Stupid Manager Tricks: How To Recover A Deleted MS Word Document


By: Drew McManus

In: Catch All

We’ve all been there, the cursing, gnashing of teeth, and general unpleasantness involved with realizing you just lost a MS Word document you really, really need. It doesn’t matter if it was due to a power outage or a graceless self-inflicted productivity wound, the end result is the same. Fortunately, it probably isn’t gone for good and even though options to bring it back from the great digital beyond have been around for a while, it seems to be one of the more commonly overlooked hero features in Microsoft Office.

Microsoft maintains a thorough, step-by-step guide for seven different methods you can use to go about finding a lost document and if that weren’t enough, most methods have separate instructions for versions from the most recent Word 2013 back through Word 2002, or as I heard one Millennial call it, Word Retro.

Here’s an illustrated guide to MS Word’s instructions for AutoRecovering a file using Word 2013. Odds are, this method will save your day but if not, make sure to visit Microsoft’s resource page for additional options.

recovery instructions

  1. On the File menu, click Open.
  2. Click Recent Documents.
  3. Scroll to the end of all recent documents, and then click Recover Unsaved Documents.

recovery instructions

  1. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.
  2. Save it immediately.
  3. Exhale.


Visit (AND BOOKMARK) Microsoft’s “How to recover a lost Word document” resource page.

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Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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