Autorecovery folder mac

Autorecovery folder mac DEFAULT

recover unsaved word document on mac

The Microsoft Word document format is extremely popular and is considered the de-facto standard by many users. Many document requests include a reminder to send the work as a DOC or DOCX Microsoft Word file. An inability to create documents in this format can definitely hinder your ability to get your work done.

There are some features of Microsoft Word that make it more useful in certain collaborative situations and some users find easier to work with than Pages. You might also have Word files on your Mac if you are an Office 365 user.

You might need to recover a Word document on a Mac for a number of reasons:

  • ❌ Accidentally deleting files from your hard disk.
  • 💥 The application crashes while you are working on a file.
  • 🔨 Damage to your hard disk or storage device that leads to corrupt or missing files.
  • 🦠 Infection with a virus or malware that causes data loss.

#1 Recover Unsaved Word Docs on a Mac with AutoRecovery

Microsoft Word for Mac has an AutoRecovery feature that can help you recover unsaved Word documents. This option is turned on by default when you install the application and automatically saves a copy of open documents every 10 minutes.

You can modify this setting to have the app save at a shorter or longer time interval if you like. If the application or your computer happens to crash while you are working on a Word document, you can recover it to the state it was in when the last automatic save was performed.

Steps to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac:

Step 1. Open a Finder window on your Mac.

Step 2. Select the entire computer as the location.

That will be searched and enter ‘AutoRecovery’ in the Search field. You will be presented with a list of files. It begins with ‘AutoRecovery save of’ followed by the name of the Word document you are trying to recover.

recover unsaved word doc mac

Step 3. Double-click on the file to be recovered. This will open the file in Microsoft Word.

Step 4. Select the File menu and choose Save As. Pick a new name for the document and a folder in which it will be stored and click the Save button.

save word auto recovered file

💡 This procedure should allow you to restore Word documents on a Mac as long as you have not turned off the AutoRecovery option. This method will only work for files that are in the process of being worked on when they disappeared. Other methods must be used to recover Word document on Mac OS X systems if they have been deleted from your computer after they have been completed.

#2 Recover Deleted Word Files from a Backup or the Trash

Once you have exited Microsoft Word and saved your document there are no longer any means to automatically recover a lost or deleted file. If you accidentally delete some files or are subject to a data loss scenario due to a faulty disk, there are ways that may allow you to get your files back.

Way 1. Recover deleted Word documents from a Trash Bin

Files that have been deleted from the folder will no longer be visible in that location. They are, however, not totally removed from your Mac until you empty the Trash.

  1. Open the Trash folder by clicking its icon in the lower-left corner of your Mac’s screen.recover deleted word files
  2. Right-click on the file name and select “Put Back”. This will return the file to its original location.recover lost word files

Way 2. Recover deleted Word documents from a backup

Hopefully, you are in the habit of taking regular backups of your Mac. You can use your backup to recover lost Word documents as long as the backup was made prior to the file deletion. You will need to use the media on which you save your backups and the program, perhaps Time Machine, that you use to back-up your computer.

⚠️ Recovering from a backup or the Trash is only effective if the file actually exists on the backup or is still resident in the Trash bin. If you have recently emptied the Trash, your files will no longer be visible there and cannot be recovered with this method.

There is still a way to recover deleted Word files even if you do not have a backup of the file in question, and it is not available through AutoRecovery or your Trash bin, by using data recovery software.

#3 Recover Deleted Word Documents using Disk Drill

Word document recovery software can prove to be instrumental in recovering those important Word files that have mysteriously vanished from your computer. It employs deep scanning technology to find deleted files and file fragments that are still physically on your computer’s storage but are no longer visible to the operating system.

🛑 Stop using your machine as soon as you find that files are missing to prevent the system from overwriting the files before you can recover them.

Follow these steps to recover a Word document:

1. Download and install the free version of Disk Drill.

install disk drill for word document recovery

💡 We suggest you install it on a USB drive to minimize the chances that the installation will overwrite your files.

2. Launch the application and select the disk on which your lost files were last seen.

begin word document recovery with disk drill

3. Click the ‘Search for lost data’ button to start a scan of your storage device.

recover lost word doc mac

4. Use filters to search for specific types of files and speed up the scan. The application will return a list of the files that can be recovered using the tool.

recover word document mac

5. If the preview indicates that the files you need can be recovered, you need to upgrade to the Pro version of Disk Drill to perform the recovery.

restore word document mac

6. Select a location where you will store the files.

choose location to restore lost word document

💡 Do not use the original location as this may overwrite the files as they are being recovered.

7. Click ‘Recover’ a second time to restore your lost Word files to the new location you have selected.

recover word document on macOS

#4 Recover Lost Word docs from the Mac Temporary Folder

Your Mac’s temporary folder may have the lost Word file you need. Try the following procedure to check the contents of the temporary folder.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type: .
  3. Type: to display the files. Look in the TemporaryItems subfolder for your document.
  4. Search for the lost file. If you find the Word doc you are looking for, protect it by saving a copy to a new storage temp folder for lost word document

#5 Restore a previous version of a Word file from within the Word app

☁️ OneDrive Method

The following steps outline the procedure you should use to attempt a recovery of a previous version of a file from within Word using OneDrive.

