How To Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

An unfortunate moment can come anytime. Let’s say, you just closed an unsaved Word document after spending hours working on it. But actually it is not a real bad luck as there is a solution for this. If you are using Mac OS, there is a possibility to recover your unsaved Word that definitely can save your neck! How to recover unsaved Word document on Mac?

There is a specific feature on Mac that enables you to find unsaved document either from Temporary Folder, Recovered items folder, or Auto Recovery folder. Even if you are a careful person who never makes such a mistake, knowing how to recover unsaved Word is necessary. At least you can help unfortunate family or friends.

3+ Ways of How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

Despite the fact that Microsoft Word is developed by Microsoft, Mac users can take advantages from this software. Microsoft Word for Mac is just as excellent as Word for Windows. You can enjoy variety of features and tools to create a Word document. Just like using Word on Windows, there is a chance of losing unsaved document while you are on progress.

Accidentally losing your unsaved Word document is not the end of the world. There are 3+ ways that you can do to recover unsaved Word document on Mac. According to available features on Mac, here are three ways to get your Word back.

  1. Recovered items folder

Recovered items folder is a great feature on Word for Mac. This folder often saves Word documents that have not yet saved by users. Recovered items folder locates in Trash of your Mac. If you accidentally close unsaved Word document, this is the first place to search.

To recover documents from Recovered items folder is pretty easy as it requires 2 steps only. Follow the instructions below:

  • On your Mac computer, open Trash. You can find the icon on the dock.
  • Find a folder named Recovered items. Double click to open the folder.
  • Search your unsaved Word file.

However, this method does not always work. If you cannot find unsaved Word document in Recovered items folder, then try the next solution.

  1. Temporary folder

Aside from the recovered items folder, Mac also features temporary folder. It can be a location where your unsaved Word document is temporarily saved. If the first method does not work, the second method can be an alternative to recover your Word document.

To find temporary copies of an unsaved document in the temporary folder, you need to follow these instructions:

  • On your Mac computer, go to Finder.
  • Click Go, then click Go to folder.
  • Navigate your pointer to directory:/private/var/folders
  • Open Temporary items folder in this directory. Spot files titled Word Work File in the folder.
  • As you do not know which Word document to recover, you have to move any Word Work File to your desktop.
  • To open the files, drag any Word Work File from desktop to Word for Mac icon.
  • At the point, you find the desired Word document, immediately save the file. Click File, choose Save As to save the document to your desired location.

There is another way to recover the unsaved document from the temporary folder. If the steps above do not work for you, try to recover from temporary folder using these steps:

  • On your Mac, go to Applications then choose Utilities. Next, double click Terminal.
  •  Enter open $TMPDIR in Terminal. You’ll be directed to TMP folder that usually keeps file temporarily.
  • In this folder, open another folder titled Temporary Items. There, you may find abundant Word files. Choose one that is possibly your desired document. Right-click and open with Microsoft Word.
  • If you finally find the needed document, save the file by clicking File, then Save As. Save to your desired location.

In most cases, this method is effective to recover your unsaved Word document. What if this method does not work? Don’t worry, there is one last way that can help recover the unsaved document.

  1. Auto Recovery

Auto Recovery is your last hope to bring back the document. Basically, auto-recovery is designed specifically to save the user’s progress in a Word document. It usually saves progress at specific intervals, which is normally 10 minutes. This feature avoids you from losing everything in case your Mac experience a crash or shutdown.

To recover a Word document from Auto Recovery is simple. Just follow these instructions and you will get the unsaved document back:

  • First, close all Microsoft Word windows.
  • Open Finder on your Mac, choose Go menu. Click Home.
  • Navigate your pointer to Documents, then click double click Microsoft User Data to open.
  • Search files with a name that begins with AutoRecovery save of. You may see some files using this name. Among those files, try to find your desired Word document.
  • On a file that you suspect to be the one you are looking for, rename and add .docx extension to its name. This allows you to open the file with Word for Mac.
  • After renaming the file, double click to open.
  • At this point, save the correct file that you want to recover. Click File, then choose Save As. Make sure to save in the desired location.
  1. Recover permanently deleted Word document

Accidentally closing unsaved Word document is just as bad as permanently deleting a document. This ever happens to anyone, including you. If you ever accidentally deleted an important Word document permanently and want to bring it back, there is a method to save your life. However, it requires a third party software to help you out.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

To recover your permanently deleted Word documents, follow the instructions below:

  • Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Mac.
  • Select the location where your document was lost. Click the Scan button.
  • The application will start a quick scan immediately on the selected disk volume. You will see the scanning result in the left pane.
  • Find the Word file you have deleted. Click Recover Now to bring it back.
  • Try to open your Word document and check if it is what you need.

How to Avoid Losing Word Document

Losing an important Word document can be traumatic. Thus you need to figure out how to avoid losing any other Word documents in the future. There are actually 2 ways that you can do to minimize the risk of losing Word files in the future. The two methods are:

  1. Save right after creating a new document

Save Microsoft Word on Mac

A never saved Word file exists in the RAM of the computer instead of the hard disk. It requires more effort to recover the file whenever you accidentally close the document. After knowing this, you should remember to always save a Word file right after creating a new document. Even if you forget to save it later, auto-saving will save the progress in a regular interval thus you won’t lose much.

  1. Change the interval

Auto-saving Interval Microsoft Word

To minimize the risk of loss in your Word progress, changing the auto-saving interval is the best decision. To change the interval on your Word for Mac, open your Word. Go to Preferences and click Save. Check the items under Save Options. Change Autosave interval to the least.

To summarize, how to recover unsaved Word document on Mac is actually simple. There are 3 methods that you can use, plus one method that involves a third-party software to recover a permanently deleted file. Accidentally closing unsaved Word file is not the end of the world with these alternatives! 

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