5 Methods to Recover Deleted Microsoft Word Documents

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Here are five methods you can use to recover deleted Microsoft Word documents. If you work with Word documents consistently, you may be used to the disappointment of losing important files. Whether you delete a new version instead of an older version or succeed with a computer failure while working with important documents, there are various data recovery methods that can help you restore your Word files.

Recovering deleted Word files is not as complicated as it seems. In fact, let us explore these different methods to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Is it Possible to Recover Deleted Word Files?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted Word files. By choosing the correct recovery tool and following specific steps and precautions, you can easily locate your files. It is worth noting that Word documents are often lost due to careless or emergency deletions, which are usually not noticed until later. If you know that you have lost files and want to restore them, it’s important to start the recovery process as quickly as possible. In many cases you can find your files in the repository or use a simple handmade method to get them. If these methods don’t work or you use a short Shift + Delete to delete files, then you can use professional recovery software.

Method #1: Search for AutoRecover files

Microsoft Word’s AutoRecover tool can recover lost documents due to human or system mistake. With Autorecover, Word will save your files for typical periods while you work. This eliminates the need to manually store them and create a temporary folder for data recovery. 

To enable automatic recovery, follow these steps:

  • Go to File < Options < Save < Save automatic recovery data every _minute

There are other ways to find lost files using AutoRecover. If you select the “Create Backup Copy Always” option, Word will automatically create a backup of your files using the.wbk extension to locate these backup files. Follow these steps:

  • Go to File < Options < Save < Auto File Location
  • Go to the mentioned AutoRecover location and open the.wbk backup file just like a regular Word document.

Bonus: Recovery from temporary files

AutoRecover also allows you to search for previous versions of your Word document. If your file does not appear even after enabling autoRecover, you can search for.asd files manually. To recover.asd file, follow these steps:

  • Open file tab in MS Word
  • Go to Document Management and choose to recover unsaved documents.
  • Your file should appear in the dialog if it has been lost recently.
  • Open the recovered Word document and click the Save as button.

Method #2: Restart Word to open AutoRecover file

If you enable AutoRecover and have an unexpected computer failure problem, no need to worry. Word will automatically restore the documents you are running on to restore your files. Follow these instructions:

  • Restart your device and when Word returns online you will find the document recovery panel on the left.
  • At the bottom of this panel, you will see the automatically saved version of your file, along with the timer.
  • Open the version you want to recover and you’re done.

Method #3: Recover Deleted Word Documents from OneDrive

You can now save your documents to the cloud using OneDrive, Microsoft’s file hosting and synchronization services to use this feature. You need to be a user of oneDrive. Your files are stored in onedrive, allowing you to access files from anywhere and collaborate easily. By enabling automatic saving, your documents are encoded by authors every few seconds while you’re working.

OneDrive has its own recyclable container, which makes it possible to recover deleted files unintentionally using the short Shift + Delete option.

To restore deleted Word documents in OneDrive, follow these steps:

  • Go to OneDrive and log in.
  • Select the recyclable tank in the navigation panel
  • Select the Word document you want to recover and click the Restore button.

Method #4: Check the recycling tank.

Another powerful way to recover Word document files that have been deleted by mistake or deliberately is to use a recycling tank. This temporary folder stores your files and you can recover recently lost files easily without much effort.

To recover Word files from the recycling tank, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Recycle Tank icon on your desktop.
  • When the folder opens, find the file you want to recover. If you can’t find it by name, search for files with DOC, DOCX and DOT extensions.
  • Select your file. Right-click and select Restore to restore the file to its original location.

Method #5: Data Recovery Software for Windows

WinfrGUI is a user-friendly data recovery tool that delivers professional results. Designed with an average user in mind. It allows you to recover lost data without using expensive professional services.

To restore deleted Word documents on Windows using WinfrGUI, follow these steps:

  • Go to the official website and download WinfrGUI, the GUI version of the Windows File Recovery (developed by Microsoft Corporation).
  • After installation, open WinfrGUI.
  • Specifies the address storage device of the deleted Word document.
  • Configure Word Document for Recovery
  • Start the recovery process by clicking the specified button.

WinfrGUI has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making it accessible to users at all levels of expertise. It uses an advanced recovery algorithm to scan your storage device carefully to see the rest of the deleted files. Through this process, it will rebuild and restore your Word documents to their original condition smoothly. Winfr GUI supports various storage devices ensuring compatibility between different drives.

How to protect your Word file from loss or deletion?

Losing a Word file after spending a lot of time working with it can be disappointing. While there are available methods to recover lost or deleted files, it is important to use methods that help prevent data loss. Here are tips and techniques to consider:

  • Enable AutoRecover: This feature in Word is very useful for recovering files that have been lost due to system failure, user errors or program problems. Make sure Autorecover is enabled to protect your files in these situations.
  • Maintain versatile backups: In order to completely prevent data loss, it is important to maintain multiple switches of your Word files. Save your documents for regular periods and make backups on various devices. Save files on external drives and cloud storage solutions can greatly reduce the risk of data loss.
  • Do not overload your drive: Do not keep your files on the same disk as your software or operating system. A system failure or malware attack often affects this drive for the first time, which may cause data loss. Save your Word files on a separate drive to minimize this risk.
  • Watch out for user errors: Use advanced options such as updating and tracking changes to protect your files and avoid user error. These features can help save changes made to your documents and allow you to re-use specific versions without losing data.


Word document loss can occur for various reasons, and while it is important to take steps to protect your files, data loss can sometimes be unpredictable. In such situations, the method of data recovery mentioned in this article is reliable, secure and easy to use. By following simple steps, you can recover lost or deleted Word files for free.

Relevant Reading: Is It Possible to Restore a Deleted Excel Worksheet?