Use these steps to perform the recovery : 

  1. Open the most recent version of the Word file you want to recover.
  2. In Word go to File > Browse Version History.locate previous version of word file
  3. You will see a panel displayed that shows all previously saved versions of the file.
  4. Select the previous version you wish to recover and choose Restore to complete the process.restore previous version of world document

🩺 AutoRecovery Method

If Word crashes you have not saved the file and AutoRecovery is turned on, use these steps:

  1. Restart the Word application.
  2. The app will automatically recover and display the saved document.recovered word document

#6 Recover a Lost Word Document From a Time Machine Backup

If you’re using Time Machine to back up your Mac, you may be able the recover your lost Word doc from the backup media.

Use the following steps to recover a lost Word file from a Time Machine backup.

  1. Connect the storage device that contains the backup files created by Time Machine to your computer.
  2. Open a Finder window in the folder that previously stored the lost Word file.
  3. Launch Time Machine by clicking the Time Machine icon on the menu bar.
  4. Search through the snapshots and backups with the timeline and arrows to find the Word doc you want to restore.
  5. Highlight the file you want to recover and click the Restore button. The doc will be restored to its original location.recover word document via time machine

💡 If you are not already using Time Machine to backup your data, we strongly recommend you start as soon as possible.

Recover text from a damaged file in Word

You can attempt to force Word to try to repair a damaged file. Use the following steps to try this recovery method.

  1. In Word, click File > Open.
  2. Select the damaged file from the dialog box.
  3. Click the arrow on the Open button to display the submenu.
  4. Click Repair or Recover Text damaged word document

Check out this Microsoft support page for more information on handling damaged Word documents.

Tips to Help Avoid Losing Important Word Files

Here are a few tips that might help you avoid losing Word files. If the files contain important data and hold value for you, we suggest you take the necessary steps to protect them against accidental loss.

  • ⏸️ Pause before manually emptying the Trash – Take a minute to see what items you are about to delete. It’s very possible that you can rescue a mistakenly deleted file easily from the Trash at this point, rather than with data recovery software after it has been emptied.
  • 🛡️ Run Antivirus software – Malware and virus infections can lead to data loss. Run a reputable antivirus tool and make sure it’s always kept updated.
  • 🔋 Consider a surge protector – Power spikes and surges can lead to unexpected system crashes that cause you to lose data. Using a reliable surge protector can help eliminate that source of lost Word documents. 
  • 💾 Turn on AutoRecovery – This Microsoft document explains everything you need to know about this feature. You should turn it on and use it to automatically protect your Word files.
  • 💎 Configure Guaranteed Recovery – Guaranteed Recovery is a free data protection tool available with the trial version of Disk Drill. It allows you to configure specific files and folders for additional protection from accidental deletion and provides a one-click data recovery method.

Video Tutorial:

Disk Drill will find any lost files that can still be recovered, in some cases, even overwritten data can be recovered. It’s an excellent data recovery tool that will allow you to restore those lost Word files to your machine and let you get on with your work.


How to recover a previous version of a Word document on a Mac?

To recover a previous version of a Word document on a Mac:

  1. Connect your Time Machine backup disk if it’s not already connected to your Mac.
  2. Open the folder that contained the deleted Word document.
  3. Click the Time Machine icon located in the Menu Bar and choose Enter Time Machine.
  4. Locate the Word document you want to recover using the timeline on the right edge of the screen.
  5. Click Restore to restore the selected Word document.

Can I recover an overwritten Word document on Mac?

Yes, there are multiple ways to recover an overwritten Word document on Mac:

  1. Use Time Machine to recover an older version of the overwritten document.
  2. Open the current version of the overwritten document in Word and recover an earlier version using Version History.
  3. Recover the document from a cloud backup.
  4. Go through your backup devices to see if you have a backup of the original Word document.

If you've lost an unsaved Microsoft Word  document due to a software crash, you can locate the most recent auto-save of your document by following these steps.


IMPORTANT: You can only recover unsaved work if it is the result of a CRASH. If the software determines that everything is functioning properly upon quitting, it will DELETE THE AUTO-SAVE.


  1. Generally speaking, if Microsoft Word  crashes, it will prompt you to Restart The App and automatically recover any unsaved documents. If this does not occur, continue with the following steps.
  2. Open a new Finder  window. Click the Go menu, and click on Go to Folder...

  3. Enter the file path ~/Library/Containers/ (you can copy and paste it from here). Make sure you don't delete or alter any files as it may affect the running of some applications or your computer as a whole.

  4. In this folder you should find a file named "AutoRecovery save of <filename>", where <filename> is whatever you had named your document. If it hadn't been saved at all prior to the software crashing it will be DocumentX (X being the sequential number Word automatically assigns to unsaved documents). It will most likely be Document1, as in the example below.

  5. As this is not a regular Word document you will need to specify which application will open the file. You can do this by Right-Clicking (or Control-Clicking) the file, and selecting Open With > Microsoft Word.

  6. You will then be able to save your recovered document to a location of your choice using File > Save As...


Of course, the best way to avoid having to go through this process is to make sure you save your work regularly!


