Where Are Autosaved Word Files Stored and How to Recover

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Have you ever been working on an important document in Microsoft Word, only for the program to crash unexpectedly, leaving you scrambling to recover your progress? Where are autosaved Word files stored is a common question among users facing this issue. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of autosaved files, exploring where they’re stored and how you can recover them when the need arises.

Understanding Autosaved Word Files:

Autosaved Word files are a lifesaver for many users, offering a safety net in case of unexpected program closures or system crashes. These files, often referred to as “autosave,” “autorecover,” or “backup” files, are automatically generated by Microsoft Word at regular intervals to preserve your work. They serve as a safeguard against data loss, ensuring that you can retrieve your document even if the application unexpectedly shuts down.

The Problem:

Despite the convenience of autosaved Word files, locating them can be a challenge for users, especially in moments of panic when every second counts. The problem lies in the obscure storage location of these files, which may not be readily apparent to the average user. Without prior knowledge of where autosaved files are stored, recovering them can seem like an insurmountable task.

Causes of the Problem:

Several factors contribute to the difficulty users face in finding autosaved Word files. These include:

  1. Default File Location: By default, autosaved Word files are stored in a specific directory on your computer’s hard drive. However, this location is not always intuitive or easily accessible to users, leading to confusion when attempting to recover lost documents.
  2. Hidden Files: In some cases, autosaved Word files may be hidden from view due to system settings or file attributes. This can further complicate the retrieval process, as users may overlook these hidden files when searching for their documents.
  3. Incomplete Understanding: Many users are unaware of the existence and purpose of autosaved Word files, leading them to overlook this valuable feature until they encounter a situation where it becomes necessary.

Solutions for Recovering Autosaved Word Files:

Recovering autosaved Word files doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are ten solutions to help you retrieve your lost documents with ease:

  1. Check the default autosave location in the Microsoft Word settings.
  2. Search your computer for files with the “.asd” extension, which indicates autosaved Word documents.
  3. Use the “Recover Unsaved Documents” feature in Microsoft Word to access autosaved files.
  4. Explore the temporary files directory on your computer for any autosaved documents.
  5. Enable the “Show hidden files and folders” option in your operating system to reveal hidden autosaved files.
  6. Utilize file recovery software designed to recover lost or deleted documents.
  7. Restore your document from a previous version using the “Version History” feature in Microsoft Word.
  8. Check cloud storage services if you have autosave features enabled, such as OneDrive or Google Drive.
  9. Consult Microsoft support resources or community forums for additional assistance with document recovery.
  10. Consider using third-party backup solutions to automatically save and sync your documents across multiple devices.


Q: Where are autosaved Word files stored on Windows?
A: Autosaved Word files are typically stored in the “Autorecover” folder within the Microsoft Office directory on your computer’s hard drive.

Q: Can I recover autosaved Word files on a Mac?
A: Yes, autosaved Word files can be recovered on a Mac by accessing the “Autorecovery” folder within the Microsoft Office directory.

Q: How often does Microsoft Word autosave files?
A: By default, Microsoft Word autosaves documents every ten minutes, but you can adjust this interval in the program settings.

Q: Are autosaved Word files encrypted?
A: No, autosaved Word files are not encrypted by default, but you can encrypt them manually if desired for added security.

Q: Can I recover autosaved Word files if I didn’t save the document manually?
A: Yes, autosaved Word files can be recovered even if you did not save the document manually, thanks to the program’s autosave feature.

Q: What should I do if I can’t find my autosaved Word file?
A: If you’re unable to locate your autosaved Word file using traditional methods, consider using specialized file recovery software or seeking assistance from Microsoft support.

Technical Terms Explained:

  1. Autosave: A feature in Microsoft Word that automatically saves documents at regular intervals to prevent data loss in the event of program crashes or system failures.
  2. Autorecover: The process by which Microsoft Word retrieves and restores autosaved documents that were previously unsaved or lost due to unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Temporary Files: Files created by software applications, including Microsoft Word, to store temporary data during the editing process. Temporary files may include autosaved versions of documents.

Tips for Managing Autosaved Word Files:

  1. Regularly Check Autosave Settings: Ensure that autosave settings are enabled and configured to your preferences in Microsoft Word to prevent data loss.
  2. Backup Important Documents: In addition to autosaved files, regularly back up important documents to external storage devices or cloud services to minimize the risk of loss.
  3. Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with the features and capabilities of Microsoft Word, including autosave and recovery options, to effectively manage your documents and mitigate potential issues.


In conclusion, understanding where autosaved Word files are stored and how to recover them is essential for every Microsoft Word user. By familiarizing yourself with the default storage location, exploring recovery options, and implementing best practices for document management, you can ensure that your work remains safe and accessible, even in the face of unexpected challenges. With the solutions provided in this guide, you can confidently navigate the process of recovering autosaved Word files and minimize the impact of data loss on your productivity and workflow.