[Quick Fix]: How to Recover Deleted Word Documents?

Summary: If your Word document got accidentally deleted, this blog will help you to retrieve it. It discusses various effective methods to recover deleted Word documents. It also mentions a reliable data recovery software that can recover Word docs and other files in a few simple steps.

Our blog reader can download the “Demo Version” of Stellar data recovery for windows to evaluate the software functionalities.

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Have you deleted or lost your Word documents? There is no need to worry as you can easily recover your Word files. In this post, we’ll be discussing several methods that can help you recover deleted or lost Word documents. But before proceeding further, let’s take a look at the reasons that may result in lost or missing Word documents.

Reasons for Deleted/Unsaved/Lost Word Documents

Here are some reasons that can lead to loss of Word documents:

  • Accidental deletion of files
  • Viruses and malware attack
  • Damage to hard drive
  • Bad sectors on the hard drive
  • System crash or abrupt shutdown
  • Formatting of the drive
  • Crashing of MS Word program
  • Disk errors

Can I retrieve a deleted Word document?

Usually, a deleted Word document can be easily retrieved from the Recycle Bin on a Microsoft Windows computer and the Trash folder on a MAC. But that is if the document has not been permanently deleted. Here, we will discuss more scenarios to recover lost or deleted word files.

Method 1. Check your Recycle Bin

The first thing to do is check the Recycle Bin folder for the deleted document. Unless your Word file has been permanently deleted or overwritten, you will find it in the Recycle Bin. To restore the deleted Word document, go to Recycle Bin, right-click on the Word document, and click ‘Restore’ or use the ‘Cut/Paste’ option.

[Note]: This method works if you haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin folder manually.

Method 2. Search for the Word Backup File

MS Word creates a backup file when the ‘Always create a backup copy’ option is selected.

 How to Recover Deleted Word Documents?

Figure: Always create a backup copy option

If the option is enabled, you can retrieve the file by following these steps:

  • Go to the folder where the missing file was saved.
  • Search for files that have the extension .wbk

These files will also have the term ‘Backup of’, followed by the name of the missing file. In case you see such a file, follow the given steps:

For Word 2010

  • Start Word.
  • Go to File and click Open.
  • Select All Files in the Type of Files dropdown list.
  • Select the backup file.
  • Click on Open.

For Word 2007

  • Start Word.
  • Click the Microsoft Office Button.
  • Click Open.
  • Select All Files in the Type of Files dropdown list.
  • Select the backup file and press Open.

For Word 2003 & 2002

  • Start Word.
  • Go to the File menu and click Open.
  • Select on the arrow in the Type of Files dropdown list.
  • Select the file and click Open.

Also check how to recover data from formatted partition.

Method 3. Use the Auto Recovery Feature

The Auto Recovery feature of Microsoft Word application automatically searches for files that can be recovered every time it starts. The results are then displayed in the auto-recovery task pane. To find the auto-recovered files, follow these steps:

  • Open Task Manager.
  • Go to the Processes tab.
  • Select all the active Word files and click on ‘End Process’.
  • Exit the Task Manager.
  • Start Word.

 How to Recover Deleted Word Documents?

Figure: Auto Recovery feature

Word will find the auto-recovered files and display them on the left side of the screen. Select the file you are looking for, double-click on it, and save it at your desired destination. If the recovery pane does not open, search for the file manually. Follow these steps:

For Word 2013

  • Open Word.
  • Go to the File menu and click Open.
  • Go to Recent Documents.
  • Scroll to the end. Click Recover Unsaved Documents.
  • Select the missing documents and click Open.

For Word 2010

  • Go to the File menu. Go to Recent.
  • Click on Recover Unsaved Documents.

For Word 2007

  • Go to the Microsoft Office Button.
  • Click Word Options.
  • Click Save in the navigation pane.
  • The path of the file in the auto recover file location box will be displayed. Note it.
  • Click Cancel and exit Word.
  • Go to the location mentioned in the path noted above.
  • Look for files with .asd extension.

For Word 2003 & 2002

  • Go to the Tools menu. Go to Options.
  • Double-click on Auto recover Files in the File Location tab.
  • Note the path. Click Cancel and close Word.
  • Go to the location mentioned in the path noted above.
  • Look for files with .asd extension.

The Search option of the Operation System can also be used to search for all .asd files.

[Note]: At times, you may not find the Auto Recovered file. And, even if you find it, the recent changes may not be updated.

Method 4. Search for Temporary Files

If the above method does not work, search for Temporary Files. These files have .tmp extension. Follow the steps below:

  • Click Start and go to the Search box.
  • Type .tmp and press Enter.
  • In the toolbar that opens, click Other.
  • Scroll through the list of documents to find your file.
  • If you can locate the file, try opening it with Word.

Method 5. Use Stellar Data Recovery Software to Recover Deleted Word Documents

It does not matter which version of MS Word you are using, Stellar Data Recovery software can recover deleted Word documents efficiently. The software can recover deleted, corrupt, or damaged Word files in three easy steps

Select -> Scan – > RecoverNot only this if your data is less than or up to 1 GB then you can also download free data recovery software for Windows to perform free recovery of data recovery up to 1 GB. However, if you wish to do unlimited data recovery you can buy an activation key of Stellar Data Recovery for Windows.

Watch the video to know more about “how to recover deleted word documents.”

Method 6. Contact Professional Data Recovery Services to Recover Deleted Word Documents

If none of the above methods works, seek help from a professional data recovery services provider such as Stellar, who has over two-and-a-half decades of experience in the domain. Whether you have lost Word documents because of a system crash or any other reason, Stellar can help you recover your file.

Here is the process followed by Stellar to recover the files:

  • Technical experts pick up the drive with the missing file from your doorstep.
  • The drive is analyzed for errors or conditions that may have led to the loss of the Word file. You are notified about the same.
  • The Word files (or any other required files) are successfully recovered and verified with you.

Tips to Avoid Loss of Word Files

  • Save the file regularly while working on it.
  • Enable the auto-save feature.
  • Always create a backup.


If you have accidentally deleted a Word file, you can retrieve it by following the methods mentioned in this post. A deleted Word document can be retrieved from the Recycle Bin or by using the MS Office Auto Recovery feature. But, if the file is permanently deleted, use professional data recovery software or opt for remote data recovery services.

Comments (1)
  1. Amit December 6, 2018

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