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Losing unsaved progress in your word document is one of the most infuriating things that can happen to anyone. This can happen by unexpected shutdowns or power outages, as well as program or computer crashes.

However, losing unsaved changes in your Word document doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to pick up where you left off after booting back your Mac.

Also, if you’re not planning to spend time and money to use third-party software in recovering your lost files, there are various ways that you can recover them for free.

Even if Mac freezes or Microsoft Word stops responding there is a high chance that the work is not lost. In most cases, you can find your unsaved Word file in the AutoRecovery folder which serves as a temporary backup of your documents before you manually save them.

Additionally, macOS has its own ways of saving unsaved progress when it crashes by creating temporary files on the programs you are working on.

It has its own dedicated folders to save these temporary files in case of unexpected computer crashes.

So, locating your lost or unsaved Word documents can be easily found using three methods described below.

Recovering unsaved Word documents

Once you booted your Mac back from a power failure or other unexpected shutdown, you can check if Word has saved the AutoRecovery file by opening the program.

You will see a panel of AutoRecovered items on the left panel of your Word document along with the original file, and you can choose which one you wish to save.

Otherwise, you can expect to find your unsaved word document in its AutoRecovery folder.

Here are the steps:

Locate AutoRecovery folder

You can find your AutoRecovered files on your Mac by switching to Finder and click Go > Go To Folder (SHIFT + COMMAND + G) and enter Word’s AutoRecover folder path.

Depending on the version of Microsoft Office installed on your Mac the path will be either


Replace <username> with your Mac username and paste the path into the Finder window and hit Enter.

Finder Autorecovery path

Note: The AutoRecovery folder is a hidden folder in most cases, which means that you won’t be able to see it if you try to locate it by navigating through Finder. It is best recommended to enter the folder path above to make sure that you can access it. 

Locate the lost Word document

Once you’re in the AutoRecovery folder, locate the file with the filename “AutoRecovery save of <filename>.asd.”

Open and Save the file to desired location

Once you found the file you wish to recover, right-click it and then select Open With > Microsoft Word. 

Once you successfully opened the file, save the document by clicking on File > Save As and save it to your desired location with your desired file name.

Note: Your unsaved Word document will not appear in the AutoRecovery folder if you close your document and click Don’t Save upon the exit message prompt. This is because the application thinks that the AutoRecovery file isn’t needed because you chose not to save the file changes. In this case, your unsaved Word file won’t appear anywhere on your computer.

Recovering Unsaved or Lost Document from TMP folder

If the first method doesn’t work or you can’t find your unsaved word document in the AutoRecovery folder, your document might be in the “TemporaryItems” folder.

This is where MacOS stores its temporary files while working on an application before it saves the final output and removes the temporary file from the folder.

In cases of unexpected shutdowns and crashes, the temp files are left inside the folder.

 To locate the “TemporaryItems” folder:

  1. Launch Terminal (Go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
  2. Type “open $TMPDIR” and press ENTER.
  3. Look for the folder named “TemporaryItems” and open it.
  4. There is also “TemporaryItems” under folder.
Temporary Items

You will see files with .tmp file extensions in this folder. Locate files with the “Word Work File” filename, and you can open them using TextEdit.

Recovering Lost Word Document from Recovered Items in Trash

Alternatively, if Method 2 didn’t work, you can check if your lost Word document was saved in the Recovered Items folder in Trash.

Like the TMP folder, macOS salvages the unsaved files and places them into the Recovered Items folder.

To locate the Recovered Items folder:

  1. Open Trash by clicking it from the dock.
  2. Open the folder named “Recovered Items” and look for your Word file.

Note: In some cases, macOS might not have saved your unsaved file and “Recovered Items” might not appear.

Note that not all documents may be 100% recoverable.

This means that it can be guaranteed that you will find your lost or unsaved Word document using the aforementioned methods above, but you might encounter some errors when opening them. 

How to recover corrupted Word files

Sudden power outages and computer crashes can potentially corrupt a file, and Word files are not an exception.

This means that having a copy of your unsaved Word file does not necessarily mean that it will display its contents correctly to the last formatting.

In other words, incomplete data from a recovered temporary file might corrupt the lost or unsaved Word file.

However, there is still a chance to recover your document’s contents if it displays a string of gibberish text.

  1. Open your recovered Word file
  2. On the Word menu, click Preferences.
  3. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click General,
  4. Tick the Confirm file format conversion at Open box, then close the General dialog box.
  5. Click File, Open.
  6. On the Open menu, select Recover Text
  7. Open the document.
Format option in MS Word

Hopefully, Word will display a more legible version of your damaged Word file. You can expect some slight to major inconsistencies with the formatting.

Some tips to avoid losing Word files

With this in mind, you can always reduce the risk of data loss in times of unexpected power failure or crash by turning on Word’s AutoSave feature.

On the other hand, relying on AutoRecovery to save your unsaved file still gives a slight chance of full document recovery, so we suggest that you take advantage of Word’s AutoSave feature.

