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How to Recover Lost/Deleted Word Documents with 6 Methods

A definite guide on how to recover lost or deleted word documents on your Windows PC and Mac. Check to get your lost word files recovered on your computer now!

Does the computer system get crashed while you are editing a word document? Important graduation thesis word file is lost or accidentally deleted? Microsoft Word documents are corrupted by a virus infection and you are unable to open or edit them? You are not alone indeed. People around the world are losing their word files every second due to diverse reasons, which has generated a World Backup Day to remind people to make a backup of word documents and other files. If you, unfortunately, don't have a backup and are wondering how to recover lost word documents right now, this post is for you.

How to Recover Lost Deleted Word Documents

Considering most word file loss is caused by accident, including mistaken deletion, system crash, and hard disk corruption, Word file backup, and document recovery are cliché for Windows and Mac users nowadays, for which how to recover lost or deleted word documents from a computer is not that a difficult question anymore. Simply read on to find out how these third-party service providers are making efforts to recover your word documents on Windows PC or Mac.

The answer is YES. You've got chances to recover your word documents that were lost or deleted, as long as they are not overwritten by other files. How to recover lost word documents on your computer then? As a matter of fact, plenty of file recovery methods are available depending on how and where you lost your documents. 

Generally speaking, there are two types of data loss situations for both Windows and Mac Microsoft Word users. One is that word documents were deleted or formatted from a hard drive by mistake, and the other is that files are lost or unsaved due to unexpected reasons like system or software crashes, computer outages, or hard drive corruption. 

No matter what situations you are facing now, you should stop using your computer immediately to avoid data overwrite. Instead, find the best method for your circumstance in the following content and start word file recovery right away.

Situation 1. How to Recover Deleted Word Documents? 

Let's first start with how to recover deleted word documents on Mac and Windows PC since it's the most common cause.

The first place you should check after you deleted word documents on your Windows computer is the Recycle Bin. However, whether you can restore deleted files depends on if the word documents have been permanently deleted by pressing the "Shift + Delete" keys or by emptying the Recycle Bin.

If fortunately, the deleted word files are still in the Recycle Bin, here is how to recover deleted word documents from the Recycle Bin on your Windows PC.

Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop to open it.

Step 2. Locate the deleted word documents you want to recover. 

Step 3. Right-click on files and select "Restore" to recover documents to their original location where you saved them before.

Restore Files from Windows Recycle Bin

However, files could be permanently removed if you can't find the deleted word document in the Recycle Bin. Under this circumstance, the metadata of your word documents is kept on the hard drive before they are overwritten by new data, which means you still get a chance to recover these deleted files from your Windows computer using reliable recovery software like iTop Data Recovery.


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For Windows 11/10/8/7

How to recover deleted word documents on Windows 7/8/10/11 quickly and efficiently? The right method is to stop making any operations on your computer, install iTop Data Recovery, and start deleted word document recovery immediately.

Why iTop Data Recovery?

iTop Data Recovery is one of the best fast data recovery tools for Windows 7/8/10/11 because it enables unlimited and quick scanning for lost files with a high successful recovery rate (up to 95%). Besides a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use operation, this software is safe and clean enough for word document recovery as it won't overwrite lost files, working for Word Document 2019/2018/2016/2013/2010/2007, etc.

How to Recover Deleted Word Documents on Windows with iTop Data Recovery? 

Step 1. Free Download and install iTop Data Recovery on your Windows PC.

Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

Step 2. Select locations on the computer you want to scan and file types to search for, and then click "Scan" to start.

Scan for Deleted Documents with iTop Data Recovery

Step 3. Filter results by checking the "Documents" file type in the left sidebar.

Locate Deleted Word Documents on Windows PC

Step 4. Select documents you want to get back and click on the "Recover" button to proceed with deleted file recovery.

For Mac users who deleted word documents and want to recover them, simply check the following solutions.

How to Recover Deleted Word Documents from Mac Trash?

