Microsoft Word: Find a lost document

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. Help, I can't find the latest draft of the Word document I was working on. I thought I had saved the file before closing Word, but maybe I didn't. Is there any way to tell?

A. If you lose a Word document because of a power outage or a frozen computer, or you simply forgot to save the document, open an Explorer window, navigate to This PC, and search for .asd. This action may take a few minutes, but ultimately it will display a list of all Word recovery files on your PC, along with the file's location, date, time, and size to help you identify the missing file. An example of this type of search is pictured below.

techqa-2


Once you've located the appropriate recovery file,
double-click the file to reopen it (if asked which application to use, indicate Microsoft Word).

As I previously explained in the November 2012 topic "Lost Excel file," (which applies to lost Word documents too), you may also be able to locate your missing Word file using the Word menu as follows. If you saved a Word file but did not save the latest draft of that file, then from the File tab, select Info and check the Manage Document area to view links to various versions of the file, an example of which is pictured below.

techqa-3


This action allows you to open a newer version of the Word file that was not saved. If the Word file was a new document that you never saved, then from the File tab select Open, Recent, and then scroll to the bottom of the list of recent documents and click the Recover Unsaved Documents button (circled in the image below) to display a list of Word files that you started creating on your computer but never saved. Double-click the recovery file to reopen the unsaved document using the Word application, as indicated in the screenshot below.

techqa-4

About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Submit a question

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

SPONSORED REPORT

Get your clients ready for tax season

Upon its enactment in March, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) introduced many new tax changes, some of which retroactively affected 2020 returns. Making the right moves now can help you mitigate any surprises heading into 2022.

100th ANNIVERSARY

Black CPA Centennial, 1921–2021

With 2021 marking the 100th anniversary of the first Black licensed CPA in the United States, a yearlong campaign kicked off to recognize the nation’s Black CPAs and encourage greater progress in diversity, inclusion, and equity in the CPA profession.