How to Recover an Autosave File From Word

By Erin Marissa Russell

Updated September 28, 2017

Files can be lost during a power outage, if your computer freezes. or if you close a file without saving.
i computer keyboard image by Tom Curtis from

Opening Word may bring up a window that allows you to view a recovered version of your file, since Word performs automatic saves and recovery processes. However, if that doesn't work, try the Manual Recovery steps to search for the type of file Word creates when it automatically performs these maintenances. If you haven't specified a location for auto recover files, Word will store them automatically in your temporary files folder.


Open Microsoft Word after the loss of a file. The "Document Recovery" window will open.

Choose the file labeled "Recovered." This status designates the document is a copy of the original file made during an autosave or autorecovery.

Open the recovered file. Save your changes.

Manual Recovery

Click "Start" and choose "Search." Click the box labeled "Click here to use Search Companion," if available.

Select "All Files and Folders." Under "All or part of the file name," type *.ASD.

Choose "My Computer" under "Look In." Click the "Search" button.

Open the document with the original file name and extension .asd. Reboot your computer and open Microsoft Word.

Open the recovered file from the "Document Recovery" window. Save your changes.


If neither of the above methods worked, search for "*.TMP" with the Search Companion. Under "When was it modified?" specify dates which include the period you had the file open. Search, and choose "View," then under "Details," arrange the icons by "Last Modified" and search for your file.


You can set Autorecover to autosave documents more often. Under "Word Options," choose "Save" and change the number after "Autorecover information every" to whatever you like.