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How to Search for an Unsaved Word Document.

Article ID: 647
Last updated: 13 Apr, 2017

*Warning: Some of these methods are designed for advanced users.  Proceed at your own risk.*

Method 1: Search for the original document

Steps for Windows 8.1 or Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows logo key+E to open Windows Explorer.
  2. In the Search This PC box, type the document name, and then press ENTER.
  3. If the Word document is listed, double-click the document to open it. If you do not see the Word document that you are looking for, go to step 4.
  4. In the Search This PC box, type *.docx, and then press ENTER.
  5. If the result list does not contain the Word document that you are looking for, continue to Method 2.

Method 2: Restart Word to look for the recovered document

  1. End all Word related processes:
    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Esc to open the Task Manager dialog box.
    2. On the Processes tab, click any instance of Winword.exe or Microsoft Word, and then click End Process. Repeat this step until you have quit all instances of Winword.exe and Word.
      Note If this is your first time using Task Manager in Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, click More details to see all processes.
    3. Close the Windows Task Manager dialog box.
  2. Restart Word and then see if the missing file is displayed in the Document Recovery task pane.By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files each time it starts.
  3. Double click the AutoRecover files one by one. If you find the lost Word file, save it immediately.

Method 3: Search for AutoRecover files

If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for AutoRecover files (.asd files). To do this, follow these step, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running. 

Steps for Word 2013

  1. On the File menu, click Open, and then click Recent Documents.
  2. Scroll to the end of all recent documents, and then click Recover Unsaved Documents.
  3. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.
  4. Save it immediately.

Steps for Word 2013

  1. Start Word 2013.
  2. Click the File menu, click Open, click Computer, and then click Browse.
  3. Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing file.
  4. In the Files of type list (All Word documents), click All Files. The backup file usually has the name "Backup of" followed by the name of the missing file.
  5. Click the backup file, and then click Open.

Search for .wbk files in all folders

  1. Refer method 1 to perform a search for *.wbk files (backup files).
  2. Scroll through the files to see the one that you are looking for.
  3. If you are not sure which file is the right one, copy and save the .wbk files to a location.
  4. Start Word.
  5. Click File > Open.
  6. Locate the .wbk files, and then open them one by one.
  7. If you find the missing file, save it immediately.

Method 4: Search for Word backup files

Steps for Word 2013

  1. Start Word 2013.
  2. Click the File menu, click Open, click Computer, and then click Browse.
  3. Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing file.
  4. In the Files of type list (All Word documents), click All Files. The backup file usually has the name "Backup of" followed by the name of the missing file.
  5. Click the backup file, and then click Open.

Method 5: Search for temporary files

  1. Refer to method 1 to perform a search for *.tmp files (temporary files).
  2. If you are not sure which file is the missing file, save all .tmp files to a location.
  3. Start Word.
  4. Click File > Open.
  5. Browse to the location that you saved the .tmp files, and then click All Files *.* . If you do not click All Files *.*, the .tmp files may not be displayed.
  6. Open .tmp files one by one.
  7. If you find the missing file, save it immediately.
For more information about how Word creates and uses temporary files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
211632 Description of how Word creates temporary files

Method 6: Search for "~" files

Some temporary file names start with the tilde (~) character. To find those files, follow these steps:
  1. Refer to method 1 to perform a search for ~*.* files (temporary files).
  2. Refer to method 5 to check the temporary files.

Method 7: Check the Recycling Bin

  1. On the desktop, open the Recycling Bin.
  2. If you find the Word document, right-click it, and then click Restore.
    Note The document is returned to its original location. If you are not sure where it is actually restored to, refer to method 1 to perform a search for it.
  3. Locate and double click the document.

From Microsoft.com Support

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/316951

Article ID: 647
Last updated: 13 Apr, 2017
Revision: 1
Views: 666
Comments: 0
Posted: 10 Nov, 2015 by Diaz J.
Updated: 13 Apr, 2017 by Stephan J.
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