Open files from the File menu

The Open tab on the File menu shows a list of files you’ve recently opened, and it includes links to places where you commonly store files.

Open place in Word 2013

Double-click Computer to get to local files, including removable flash drives. You can also select one of the locations your accounts let you get to, sign in if necessary, and then open the file you want. To add a new location, click Add a Place.

The Recent list shows the files that you opened recently from any of your devices. If this list gets unwieldy, you can delete files from it. Just right-click the file name and then pick Remove from list. You can make other changes to the Recent list. To learn more, see Customize the list of recently used files. If you don’t use the list of Recent files, and you’d rather jump straight into browsing folders, use Ctrl+F12 to open the Open dialog box directly.

Tip: If you want to bypass File > Open and always use the Open dialog box, do this: Select File > Options > Save, and then select the Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files check box. Then, close and reopen any open Office applications.

Search for your file

If you have a document on your computer, but you're not sure exactly what folder it's saved in, you can find it as long as you know at least part of the name or a bit of text that is in the document. Click the Browse button at the bottom of the places list on the left. When the Open dialog box appears, type the text you want to search for in the Search box at the top right and press enter. A list of matching documents will appear for you to choose from.

Recover unsaved documents

You might also see the Recover Unsaved Documents button if you've experienced a situation like accidentally closing a file without saving it or a power outage while you were working. Sometimes there might be a mismatch between the AutoRecover location that's set in File > Options > Save and the path where this button goes. If that happens, do this:

  1. Go to File > Options > Save > AutoRecover file location to copy the folder path where AutoRecover puts your unsaved files.

  2. Click File > Open > Recover Unsaved Documents.

  3. In the Open dialog box, delete the path that's shown and paste the path you copied in Step 1. Then, click the Go to arrow.

  4. Open the folder for the file you want.

  5. Open the file. It has "Unsaved" in the title and a .asd file extension.

  6. Save the recovered file with a new name. You can overwrite the original file if you don't want to have two copies.

Tip: To help prevent the mismatch in the future, update the File > Options > Save > AutoRecover file location to the "UnsavedFiles" path that the Recover Unsaved Documents button takes you to (the path will be something like: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles)

See also

Learn about the Save As place
Help protect your files in case of a crash
Recover your Office files

Have a question or feedback about Microsoft Office that we didn't address?

See How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office?

We're listening!

This article was reviewed by Ben on March 14th, 2017 as a result of your feedback. If you found it helpful, and especially if you didn't, please click the feedback controls below and leave us some constructive feedback so we can continue to improve it.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×