  1. Open Microsoft Word on your Mac.
  2. Go to Word > Preferences and click the Save tab on the left panel of the window (under the Output and Sharing tab)
  3. Check all checkboxes under Save Options to reduce the risk of data loss, and you might consider changing the interval of AutoSave from 10 minutes to 5 minutes.
Save options in MS Word

Now that Microsoft Word automatically saves your file as you work on your document, you can rest assured that your document is properly saved as it does the same thing when you manually save your document.

Additionally, if AutoSave is on, relying on recovering your files via the AutoRecovery folder won’t be necessary.


  • The more frequent you set the interval, the more processing power your Word application might require, so set this timer according to your needs.
  • Manually saving your document and using AutoSave immediately removes AutoRecover files from the folder because the changes are saved.

Final Thoughts

As stated above, despite that lost or unsaved Word documents can be easily located in your Mac, thanks to Microsoft Word’s AutoRecovery and AutoSave features and MacOS’s data recovery solutions, there is still a chance that your file might be corrupted. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that we can always reduce the risk of data loss in working with documents by being prepared for future unexpected computer crashes and shutdowns by using Word’s AutoSave feature, especially when working on bigger and more important documents.

Photo credit: ©

How to Recover Excel file Unsaved or Lost

The Best Ways How to recover an unsaved word document on Mac

Microsoft Word is a widely used app for creating text based documents, especially for businesses. Though the safest way to use Word is to have documents save automatically, most don’t save their Word files properly.

This becomes really problematic when you forget to save a document you’ve created, or are editing, and accidentally shut Word down without saving, or delete the file. Here, we’ll show you how to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac, and how to recover any file you think may be lost.

How to recover unsaved Word document Mac

When you need to recover Word document Mac computers don’t respond well to the retrieval process. Microsoft Word is a third party app, and Apple doesn’t automatically save its documents to icloud as it does with apps like Pages. 

But it’s not a lost cause to recover unsaved Word document Mac. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help.

Recover Word document from the Trash

Want to know how to recover a Word document on Mac? First check the trash!

record word file from trash

There’s a really good chance you’ve simply discarded the Word document you think is lost forever. Here’s how to recover Word document Mac from the trash bin on your computer:

  1. Right click the Trash icon in your Mac’s dock
  2. Select “Open”
  3. With the trash bin folder open in Finder, find the Word document you’re looking for
  4. Select “Put Back”
    Note: You can also drag and drop the file onto your desktop or another folder within Finder if you’re not sure where it was stored originally.
  5. Find the Word document in the location it was originally saved

From here you can edit, rename, or do whatever else you need with the Word file.

Recover unsaved word document from the AutoRecovery

In Word, Microsoft built a feature into the app named AutoRecover, which saves your Office documents every ten minutes or so. It’s there to help avoid lost files, or to have a save point if Word or another Office 365 app crashes. 

You can access AutoRecover saves, which may end up having a version of the file you’re looking for. Here’s how to recover lost Word document Mac AutoRecover:

  1. Open Finder on your Mac
  2. From the menu bar, select “Go”
  3. Select “Go To Folder”
  4. Enter the following string:
Note: In this string, should be the username of your profile on your Mac.

You will then be directed to the “Containers” folder in your Library. Scroll down until you see “” and search for your document. Keep in mind it may also be in another Microsoft folder within the Containers folder, so be patient and diligent!

recover lost word file

Recover lost docs from the Temporary folder

Your Mac has a folder where it holds temporary items – and it’s possible the Word document you’re looking for is in there! Here’s how to recover lost word document Mac Terminal may help you locate:

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac
  2. Enter this command: open $TMPDIR
  3. Find the “TemporaryItems” folder on the list

If your Word document is in this folder, simply right click or drag it out to another folder, like the desktop. Also, you can check the article about how to recover deleted files on Mac.

find lost word doc terminal

Recover an unsaved word document using soft

Whether Word or another filetype, third party apps are likely a lot easier to use for recovering lost documents. One of the best for this is Disk Drill.

Disk Drill’s main focus is finding files you think may be lost, and it’s a must-have app for anyone who’s ever lost a document. It searches all the dark corners of your Mac, like the temporary items folder, for any file name or filetype you ask it to look for. 

Here is recover lost Word document Mac Disk Drill:

  1. Open Disk Drill on your Mac
  2. Select the “Recover” button on the right side of the window
  3. Enter any filters you’d like to narrow your search
  4. When you see the lost files, select “Recover” again

disk drill recovery mac

Recover using Backup

When you have a backup of your Mac, it’s far easier to recover older files. Though we sometimes lose files when they’re newer and not saved properly, we also end up discarding older files without understanding we may need them again in the future. Whoops!

This is why having a good system for backing your Mac up is critical. Time Machine is a good option, but Get Backup Pro is far better.

Get Backup Pro allows you to back up your entire folder tree, or limit the backups to specific folders. This is an excellent option if you’re diligent about where you save files – like a ‘work’ folder for work documents – and want to ensure you have it backed up often.

You also have the ability to schedule unique backups with Get Backup Pro. You could backup your ‘work’ folder nightly, but other folders weekly or monthly, whatever you like! It can also synchronize files between Macs, making it much harder to truly lose a file.