Similar to the Recycle Bin of Windows, Mac places deleted files temporarily in Trash for possible recovery. To retrieve deleted word documents from Mac trash, simply open the trash can icon on your launchpad, find your deleted documents, and right-click on it to choose the "Put Back" option to restore your deleted files.

Recover Deleted Documents from Mac Trash

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Word Documents on Mac?

If the deleted document is missing in Mac Trash, how to recover lost word documents? No worries. You can try free Mac data recovery software to get them back. Here is how to recover deleted word documents on Mac with freeware-Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 1. Download Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery on your iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.

Step 2. Select a disk or a partition to quickly scan deleted or lost files on your Mac.

Step 3. Filter the files by "doc" file type, select the deleted documents, and click "Recover" to get them back.

Recover Deleted Word Documents on Mac Free

Situation 2. How to Recover Lost Word Documents? 

If your word documents are lost or unsaved unexpectedly for a system crash or some other uncontrollable situation, you'll find how to recover lost word documents in this part.

Word documents could get lost due to some human errors, in which case you might be able to recover the lost documents with the built-in feature of Microsoft Office, AutoRecover.

The tutorial below will walk you through how to recover lost word documents with AutoRecover.

Step 1. Open the Word app on your computer and select "File" from its menu bar.

Step 2. Locate the "Info" option in the left sidebar.

Step 3. Click on the "Manage Document" button and then select "Recover Unsaved Documents".

Recover Lost Documents with AutoRecover

Another case you might lose your word documents is a system crash, which will result in unresponsive software, unexpected shutdown, software force quit without saving your documents, etc. 

Microsoft engineers have made it relatively easy to recover word documents after a crash, and here is how.

Step 1. Restart the Word app to search for unsaved files automatically.

Step 2. You'll see the Document Recovery task pane opens on the left with your missing document listed as "document name [Original]" or "document name [Recovered]." 

Document Recovery After System Crash

Step 3. Select the document file and click on "Save As..." to get it recovered.

No matter what makes you turn off the Word app without saving your work, you can try to recover unsaved word documents, which is based on Microsoft Word's AutoSave feature.

If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, your changes to word documents would be automatically saved in the "Cloud" every few seconds as you work. And the program will automatically recover unsaved Word documents in most cases once you reopen Microsoft Word.

If your documents are set to be autosaved in a local disk, the changes to an unsaved document will be saved to an AutoRecover file every 10 minutes. The method to recover unsaved word documents is to:

Step 1. Open Word and click on the "File" option at the top, go to Options, and then select the Save option, after which you can see and copy the file path of all AutoRecover files.

Recover Unsaved Word Documents with AutoSave

Step 2. Past the file path to File Explorer to open the AutoRecover folder, in which you can see the unsaved word document ended with the .asd file extension.

Step 3. Copy the name of the .asd file, and then go back to the MS Word app, click on "File", then choose the "Open".

Step 4. Scroll to the bottom menu and click "Recover Unsaved Documents".

Recover Unsaved Documents in MS Word

Step 5. Paste the copied file name into the pop-up "File name" box and then open the file to recover it.

Just imagine how frustrating it is that you spent hours editing a word document only to lose it! Then what you can do to avoid losing Word documents in the future?

Here are some tips for you.

  • Get into the habit of saving while editing.

  • Do a regular hard backup manually for all your files, or just enable the "Auto Backup" feature in MS Word.

  • Storing files as well as their backups in the cloud

  • Be sure to have iTop Data Recovery installed on your computer for data recovery anytime.


How to recover deleted or lost word documents has become a common issue, especially for office workers and college students. If you have ever lost or deleted Microsoft Word documents, you'll understand how palpable the pain can be.

So be prepared against data loss caused by accidental deletion, mistaken operations, system crashes, viruses, hackers, etc. Besides regular backups, you should also get iTop Data Recovery on your Windows computer so that you can recover your documents, photos, audio files, and videos right away.

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