Recover an Office file

If the AutoRecover option is turned on, you can automatically save versions of your file while you’re working on it. How you recover something depends on when you saved it.

Important: In addition to saving regularly, ensuring that AutoRecover is turned on is a critical part of protecting your work. Learn how to set up AutoRecover by reading Help protect your files in case of a crash.

Unless you are working in Office Online or saving your documents to OneDrive for Business, Office does not maintain a version history (keep a separate version of your document each time the file is saved). Each save overwrites the previously saved version. If you are using Office Online or OneDrive for Business, see the following:

If you’ve saved the file

If you were working on a file and saving regularly when the file was closed unexpectedly, you can restore the last version that was saved.

  1. Open the file you were working on.

  2. Click File > Info.

  3. Under Versions, click the file labeled (when I closed without saving).

    Recoving a previously saved document in Word 2013

  4. In the yellow bar at the top of the file, click Restore to overwrite any previously saved versions.

    Restoring a recovered document in Word 2013

    Tip:  In Word, you can also compare versions by clicking Compare instead of Restore.

If you haven’t saved the file

  1. Click File > Info > Manage Versions > Recover Unsaved Documents in Word, Recover Unsaved Workbooks in Excel, or Recover Unsaved Presentations in PowerPoint.

Recover unsaved documents in Word

  1. Select the file, and then click Open.

Opening recovered unsaved document in Word

  1. In the yellow bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save the file.

Saving a recovered file in Word 2013

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