When you do need to find a file via a backup, all you have to do is access the backup on the remote disk you saved it to, then search for the document in Finder. If you backup often, compression is an option that can save you a ton of room on your remote disk.

get backup pro mac

Get a reliable Microsoft Word alternative

Think about what you need from that older file – were you trying to make edits? Did you need to reference it for another document you were creating? Try giving Ulysses a shot.

Ulysses for Mac is like Finder and a better version of Word in one amazing app. It keeps all of your writing in one place, and has impressive grammar correction features that may make you a better writer. Ulysses has several interfaces to choose from, too, including dark mode for those who like light text on a dark background.

But for file management, Ulysses is incredible for those who write a lot. It has a really sharp folder system that houses your documents, and an in-app editor for creating, editing, and saving documents. It also exports documents as PDF, DOCX (Word), ePub, WordPress, Ghost, or Medium formats.

Many who publish online use Word for its non-destructive features, but Ulysses takes it one step further. It supports markdown, so you can edit your writing in the app and copy-paste directly to the web without fear something will be amiss. It also syncs with iCloud, so you can be sure your documents live in the cloud for recovery later on.

ulysses mac

Want something even more reliable than storing files in the cloud? Believe it or not, this is possible. Try Collabio Spaces!

Collabio is a Mac and iPhone app using a unique ad-hoc collaboration technology, which keeps all your docs private on Mac, so there’s no chance anyone can get access to them. This doesn’t prevent you from co-editing files, though. You can share a unique password with your team and they’ll be able to join in on your writing session or just comment on your doc anytime.

Collabio app

Collabio works offline, so there’s no chance you lose some important changes in case your network goes down. Apart from that, it has a superb file organization system — you can put files into folders and sort them by project. There are also all kinds of formatting tools, from fonts to inserting tables and pictures.


Recovering Word documents on Mac is not difficult, but it’s also tricky. Digging through Terminal, hidden folders, and the trash are just not fun. And not always effective. Disk Drill is a great app, and in our experience far better at finding lost files than any other method. It’s also a lot simpler to use!

We suggest creating backups often; this practice helps you recover files easily, and helps avoid the assumption Word or your Mac have the file somewhere you don’t know about. Why leave it to chance? Get Backup Pro helps you backup what you want, when you want, without worry.

Ulysses is less cumbersome to use than Word, and may suit you a lot better as well. It can be purely distraction free, and we really like that it exports to Word if you absolutely need a Word document. Nobody will even know your impressive documents were never created with Word!

If you want your team to collaborate with you on docs (sharing is caring, remember?), get Collabio Spaces as a Word alternative. It can do all the same things plus it’s offline, private, and does not store your files in the cloud. 

All of these apps and nearly 200 more are available for free during a seven day trial of Setapp, the world’s largest and best suite of productivity apps for the Mac. It’s an incredible deal, so why wait any longer? Get your free trial of Setapp now!


Mac autorecovery folder

6 Ways to Recover Unsaved or Lost Word Document on Mac (without AutoRecovery)

When working with files on a Mac, nothing can be as disastrous as leaving a Word document unsaved or deleting Word documents by mistake, especially after several hours’ even days’ work on it. Though Microsoft Office 365, 2019, 2016 and 2011 Mac versions offers AutoRecover feature to restore an unsaved Word document caused by crash, sudden power off or others, the AutoRecovery may not be activated or won't recover, is there any possibility to recover unsaved Microsoft Word documents on Mac without AutoRecovery?

Yes, there are. In this article, we will introduce all the fixes on Mac word document recovery, no matter you want to recover unsaved Word document on Mac with or without AutoRecovery, or restore lost even retrieve a previous version of Word document on mac in Microsoft Office 2011, 2016 , 2019 or Office 365 for 2020 & 2021. 

Best Word Recovery Software for Mac

  • Recover all documents (Word, PPT, Excel) from Office 2011, 2016, 2019, Office 365 in 2020/2021 on Mac
  • Recover word files from internal or external devices
  • Recover word documents lost due to different situations
  • Preview word document before recovery
  • Recover various files (photos, videos, audios, archives, documents, etc)
Free Download


Part 1. How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac with or without AutoRecovery

Method #1. Unsaved Word Recovery with AutoRecovery

AutoRecover is a feature of Microsoft Word series helping users to save the files automatically when working (editing or modifying) on a Word document. By default, Microsoft Word automatically saves the files every 10 minutes. Here, we need to make sure if the AutoRecover is ON.

How to Check if AutoRecover is Enabled?

  1. Go to Word menu>Preferences.word preferences
  2. Choose Output and Sharing>Save.output and sharing
  3. Make sure the box before “Save AutoRecover info” is checked and you can tweak the parameter in “Save every XXX minutes”.

Where to find AutoRecover Files in Word for Mac?

For Office Word 2016/2019/Office 365 in 2020/2021:


For Office Word 2011:


How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac with AutoRecover?

  1. Go to Finder, find the unsaved files in the above-mentioned AutoRecover location.
    Or Go to Finder>Go to Folder, input the AutoRecover location to find the files.autosave location
  2. Open the AutoRecover word document with Office Word on Mac, then save the file.

Method #2. Recover unsaved word document on Mac without AutoRecovery

#Way 1 Unsaved Word Doc Recovery From Temporary Folder

If you can’t recover unsaved word document via AutoSave, then you’d better check your Temporary folder. 

