How to recover a lost file in Word 2007 or in Word 2003

Microsoft Office Word documents can be lost in certain situations. For example, the document may be lost if an error occurs that forces Word to quit, if you experience a power interruption while you are editing, or if you close the document without saving changes.

This article discusses steps that you can use to try to recover the lost document.

Notes

The whole document may be lost if you have not recently saved the document. If you have saved your document, you may lose only the changes that you made since the last save.
Some lost documents may not be recoverable. Use the following methods in the order that they appear, as appropriate for your situation.
Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

Search for the original document

1. Click Start, and then click Search.
2. Click All files and folders in Search Companion on the left side of Microsoft Windows Explorer.
3. In the All or part of the file name: box, type the file name that you want to find.
4. In the Look in box, click My Computer, and then click Search.
5. If the results pane does not contain the file, continue with the following steps to search for all Word documents.
6. In the All or part of the file name: box, type *.doc, and then click Search.

If the results pane box does not contain the file, view the Recycle Bin. To view the Recycle Bin, follow these steps:

1. On the desktop, double-click Recycle Bin.
2. On the View menu, click Details.
3. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Date Deleted.
4. Scroll through the files.If you find the document that you are looking for, right-click the document, and then click Restore.

This returns the document to its original location.

Search for Word backup files

If the Always create backup copy setting is selected, there may be a backup copy of the file.

To locate the Always create backup copy setting, perform one of the following actions:

In Microsoft Office Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, and then click Advanced. The Always create backup copy setting is in the Save section.
In Microsoft Office Word 2003, click Options on the Tools menu. The Always create backup copy setting is on the Save tab.

To find the backup copy of the file, follow these steps:

1. Locate the folder where you last saved the missing file.
2. Search for files that have the .wbk extension.If there is not a .wbk file located in the original folder, follow these steps to search the computer for any .wbk files:

a. Click Start, and then click Search.
b. Click All files and folders in Search Companion on the left side of Windows Explorer.
c. In the All or part of the file name: box, type *.wbk.
d. In the Look in box, click My Computer, and then click Search.

If you find any files that have the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file, follow these steps:

a. Start Word.
b. Perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Open, click All Files *.* in the Files of type box, locate and select the file, and then click Open.
In Word 2003, click Open on the File menu, click All Files *.* in the Files of type box, locate and select the file, and then click Open.

Force Word to try to recover a file

When the Save AutoRecover info every option is selected, Word creates a temporary AutoRecover file that includes the latest changes in your document. Word searches for AutoRecover files each time that it starts, and then displays all the files that it finds in the Document Recovery task pane.

To locate the Save AutoRecover info every option, perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, and then click Save. The Save AutoRecover info every option is in the Save documents section.
In Word 2003, click Options on the Tools menu. The Save AutoRecover info every option is on the Save tab.

You can also force Word to try recovery of a document when you open it. To do this, perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Open, click to select the Word document, click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.
In Word 2003, click Open on the File menu, click to select the Word document, click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

Manually recover AutoRecover files

To search for AutoRecover files, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Search.
2. Click All files and folders in Search Companion on the left side of Windows Explorer.
3. In the All or part of the file name: box, type *.ASD.
4. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
5. Click Search.If you find any files that have the .asd extension, follow these steps:

a. Start Word.
b. Perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
In Word 2003, click Open on the File menu.
c. In the File of type list, click All Files *.*
d. Locate and select the .asd file.
e. Click Open.
f. Restart the computer.
g. Start Word.

If Word finds the AutoRecover file, the Document Recovery task pane opens on the left side of the screen, and the missing document is listed as document name [Original] or as document name [Recovered]. If this occurs, perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, double-click the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Save As, and then save the document as a .docx file.
In Word 2003, double-click the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click Save As on the File menu, and then save the document as a .doc file.

Note If you find an AutoRecover file in the Recovery pane that does not open correctly, see the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section of this article for additional information about how to open damaged files.

Search for temporary files

If the previous methods do not find the file, try to recover temporary files. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Search.
2. Click All files and folders in Search Companion on the left side of Windows Explorer.
3. In the All or part of the file name: box, type *.TMP.
4. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
5. Click When was it modified?.
6. Click Specify dates, type the from and to dates to include the time period since you last opened the file.
7. Click Search.
8. On the View menu, click Details.
9. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Modified.
10. Scroll through the files, searching for files that match the last dates and times that you edited the document.

If you find the document that you are looking for, see the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section of this article for more information about how to recover information from the file.

Search for ~ files

Some temporary file names start with the tilde (~) symbol. To find those files, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Search.
2. Click All files and folders in Search Companion on the left side of Windows Explorer.
3. In the All or part of the file name: box, type ~*.*.
4. In the Look in box, click My Computer.
5. Click When was it modified?.
6. Click Specify dates, type the from and to dates to include the time period since you last opened the file.
7. Click Search.
8. On the View menu, click Details.
9. On the View menu, click Arrange Icons by, and then click Modified.
10. Scroll through the files, searching for files that match the last dates and times that you edited the document.

If you find the document that you are looking for, see the “How to troubleshoot damaged documents” section of this article for more information about how to recover information from the file.

How to troubleshoot damaged documents

Word tries to automatically recover a damaged document if it detects a problem with the file. You can also “force” Word to try to recover a document when you open it.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Perform one of the following actions:

In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.
In Word 2003, click Open on the File menu.
2. In the Files of type list, click All Files *.*.
3. In the Open dialog box, select your document.
4. Point to the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

MORE INFORMATION

The AutoRecover feature in Word is designed to perform an emergency backup of open documents when an error occurs. Some errors can interfere with creating an AutoRecover file. The AutoRecover feature is not a substitute for saving your file.

Microsoft currently does not provide any utilities that are designed to recover deleted documents. However, some third-party utilities that are designed to recover deleted documents may be available on the Internet.

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Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

This article contents is Microsoft Copyrighted material.
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Trademarks

 


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