As Microsoft Office users, we have all endured the loss of unsaved documents, which also means loss in hours or sometimes even days of hard work due to a power failure or system crash. Not all hope is lost as Office features an auto-recovery option where it automatically saves the document at regular intervals in case of any mishaps.
This feature is available in Office 365 and earlier versions as Microsoft Office 2016 was used in this guide. Office is also equipped with the option to create backup copies of your documents that are stored alongside the original file for file restoration in the future. Let us guide you on how you can recover, restore, and backup unsaved documents in Office on Windows 10.
How to recover lost files in Office (Windows 10)
- Open the Start menu and type word in the search bar. Click on the Microsoft Word app to proceed.
- Select the Blank document to proceed.
- Select the Files tab on the top left corner of the window.
- Switch to the Info tab by clicking on it in the Files menu.
- Click on the Manage Document option and select Recover Unsaved Documents to continue.
- Select the last unsaved document from the list (the files would be saved in ASD format) and click on Open.
- This would load the latest version of the file that Word managed to store before your system crashed or the power went out. Keep in mind that this might not contain the latest changes that you might have made to it and could be missing a few lines to a few paragraphs depending on when it got saved last. Select Save As from the notification bar to save the document as a finished Word file.
- Type in a file name and click on Save to finish the process.
- You can now view the Word file as now it is stored permanently on your PC.
Alternatively, you can also use another method to auto recover files in Office on Windows 10.
- Click on Open in the Files tab on Word.
- Select the Recover Unsaved Documents option in the middle of the screen at the bottom.
- Simply select the ASD file and click on Open to view the file. Now you can repeat the instructions from Step 7 above to save the unsaved document as a permanent Word file on your PC.
How to minimize data loss and create backup copies
- After opening Word or any other Office program, scroll down to click on the Options menu at the bottom left corner of the home screen.
- Switch to the Save tab.
- Now you need to ensure that the two boxes at the top are checked i.e. Save AutoRecover information every XX minutes and Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving.
- Switch to the Advanced tab and scroll down to check the box that says Always create a backup copy. Now, this would create a backup copy of your Word files in a WBK format in the event of file corruption or data loss. Please keep in mind that these files will be stored in the same location as the original file as “Backup copy of (File Name).wbk”. Also, the latest changes will not reflect in the backup as this works similarly to the auto-recovery feature.
In order to minimize the loss of data, simply change the Save AutoRecover information every XX minutes value to 1 instead of 10 in the step 3. Word will now store data with an interval of 60 seconds instead of 10 minutes as specified earlier. This can drastically reduce the amount of data loss in case of an accident.
You can also access the autosaved files directly by copying the path address from the AutoRecover file location menu. Click on OK to save the changes.
Now open up the File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E. Paste the path in the address bar as shown and press Enter.
Right-click on the auto-recovery file that you wish to open and Open with Word to recover.
You can backup, restore, and recover unsaved documents in Office on Windows 10 by just following a few simple steps. No panic! If you have any other data recovery related concerns then feel free to let us know in the comments section and we will try to cover them for you.