Steps to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac from Temp Folder

  1. Open Terminal by going to Finder>Application> terminal
  2. Enter “open $TMPDIR” in the window and press “Enter”.
  3. Open the “Temporaryitems”.
  4. Open the ~Word Word files with TextEdit application, then copy and paste the text to Office Word.

#Way 2. Open a Word Document to Recover Unsaved Word on Mac

If you have turned the AutoRecover feature ON, there is a quite simple but easily over-looked method to recover the word document that wasn’t saved due to force quit or power off on mac---to open a Word document.

Situation 1: The unsaved word document is caused by force quit, program or system crash, but the Mac is not powered off.

Solution 1: Open any one of your word documents, then the Office Word will be launched, and all the previously opened Word documents will be opened. Find the Word document, go to File>Save.

Situation 2: The unsaved word document is caused by sudden power off.

Solution 2: Restart your Mac immediately, once you see the desktop, you will find all the word documents left unsaved are opened. Then, go to File>Save and make your word documents saved. 

YouTube Video Tutorial to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

In this video, you will learn how to recover an unsaved word document on mac using AutoRecover and Temporary folder.

Part 2. How to Recover Lost or Deleted Word Document on Mac 

There are some times we just lost or accidentally deleted a Word document, here we recommend 3 ways to recover lost or deleted word documents on mac.

Way #1. Best Way to Recover Lost or Deleted Word Document on Mac 2021

There may be multiple ways to recover a deleted or lost word document on mac, but the best way to do a Word recovery with high success rate is using a professional data recovery software. To make things easier, here I will recommend you the best word document recovery tool for Mac– Cisdem Data Recovery. 

The Data Recovery for Mac is designed to safely get all your deleted, lost or formatted word documents and other files like photos, videos, audios, archives back from your Mac hard drive and other storage devices.

  • 5 recovery mode to deal with different data loss;
  • Support all kinds of internal or external storage devices;
  • Recover more than 200 types of files;
  • Preview files before recovery;
  • Fast scanning and recovery;
  • Recover files in a high success rate;
  • Compatible on macOS 11 Big Sur and earlier;

Follow these steps to recover word document on Mac.

  1. Free download the Cisdem Data Recovery below.
    Free Download
  2. Open the word document recovery tool to choose a recovery mode.
    You can choose Basic Data Recovery (Quick) or Advanced Data Recovery (Deep). 
  3. Choose the disk where the word document was lost or deleted and start scanning.
  4. Recover word documents on Mac.
    Select the word documents you want to recover, hit "Recover" button to recover the word document to your mac.

YouTube Tutorial Video to Recover Word Document on Mac

Way #2. Recover Lost or Deleted Word Documents in Mac Trash

When the word document is lost or deleted, the first thing you should do is to check the Trash bin. Since, all the removed items are transferred to Trash Bin by default on mac.Here are the steps to recover from Mac Trash.

  1. Go to Trash Bin;
  2. Click on the “change the item arrangement” to fast find the deleted Word document by “Added Date” or “Kind”;
  3. Right click on the Word file, choose “Put Back”, then the word document will appear in the popped folder;mac find trash

Way #3. Recover Lost or Deleted Word Document on Mac from Backup.

In fact, if you have a good habit to back up files via online storage services, that would be much easier to get the lost or deleted word document back. Though there are many online storage services, such as Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, the steps to recover Word documents from these backups are quite easy and similar. Here we take iCloud and Google Drive to demonstrate how to do the online Word recovery.

Via iCloud

  1. Go to iCloud website or app, login into your iCloud account;
  2. Go to Settings>Advanced>Restore Files;
  3. Choose Word document you want to recover, then click “Restore File” to recover.

Via Google Drive

  1. Go to Google website or app, login into your Google account;
  2. Go to Trash, find the deleted Word document;
  3. Right click on the deleted Word document, select “Restore” to recover the deleted Word document on mac.

How to Recover Previous Version of Word Document on Mac (Office 2011 & 2016 & 2019&365)

We all know that Mac Preview builds in the feature allowing users to revert to previous versions, but unfortunately, Office Word on Mac is not able to do so.

According to Microsoft Office, “Version history in Office only works for files stored in OneDrive or SharePoint Online”. So, Office itself doesn’t help to recover preview version of Word document on Mac 2011/2016/2019/Office 365 in 2020 or 2021, but we still have some trick to restore a previous version of a word document on mac.

#1. Manually Find the Previous Version  

If the Word document is not created by you, go ask for the original word document from the sender;

If you are the one created the Word document, it is much likely that the current Word document has went through different versions, so track down to see if you have sent out previous version before via emails/iCloud, or deleted in Trash Bin, if yes, get them back and rename it.

#2. Use Time Machine on Mac

If you have turned the Time Machine ON, your Word documents will be well backed up and you are able to get a previous version of your Word document.

