How To Recover A Lost AutoRecover Word Doc

By General, Random

This is a tip I hope few have to use, but found it incredibly useful when you make a mistake with not saving and botching the AutoRecover bailout option.

Let’s say you’ve been working on a word document and your laptop dies, computer auto restarts or computer somehow unexpectedly shuts down before you save your document before you saved.

(This just happened to where I lost about 2 days of work from a laptop dying. Apparently I don’t hit save as often as I thought.)

Not to fear, because because Word has an nifty AutoRecover feature that allows you see your changes since you last saved. In the left hand pane, it shows you your original document you saved two days ago and then the AutoRecover version from 5 minutes before your laptop died. Clicking the AutoRecover version, you see your more recent changes and you breathe a sigh of relief.

The problem is Word gives you some pretty darn confusing options for what to do with the AutoRecover file and it can be pretty catastrophic.

Hitting SAVE opens a window to save the AutoRecover version as a new file. Most people should save it as a new file. Since I hate multiple versions of the same doc, I thought I would just overwrite my original version with the autorecovered version. Word asked if I wanted to merge changes with the original document…. I clicked Yes…after thinking for a moment, Word and it said no changes were detected and then closed my AutoRecover file. Poof! It was gone. I thought I had salvaged my work but when I re-opened the file, all my changes were gone and I was left with my two day old original version… NOOOO!!!!

Since I closed the AutoRecover file, I couldn’t retrieve it any longer. The AutoRecover file had gone into the abyss as I botched my lifeline to my original document. After about 30 minutes of panicky googling and a change of underwear, I found how to recover your AutoRecover file….if that makes sense.

Here are the steps I took.

Hit Start, then Search. In the the search prompts on the left, you want to search for All Files or Folders.

In the search field, you want to search for *.ASD (exactly as you see it with the asterisk) as that will search for any AutoRecovered file. Go get coffee and change your shorts too as the search will take several minutes to search your whole computer.

My search showed my document as a .ASD in my recycling bin as a hidden file. Apparently Word moves your failed AutoRecover files into the recycling bin if you choose not to restore it properly. Copy it and paste the file onto your desktop. Click to open the file and Ta-Da! There your changes are.

I hope this helps someone out there!

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