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4 Methods to Recover MS Word Documents

Himanshu Goyal
Himanshu Goyal Updated On - 21 Nov 2019

Microsoft Word has become the most used utility all across the world. People use it to store digital content such as reports, stories, thesis, notes, etc. But, sometimes users can lose their Word data due to several reasons, such as:

  • Unexpected error in Microsoft Word
  • Due to corruption in Word file
  • Accidental formatting of the Word document
  • Unexpected shutdown of the system

It can be very frustrating for Word users to lose their crucial data. However, the latest versions of MS Word offer an inbuilt auto recovery feature, which means if your MS Word closed unexpectedly without saving the file, then you can find the file with the unsaved data when you again open the MS Word. But, this is not the case every time. There are cases in which you wouldn’t be able to access the file in MS Word due to corruption. Here is how you can recover corrupt/damaged word documents.

  1. Check Recycle Bin for Deleted Word Documents
  2. If you’ve accidentally deleted a Word file on your computer, then it can be found in Recycle Bin. When a user deletes something from the computer, the file is not deleted permanently; it goes to Recycle Bin from where you can recover it easily. However, it is only possible if you haven’t deleted the file permanently.

  3. Search for Word Backup Files
  4. MS Word 2007 and higher versions provide an additional option, i.e., “Always create a backup copy.” If you have enabled this option in your MS Word, then you can find a backup copy of the file.

    To locate this option in MS Word, go to “Tools” menu and click “Options.” In the opened window select “Save,” you can find this option.

    Also, in this tab, you can find the “Auto recover file location.” Go to this location and check whether the backup file of your document is available or not.
    Auto recover file location
    Note: The backup file is saved in the .wbk format, so look closely if your file is present or not.

  5. Recover from Temporary Files
  6. When you’re using MS Word for creating a document, a temporary file of this document system that holds the same data is also created. So, if your system or MS Word crashed, there is a chance that you can find your document in the temporary files.
    The location of temporary files depends on the version of Windows. Usually, these files are located at:

    C:\Documents and Settings\\App Data\Microsoft\Word

    Location of temporary files
    The temporary files are saved with .tmp extension. In the temporary folder, you’ll find some files, such as:

    • A word document file with ~wrdxxxx.tmp extension
    • A temp document file with ~wrfxxxx.tmp extension
    • An auto recovered file will be named as “AutoRecovery save of …” with .asd extension
    • A complete backup file will have the extension of .wbk.

    A temporary file can only be opened with Notepad. You’ll have to copy the important data from it, and then save it in a Word document.

  7. Kernel for Word Repair Tool
  8. If you’re still unable to repair or recover your desired Word document, then use Kernel for Word Repair tool. This Word File Repair tool is suitable for recovering corrupt/damaged word files.

    • Resolves the corruption issues of MS Word files
    • Supports multiple MS Word formats
    • Preview repaired documents before saving
    • Preserves the integrity of the document
    • Well-suited for all versions of MS Word


Using many manual methods, you can repair/recover the Word document in any Windows platform. However, even after finding the lost file, you’re not able to open the word file, then use Kernel for Word Repair tool to recover the corrupt word file.

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