Steps to Recover Previous Version of Word Document on Mac

  • Step 1. Go to Finder >Application and launch Time Machine
  • Step 2. Open the folder where you store the Word file. Or you can go to Finder>All My Files, then find the Word file by choosing an arrangement type.
  • Step 3. Find the Word document to recover. You can use the timeline on the edge of the screen to check Word documents backup, then select and press Space Bar to preview.
  • Step 4. Click “Restore” to get the previous Word document back on mac.recover via time machine

Final words

None of data recovery tools help recover unsaved Word document on Mac, but if you still cannot get the Word documents back with AutoRecovery, from Temporary folder or others, you can have a try on the data recovery program, such as Cisdem, it may find and restore different versions of your Word documents on Mac.

Free Download

Comments (2)Leave a Reply

  • Nick Bruce

    So far, the fullest guide to recover a word document, I managed to recover the docx file in my icloud backup. Thanks.

    2 years agoReply
  • Shawn Thomas

    Awesome. This really helped me and I appreciate your work. Happy New Year 2018!

    3 years agoReply

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Find Office 2011 AutoRecovery on Mac

AutoRecover, a feature that is available in some Office applications, attempts to recover files automatically in the event of an application or system crash. It does this by periodically saving a copy of the file in the background.  By default, AutoRecover saves a recovery file every 10 minutes.

Important: Do not use AutoRecover as a substitute for regularly saving your files by using AutoSave (see below) or by clicking SaveSave button. Saving your files frequently is the best way to preserve your work.

In some cases, you can set how frequently these AutoRecover files are saved. For example, if you set AutoRecover to save every 5 minutes, you may recover more information in the event of unexpected shutdown — such as from a power outage — than if it's set to save every 10 or 15 minutes.

If you manually save your file, the previous AutoRecover files are removed because you've just saved your changes.

AutoSave is a different feature which automatically saves your file as you work - just like if you save the file manually -  so that you don't have to worry about saving on the go. On the Mac, AutoSave is available in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac subscribers. When AutoSave is turned on AutoRecover files are rarely needed.

For more information see: What is AutoSave?

Recover a file saved by AutoRecover

Normally, the application will automatically recover your work the next time that you open the app following a power failure or other unexpected shutdown by detecting that an AutoRecover file exists and automatically opening it.  If you want to keep the recovered file, you should immediately save it before closing or editing it.

If you want to find any AutoRecovered files on your computer, switch to Finder,then click Go > Go To Folder (or press SHIFT + COMMAND + G) and enter the appropriate folder path from the table below. Replace <username> with your username:


/Users/<username>/Library/Containers/ Support/Microsoft






  • The AutoRecovery folder is a hidden folder, so you probably won't see it if you just try to navigate to it in Finder. Use the Go To Folder tool and enter the full path to get around this.

  • If you close a file and click Don't Save, the AutoRecover file will be deleted because Office assumes that everything is ok and the AutoRecover file isn't needed.

Change how frequently AutoRecover files are automatically saved in Word or PowerPoint

Note: In Excel, beginning with version 16.38, you can't set the AutoRecover save interval. Excel automatically optimizes the interval to give the best chance of recovering files without saving so often that it interferes with your work. 

  1. On the Word or PowerPoint menu, click Preferences.

  2. Click SaveSave icon.

  3. In the Save AutoRecover info box, enter how frequently you want the program to save documents.

Change where to save AutoRecover files in Word

Note: The AutoRecover file location can't be changed in Excel or PowerPoint. For those applications AutoRecover files are stored in the folders we listed above.

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click File LocationsFile Locations icon.

  3. Under File locations, click AutoRecover files, and then click Modify.

  4. Find the location where you want to automatically save files, and then click Open.

Recover text from a damaged file in Word

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click GeneralGeneral icon.

  3. Make sure that the Confirm file format conversion at Open check box is selected, and then close the General dialog box.

  4. Click File, Open.

  5. On the Open menu towards the bottom right select Recover Text.

    Click Open > Recover Text then open your damaged document to attempt recovery
  6. Open the document.

Find an automatically saved or recovered file

The next time that you open an application, files in the AutoRecovery folder are listed in the Open Recent list. Or you can find them by going to Go > Go To Folder (or pressing SHIFT + COMMAND + g) and entering "/Users/username/Library/Application Support/ Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery"

Note: If you close a file and click Don't Save, the file is deleted from the AutoRecovery folder.


Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Output and Sharing, click SaveSave Preferences button.

  3. In the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every box, enter how frequently you want Word to save documents.

Change where to automatically save files

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click File LocationsFile Locations Preferences button.

  3. Under File locations, click AutoRecover files, and then click Modify.

  4. Find the location where you want to automatically save files, and then click Choose.

Recover text from a damaged file

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click GeneralGeneral Preferences button.

  3. Make sure that the Confirm conversion at Open check box is selected, and then click OK.

  4. On the Standard toolbar, click OpenOpen button.

  5. On the Enable pop-up menu, click Recover Text from Any File.

  6. Open the document. 


Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the PowerPoint menu, click Preferences.

  2. Click SavePowerPoint Save Preferences button, select the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every check box, and then enter how frequently you want PowerPoint to save presentations.


Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the Excel menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Sharing and Privacy, click SaveSave Preferences button.

  3. Select the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every check box, and then enter how frequently you want Excel to save workbooks.

See Also

What is AutoSave?


Similar news:

Where is the AutoRecovery folder on Mac?

