How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac (2022)

How to recover Unsaved word document on mac

People use Microsoft Word to create text documents and files. But the main thing is, it is not saved automatically. Mostly, people also tend to forget to save the documents they have created.  Sometimes, accidentally our system gets shut down in between our work. That time we will miss the file we have created unless it is saved. So, Here in this article, I will say how to recover the Unsaved word document on Mac.

Solution 1: Recover Word document from the Trash

  • In Mac’s dock, you can see the Trash icon
  • Open the Trash by tapping on it
  • In the trash, you have to search the Word document in the trash.
  • Now tap on Put Back
  • After that find the Word document where it was originally saved.

Solution 2: Recover Unsaved Word Document from Auto Recovery

  • Open the Finder on your Mac
  • In that select Go
  • After that tap on Go to Folder option

And type the following text /Users//Library/Containers/com.Microsoft/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery

After that, you can see the containers folder in that scroll down the screen until you see the com.Microsoft.Word

Note: You may need to rename .doc instead of .docx if they won’t open properly in the MS Word app.

Another Method:-

If you can’t find the file in the “Office 2008/09/11 AutoRecovery” folder, use this method.

  1. Open Terminal app via /Applications/Utilities/.
  2. Type the following command
    open $TMPDIR
  3. Press Enter. It will open the Temporary files folder. Find and open the “Temporaryitems” folder.
  4. The lost word document file name looks like “WordWorkfile D-57295.tmp”. Open this file using the “TextEdit” app instead of the Word app. Because MS word app does not open .tmp file type.

Solution 3: Recover Unsaved Word Document from Temporary Folder

  1. Go to the Finder, Choose Go -> Go to folder.
  2. Type /private/var/folders and find the files named “Word Work File” inside a “Temporary Items” folder.
  3. Option-drag folders or files to the Desktop (before dropping them on Microsoft Word’s icon).
  4. Do not delete anything.

Note: Some of the Mac users reported “uFlysoft Data Recovery for Mac” is the best one to recover lost word documents.

~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/

Note: You may need to rename .doc instead of .docx if they won’t open properly in the MS Word app.

In Older Microsoft Office versions use the Auto recovery folder in a different location:-

/Users/user-name/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

Note: Replace the user name with the actual user name of your computer. The library folder is hidden in Mac OS X. So Open the terminal app and type the following command to unhide the Library folder.
chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Solution 4: Recover the Unsaved Word document using Backup

When you have a Backup it will be very much easy to recover the deleted files so you can do a backup on your Mac and restore the files which have been deleted. And you can also install Mac Backup Software Get Backup Pro

SEE ALSO: MS Office icons missing on OS X Yosemite? Here’s how to fix

Final Verdict:

These steps will surely help you to find the Unsaved Word Document on your Mac. And if you know of any other methods you can mention them in the comments section.

67 comments
  1. omg thank you so much, I was about to cry. I really thought I lost my lab report thank you so much!!

  2. Unbelievable! I am so grateful to have found your site. Sincere thanks. You have saved me hours of time. THANK YOU!!!

  3. OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! The "Another Method" saved me so much time. I was losing hope hope thank you!!

  4. Saved me, too. Lost two hours of work, could not find temp files in Finder searches, but the terminal tip worked fine. I lost only 5 minutes of work, as I auto recover every 5 minutes. It is good to have smart people out there.
    Chris

  5. OMG!!! Thank you so much. I've been working on a university document for a day, suddenly it crashed and I thought I lost everything. I tried to recover the file for 2 hours without any success. I can't thank you enough. You are a star!!!!

  6. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I thought I lost some really important notes – I cannot believe this actually worked – I appreciate it SO MUCH

  7. After about an hour of real crying and heart palpitations, I came to my senses, found "you"…and THANK GOD! (I'm new to Mac OS) I lost my whole term paper for nursing school and did not have time to re-write. SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU!
    This has happened before and I didn't know what to do, except start over! But no more, I'm copying, printing, screenshoting, and saving the link to this site right here.

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just spent the past 2 hours googling and downloading a bunch of software that did not help at all. Pretty much ready to give up on life and curl up in a ball and cry. I read comments from blogs that said autorecovery only works if you previously saved the file ahead so any untitled new documents are gone forever. I just stared at my laptop in horror for what seemed like an eternity. Then I started to panic and search frantically for anything and everything on google. Then you saved me. You literally saved my ass and the future of my career. Thank you so much! Still completely scarred for life but thank you thank you

  9. Serious life saver…… Personally i have never done this type of comment BUT you deserve a BIG THANK YOU…….Thank You SOOOOOOO MUCH… after hours of trying various method from google and almost hit my laptop this just worked like magic…..you are simply a saver…….Thank you Thank you Thank you

  10. This was the only website to accurately tell me where temporary Office 365 files were stored. I knew they had to be somewhere! Thanks!

  11. You just removed a mountain of stress from my life. I thought I had lost almost all my work from the last couple of days!

  12. Any ideas for recovering Word files in OS Sierra?? Your page has held my solution for ages, but I can't find my files now that I'm using Sierra. 🙁
    FYI: I'm using Word v.15.32, Microsoft (c) 2017.

  13. oh my GOD you saved my life. no other recovery attempt i found online was working – and your suggestion to rename from .docx was very helpful too..

  14. Tried everything you suggested – nothing. I have Word 2011 but on OSX El Capitan. Got the spinning ball of death when I tried to save the doc, then it disappeared. Came up briefly again, tried to save or at the least, quickly screenshot – disappeared again – this time for good. Hours of work – first time it's happened that Recovery didn't work. I tried all your suggestions to no avail. Any other ideas?

  15. Thank You! Thank You!
    I was ready to boo-hoo cry over this lost paper.
    Searching using ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/
    was pure magic.

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