How to recover a Word document that was never saved

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Have you ever started typing up a Word document, and gotten quite a bit of text entered, then accidentally closed it without saving? Today’s lifesaving tip will show you how it’s possible to get that document back.


lost Word document



A friend of mine used to create Word documents very dangerously.
He was a pastor of a church. And he would always create his Sunday sermon in a Word document. He would just open Word, open a new blank document, and start writing. He might write for hours, filling that document up with many pages of text. And that whole time, at the top of that document it would say “Untitled document” – because he never clicked to save it and give it a name.
I only knew this because one day I visited him in his office on a computer matter, and I happened to see his Sunday sermon document on the screen – many pages and many hours of work, and none of it had been saved to his computer. When I asked him about it, he said, “Oh, it’s no problem. When I have my full sermon completed, I just click the “X” up in the corner to close the document…” – that in itself caused a little shot of adrenaline in me – “… and the program pops up and asks me if I want to save it. So I say “Yes” and give it a name, and it’s all saved, no problem!”
What he had not considered is –
What if some day Word DOESN’T ask him if he wants to save it, and just closes?
What if some day Word asks him to save, and he (without thinking) clicks “Don’t save”?
What if he has several hours of work put in, and there’s a sudden power blip and the computer shuts down?
All of those things are possibilities. But he had his routine that he was used to. And I understand that – change can be hard to implement when you’ve been doing something a particular way for a while. Especially since you haven’t had any problem at all (s0 far) with the way you’ve always done it.
Unfortunately, some time after that I was called in to see if I could find a document that had gotten closed without saving, and could not be found. I wish I had known today’s tip then. Actually I don’t even know if that old version of Word even offered this function that we’re talking about today. But the current version of Word does, and for some people, it’s a real lifesaver.
What we’re talking about is getting back a Word document that has been closed, without EVER having been saved or given a file name.
To show how this works, just go through this process:
Open a blank Word document, and add some text to it. Don’t save it. At the top, it will just have the title “Document1”, which is the default file name until you save it and give it a name that makes sense:
Word doc
Now, close that document with the X in the top right corner. When it asks if you want to save it, click on “Don’t Save”.
Word doc
At this point, most people would assume that file is lost. Or actually, it just doesn’t exist any more. But it actually does exist.
Open File Explorer by clicking on the little folder icon down in the bottom left area of the screen, on the taskbar. Then click on “This PC”:
This PC
Then in the top right corner, in the search field, type: *.asd and hit Enter:
search file explorer
When you do that search, you’ll see your unsaved Word document come up in the search results. It might take a while, depending on how big your computer’s drive is and how much storage space you’re using. But it will be there:
unsaved document found
You can identify it in the list because it will show the first few words of the document. At this point you want to do a RIGHT click on that file, and click on “Open with”:
Open with
If Word is not immediately shown in the list of programs, click on “More apps” and scroll down to choose to open it in Word.
When it opens, the first thing you’ll see is a prompt to Save it and give it a name:
Save as
Do that before you do anything else!
So now your lost/nonexistent file now has a name and it is saved somewhere on your computer (most likely in the Documents folder).
Even if you don’t need this tip right now, keep track of it because someday it could save your life!
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Open blank Word doc, add some text
Close it without saving
To find it:
Open File Explorer and click on This PC
in the search field, type:  *.asd
the lost document will show up in the search results
Right click – open with – choose Word

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