Click on Library to open the Libray folder. Locate the following folder: Application Support > Microsoft > Office > Office 2011 AutoRecovery. When you see the Office 2011 in this view you should be able to locate your file.

Where is the AutoRecovery folder for word?

These can be found via File, Open and clicking the Recover Unsaved Documents button found at the very bottom of the Recent File List. Open Word and select File, Options. In the Options dialog box select Save from the left hand menu. Note the AutoRecover files location.

How do I force a Word document on a Mac?

Go to the Apple menu:

  1. Press the combination Cmd+Option+Esc, and a window will pop-up.
  2. After pressing the above keyboard combination, the Force Quit Applications should appear, select Microsoft Word and then click on the “Force Quit” button. The Mac will also display a list of programs.

How do I change the author in Word for Mac 2016?

Change the author name for new documents, presentations, and workbooks

  1. Click File > Options.
  2. Under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office, type a new name in the User name box.
  3. Make sure the Always use these values regardless of sign-in to Office check box is selected.

How do I change the reviewer in Word for Mac?

Click on Word > Preference > User Information, use the desired name and check the box right below the name that says “Always use the name regardless of how I’m signed in Office” and that should work.

How do I make comments Anonymous in Word for Mac 2019?

Making Sure Changes and Comments are Anonymous

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Security tab is displayed.
  3. Select the Remove Personal Information From This File On Save check box.
  4. Click on OK.

How do I remove the reviewer name in Word for Mac?


  1. Go to the Review tab.
  2. Click the Protect Document tool.
  3. Click Remove personal information from this file on save.

How do I make reviewer comments Anonymous in Word?

Making Sure Changes and Comments are Anonymous

  1. Click the Office button.
  2. At the left side of the screen choose Prepare | Inspect Document. Word displays the Document Inspector dialog box.
  3. Make sure all the available check boxes are selected.
  4. Click Inspect.
  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to get rid of any identifying information.
  6. Click the Close button when done.

How do I remove reviewer name in Word?

Method 1: Edit User Name

  1. First and foremost, click “Review” tab.
  2. Then click “Track Change” in “Tracking” group.
  3. Next, click “Change User Name”.
  4. Now the “Word Options” dialog box will pop up. Make sure the “General” tab is displayed. Then change the user name and initials.
  5. Finally, click “OK”.

How do I get rid of edits in Word?

Remove tracked changes

  1. Click at the beginning of the document.
  2. On the Review tab, go to Changes.
  3. Select Accept or Reject. As you accept or reject changes, Word will move to the next change.
  4. Repeat until you’ve removed all changes in the document.

How do I remove the last modified name in Word?

How to Remove Metadata from Microsoft Word Files

  1. Select the File menu tab and then select Info , if necessary.
  2. Select Check for Issues and then select Inspect Document .
  3. In the Document Inspector dialog box, check the boxes to inspect for certain data and then click Inspect .
  4. In the results, select Remove All to remove any found data.

How do I remove metadata from Word Mac 2019?

Word Document on Mac Remove metadata from a Word document in macOS by using the short process below. Navigate to Tools > Protect Document. Click the box to Remove personal information from this file on save. Once you have saved the document, the personal information will be removed.

How do I remove metadata from Word 2020?

Right-click on the file and click on Properties. In the Properties window, click on the Details tab then click on Remove Properties and Personal Information. You can remove information in two ways. You can remove metadata from the original file or make a copy of the file without any metadata.

How do I remove metadata from a Word document?

Remove Metadata From Word

  1. Click the File Tab in 2010 and click on Info, then Check for Issues and select Inspect Document. To view the Personal Information click on Show All Properties to the right.
  2. Select content you want Word to check for metadata.
  3. If Word finds metadata, it will prompt you to Remove All.

How do I view metadata in Word for Mac?

  1. Click the “File” tab, select “Info” and then click the “Check for Issues” icon.
  2. Select “Inspect Document” from the list.
  3. Check each box to include all types of metadata in the inspection and click “Inspect.”
  4. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.

Can metadata be removed?

On a Windows operating system If there is metadata that you would like to remove, select the Details tab. Another option is to use Document Inspector, a built-in tool for Microsoft applications, which will identify metadata and give you the option of selectively removing some or all of it.

Why is word showing my edits?

When you turn it on, any edits you make are noted in the document as “markup.” This markup is supposed to be visible on the screen, provided you are viewing the document as “Final Showing Markup.” You can either temporarily hide the markup (change the view to “Final”), or you can get rid of the markup by resolving the …

Where is library on Mac?

To access the Library folder, open the Finder and then, while viewing the Go pull-down menu, hold down the Option key to see the Library. It shows up between the Home and Computer menu options. Open the Library folder and select the column view so that you can see the Library folder itself (and not just its contents).

What is the cost of Microsoft Office 365 for Mac?

Choose the right Microsoft 365 for your Mac

Microsoft 365 FamilyMicrosoft 365 PersonalOffice Home & Student 2019
$99.99 / year$69.99 / year$149.99

How do you click on a Mac without a mouse?

You can use your keyboard like a mouse to navigate and interact with items onscreen. Use the Tab key and arrow keys to navigate, then press Space bar to select an item. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Keyboard.


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