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Summary: MS Office Word is the bloodline of many organizations with its simple data drafting capabilities but what if an unexpected crash or error occurs? You must look to recover your Word documents. Our blog discusses 4 easy methods to help you recover MS Word documents i.e. using Recycle Bin, backup files, temporary files and an automated solution. Try out the Kernel for Word Repair tool today for quick and efficient recovery.

Microsoft Word stands as the ubiquitous utility worldwide, serving as the primary choice for storing digital content like reports, stories, theses, notes, and more. However, on occasion, users may encounter data loss within Word, often attributable to various factors, including:

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

Experiencing data loss can be immensely frustrating for Microsoft Word users. Fortunately, recent iterations of MS Word come equipped with a built-in auto-recovery feature. This means that if your MS Word application unexpectedly closes without saving your file, you can often retrieve the document containing unsaved data when you reopen MS Word. However, it’s important to note that this recovery option doesn’t apply universally, as there are instances where you might be unable to access a corrupt or damaged Word file. In such cases, here is a guide on how to recover corrupt or damaged Word documents.

    How to recover MS Word documents?

    Follow below to know about the best methods to recover MS Word documents in detail.

  1. Check Recycle Bin for deleted Word documents
    If you’ve inadvertently deleted a Word file from your computer, it can often be retrieved from the Recycle Bin. When a user deletes a file, it isn’t permanently removed; instead, it is moved to the Recycle Bin, making it easily recoverable. However, it’s important to note that this recovery is only possible if the file hasn’t been permanently deleted.
  2. Moreover, in case you are using Windows 10, version 2004 or later, you can also opt for the Windows File Recovery tool. It is also one of the ideal solutions to recover your Word files that you have deleted previously. For hands-on experience, download the Windows File Recovery Tool.

  3. Search for Word backup files

    Starting with MS Word 2007 and its subsequent versions, there’s an additional feature available: “Always create a backup copy.” If you have activated this option in your MS Word settings, you can locate a backup copy of your file, offering an extra layer of data security.

    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.

    Additionally, in this “Save” tab, you can also locate the “Auto recover file location.” By navigating to this location, you can verify whether a backup file of your document is available or not. This can be a valuable resource for recovering your work in case of unexpected issues or data loss.
    Auto recover file location
    Note: The backup file is saved in the .wbk format, so look closely if your file is present or not.

  4. Recover from temporary files

    When you are working on a document in MS Word, the system often creates a temporary file that mirrors the data in your document. This temporary file serves as a backup. In the event of a system crash or an MS Word application crash, there is a chance that you can retrieve your document from these temporary files, helping to mitigate potential data loss.

    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.
  5. 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.

  6. Kernel for Word Repair tool

    If the manual methods to repair a Word file do not yield the desired results, and you still cannot access the content of the Word file, consider using Kernel for Word Repair Software. This specialized software is designed to efficiently repair corrupted or damaged Word files, ensuring that you can recover your content and save a healthy Word file.

    • It can repair multiple DOC/DOCX files at the same time.
    • The user-interface of the software is minimal to keep the repair process simple.
    • It maintains the font, size, table, images, and other features of a word file.
    • It supports all the versions of MS word files from the latest 2019 to the earliest ones.
Bonus: Recover a Word document after a sudden crash

At times, your system may crash unexpectedly and you may lose your Word document in process. So, we are here to help you recover your Word document after a crash.

  • Reopen Microsoft Word and tap on “Show Recovered Files”
  • From the AutoRecover list, check for your document. If it is not present there, tap on the File menu.
  • Click on Options and select Save.
  • Copy the AutoRecover file location file path. Then you need to paste that into the File Explorer.
  • Access the folder with the name of your unsaved document.
  • Copy the .asd file with the latest date and time.
  • Repeon Word and go to the File menu.
  • Tap on Open and click on “Recover Unsaved Documents.”
  • In the new folder, paste the copied file.
  • Get your lost document back by opening the file.
Tips to Preserve your Microsoft Word Documents

Here are a few tips to follow to counter the challenge of recovering your Word docs and be safe with your data.

  1. Auto-save function

    You can use the auto-save feature within Word. This feature will auto-record your inputs and all modifications that will help you minimize the short-term consequences of unexpected data loss.
  2. Utilize cloud storage solutions
    Cloud storage services provide an additional security layer via server backups. It also helps in easy document access across multiple devices.
  3. Generate backup copies

    It is always wise to create backup multiple versions of your documents as a precautionary measure against data loss. Microsoft Word provides an in-built mechanism for this process. For this, do as follows:

    • From the FIle menu, tap on Options.
    • Go to Advanced.
    • From the Save section, go for the option “Always create backup copy.”
  4. Diversify storage locations
    Lastly, you can consider storing your files in multiple locations, such as OneDrive, your desktop, and external storage devices like USB flash drives.


While there are numerous manual methods available for repairing and recovering Word documents on Windows platforms, there may still be cases where you find the lost file but are unable to open it successfully. In such situations, it’s advisable to employ Kernel for Word Repair tool, which specializes in recovering corrupt Word files and can often help you regain access to your important documents.

Kernel for Word Repair