issued similar queries, and Microsoft has long given some prevention and solutions. If you are also unfortunate enough to have lost a Word document that is being edited, please try the following methods before starting from scratch.

*The following steps and paths are mainly based on Word 2016, but similar methods should also apply to other versions after Word 2010.

microsoft word

Recover Word documents with AutoRecover

If Word opens a document from a local disk or a network shared folder, Word will use AutoRecover to save the changes to an .asd file, with a default save interval of 10 minutes.

To set up this feature, you can navigate to “File” > “Options” > “Save” and ensure that the "Save AutoRecover information every..." option is checked, and select a time interval of your choice if needed.

word options auto recover

Restart Word to open AutoRecover files

Word searches for AutoRecover files every time it starts. Therefore, you can try to use the AutoRecover feature by closing and reopening Word. If Word finds any automatically recovered files, the Document Recovery task pane will open and the missing document should be listed as either Document Name [Original] or Document Name [Recovered]".

word document recovery

You can then double-click to select the file name in Document Recovery and click “File” > “Save as” to save it as a .docx file.

Recover documents from .asd files manually

If the Document Recovery task pane does not appear when you reopen Word, you can also manually select to recover unsaved files.

Select "File" > "Info" > "Manage Document" > "Recover Unsaved Documents".

recover unsaved document

Then you can check in the pop-up window if there are .asd files that can be recovered.

recover asd file

If there are no .asd files under the default popup path, then you can also manually navigate to the automatic recovery file location, which is usually:


*Please replace [UserName] with your user name. Or you can check the AutoRecover file location in “File” > “Options” > “Save”.

Once you find the .asd file you want by file name and time, select it and click "Open" to open it in Word. Check that there are no errors and then confirm the restoration.

Recover Word documents with Word backup copy

If you have selected the backup copy option in Word, there may be a ".wbk" backup copy of the file.

wbk word backup copy

To check if this option is turned on, select “File” > “Options” > “Advanced”, scroll down to the Save section and check that the “Always create backup copy” option is checked.

always create backup copy

If it is, then the feature is enabled and you should be able to get the backup files in the following two folder locations:


*Replace [UserName] with your user name in these paths,.

Once you have found the backup copy of the document you want by filename and time, double-click it to open the document in Word. If you are sure the content is correct, select "File" > "Save as" to save it as a .docx document.