How to recover an unsaved Word document

You've been working on your project for an hour, and then suddenly, without warning, your computer freezes, and you realize that you didn't click the "Save" button in Microsoft Word, that all your work is in danger of being lost, and that you're completely overwhelmed by panic.

Sometimes the scenario is simpler and dumber than that. You finish your work in Word, you click the close button, and when the little dialog box asks you if you want to save the changesyou click on the wrong button of course, namely "No.".

Any self-respecting Microsoft Word user has lost a document at least once in his life. "Is it possible to retrieve my document?!" is the first thing that comes to mind when this happens.

Here is a solution you can use to recover an unsaved Word document :

The document version manager

Microsoft Office (from 2010), has a very useful feature that allows you to retrieve the latest version of an unregistered document. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Open Microsoft Word, if you have not already done so, and click on the "File", then click on  "Information.
  • At the bottom of the information page you should have a section entitled "Versions. This section may contain links that you can click on to retrieve your document.
  • On the other hand, if the mention "There is no previous version of this file. is displayed, so don't panic and click on the "Manage versions located on the left of this mention then on "Recovering unregistered documents".
  • A dialog box will open offering you to choose a backup file. Click on the file of your choice to retrieve its contents.
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In the event that no backup file is available in the default location suggested by Microsoft Word, you can search your computer for all files with the ASD extension. To do this, click on the Windows start menu, then on computer and in the search bar (at the top right) type  *.asd .

Once you have located one or more ASD files, you can open them with Microsoft Word by going to the "Manage Versions" button and clicking on "Recover Unsaved Documents" as explained earlier.

Configure automatic recovery

By default Microsoft Word automatically registers  the documents you are working on every 10 minutes to allow you to recover them in case of incidents. Some people may find this time interval too wide and feel that it may cause them to lose valuable information. Microsoft gives you the ability to customize this setting:

Still using the menu "Fileclick on "Options" then go to the section "Registration" in the dialog box that opens. You should see the line "Record automatic recovery information every 10 minutes. It is up to you to enter the number of minutes that suits you best in the field provided. Lowering it by half and setting it at 5 minutes should be quite reasonable.

One last little tip 

The last piece of advice we can give you, and which we have certainly told you many times, but which we will remind you once again, is that prevention is better than cure: save and save each document as it is created, but also several times as your work progresses.

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