Lost a Word document? Don't worry, you may still be able to retrieve it...

Maybe you’re reading this because you’ve been frantically Googling “how to recover a lost Word document”, or maybe you’re just preparing for the day Word crashes unexpectedly. First of all, if you’ve accidentally clicked “delete” on a file, it’s probably still in your recycling bin. However, if your program has crashed while you were writing, things could be a little more complicated. There are lots of things to take into account when trying to recover a file, such as how your machine is configured, which version of Office you’re running, and how the file was deleted. It could be that your file is unrecoverable, but stay calm and go through the following steps…

Is The Document Still Open?

If it is, you can press CTRL + Z to undo your last action. You can repeat this multiple times until you have reversed any deletion. There’s also an undo button in the top left hand corner you can click to give you the same results.

Auto-Recover or Find The Backup Version

Luckily, Office automatically saves a copy of your file in case of power cuts, crashes or unexpected program closures. If you reopen Word, you should see a list of recent files that you’ve been working on, if you’re lucky, you should be able to select the lost file from the list. Alternatively, if you know the name of your file, you can search for it in the Start menu of Windows. In Office 2010 or later, you can click the File tab → Open → Recent, and you’ll see a link at the bottom called Recover Unsaved Documents where you can see all temporarily saved documents.

Protect Your Documents

If your document is nowhere to be found after trying all of the above, there’s a good chance it’s gone for good (sorry)! There is a way to ensure that any documents you write in the future are saved as copies to prevent this happening again. Open up Word, go to Options → Save and look for “always create a backup copy”. Older versions of Office may not have this option but there will be other AutoRecover options.

Backup Services

If you don't want to run any risks, get in touch with us and we can talk to you about our remote backup services. We can take all your documents and back them up to our secure servers. Our desktop solution performs basic file backups, while our server solution is able to back up email servers, SQL databases and other more complex operations. Once installed, users are able to select the files they want to back up, and set how often they want the backup to occur. Find out more about data backup here.

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