How to Recover a Windows Document That Didn't Save

By Ryan Menezes

Windows buries automatically saved files in hidden folders.
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Microsoft Windows periodically records changes to your Office files even when you don't save them manually. The automatically saved version helps you retain your work if you forget to save a file and a program (or your computer) crashes while the file is open. For example, your office may suffer a power outage or a virus may freeze your system. You can usually recover the unsaved file simply by reopening the program that created them. If this does not work, you can find and open the file from its stored location using Microsoft's AutoRecover feature.

Open the Microsoft program that created the file and click "File" in the ribbon.

Click "Options" and then click "Save" in the Options window.

Click the "AutoRecover file location" box and then select and copy its content. For example, Microsoft Excel may store its files in:


Click the Start button and paste the copied address into the Start menu's search box.

Press Enter to find the stored file's location (it may have a name like "AutoRecovery save of [original file name]") and then double-click the file to open it.