Recovering lost documents

It is now easier to recover a Microsoft Word 2010 document if you close your file without saving or you want to review or return to an earlier version of the file you are working in.
  • AutoRecover files are files that save when Word locks or crashes. 
  • AutoSave files are files that Word saves routinely while you are working on a document.


If Word crashes while you have documents open:
  • Word saves open files and generates a name for the file. ~Wra####.asd, where #### is a number generated randomly by Windows.

When you start Word, it:
  • searches for any .asd files. If it finds any, it: 
  • renames each .asd file to [document name].wbk 
  • opens all AutoRecover files in the Document Recovery Pane.

It deletes the [document name].wbk file when you do either of the following:
  •  Save the recovered file, or 
  • Close the recovered file without saving it.


AutoRecover files are saved as [name].asd files. You should set a location for these files so that you know where they are when you need them.

1                     Click File, Options, Save.
2                     Ensure the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box is ticked. This will save documents to use if your system crashes
3                     In the Minutes field, specify how often you want the program to save your data – if you work consistently in a document, 5 minutes is a long time.
4                     Ensure the Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving checkbox is ticked.
5                     In the AutoRecover file location, set a path. It can be wise to nominate your own AutoRecover path so that you remember where it is.


You can choose to keep the last AutoSaved version of a file in case you accidentally close that file without saving, so that you can restore it the next time that you open the file. Also, while you are working in your file, you can access a list of the AutoSaved files for your current session from the File tab, Backstage view.

Recover new versions of a file in Office 2010
  1. Click File, Recent, Recover Unsaved Documents. You will find this right at the bottom of your screen on the right hand side. OR
  2. Click File, Info, Manage Versions, and select your required version from the list. Word will look in its UnsavedFiles folder. This is not the same path as the path for your AutoRecover files. A window will open with your AutoSaved drafts.
  3. Select the file and then click Open. When the document opens, you will be given a warning.
  4. Save this file immediately to its correct name and location.

Browse to find lost files that have not been saved (AutoSaved)

You can also browse to one of the following file locations to open the file, depending on your operating system. Files in this folder will be kept for four days after creation.
  • Windows 7/Windows Vista. C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles 
  • Windows XP, C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles 
These file locations cannot be changed.


Find and restore previously saved files (AutoSaved)

To open the last AutoSaved draft.

1                     Open the file that you were working with.
2                     Click File, Info, Versions.
3                     Click the version required. The document opens.
4                     In the business bar at the top of the file, observe the message and click the appropriate response. 

  • Restore will overwrite any previously saved versions with the last AutoSaved version of your file.
  • If you have saved a version after the AutoSave, you will be given the option to Compare.

Files in this folder will be kept for four days after creation or until you next modify the file, whichever is earlier.

Browse to find previous versions (AutoSaved)

You can also browse to one of the following file locations to open the file, depending on your operating system:
  • Windows 7/Windows Vista, C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\ 
  • Windows XP, C:\Documents and Settings\ \Application Data\Microsoft\

All AutoSaved files are deleted when you close the program unless you have enabled Keep the last AutoSaved version if I close without saving, which will keep the last AutoSaved version. 


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  2. If you have used any of the information, please provide backlinks to this blog, thanks.

  3. Greetings! I got a problem here, I already open the asd file but all my picture in the MS word are gone, later I open the file again it said the file is not supported by MS word.

  4. This link is helpful.
    If you still can't open the file, you can try manually changing the filename extension from .asd to .docx

    1. This article talks about losing images. I am guessing that your file is corrupt in some way.

  5. Recovering lost documents is very important!!

    Thank you!!

  6. Christine, thanks for your helpful blog. Regrettably, my file is not in either of the folders you suggest. I basically saved a Word file "A1" as a new name "A2", to create a copy. I then realised I didn't really need most of the new content from the last few hours in the new copy A2, so deleted the new content and closed the file. Only when I then reopened the original file A1 (to re-access all the recent work) did I realise I hadn't saved it for ages (I normally do!), and all the recent work was gone.

    Any thoughts?


  7. PS I have the autosave unsaved & closed documents option switched on, so was hoping I could find a .asd file somewhere, but to no avail.

  8. You don't say what version you are using. Did you look for the file via File, Info, Manage Versions or File, Recent, Recover Unsaved Documents. If I recall correctly there are files other than .asd, but I do not recall what the suffix is. I have checked a few other Word blogs and they do not mention the file name either. Maybe we never knew.

  9. God bless you and this blog. This info just saved my life (well, at least a few hours of it since this told me how to find my Word 2010 doc version that was there before I CLOSED W/O SAVING!!) Thank you.

  10. Great post! Been reading a lot about recovering data like this. Thanks for the info here!