How to Recover Deleted Word Documents? (Free)

Wondering how to recover deleted word documents? A detailed guide is ready in this article to help you retrieve deleted word files.

Lora

By Lora / Updated on December 15, 2022

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"How do I recover a Microsoft Word document?"

Microsoft Word is globally the most popular text editing and typesetting software. Tons of word files are created every second around the world. This app allows Windows users to write and edit words, articles, papers, etc.

There is no doubt that these word files are of vital importance to every individual user. Word file loss, therefore, is one of the most upsetting things during work or study.

Are you seeking how to recover unsaved Word documents? You are not the only one.

   
   
   
       

I accidentally deleted a recovery word file that I should have saved, and now I can't find it anywhere. I am new to windows 10. Could someone please help?

       

- Question from Microsoft Community

   

Is it possible to recover deleted Word documents?

In addition, many users wonder whether deleted word documents are recoverable.

A simple answer to it is "Yes". File loss scenarios vary, but you always have chances to get them back because files that get deleted are not removed from your disk immediately but stay in the original location and wait for new data to overwrite them.

Instead, the system will wipe access to the files. Thus they are inaccessible and invisible to you. But, as long as no data overwriting happens, you could retrieve them.

Whether you accidentally deleted the word files advertently or accidentally, you could get help on this page. Therefore this article is targeted to solve the question "How to recover deleted word documents?" with several feasible solutions.

how-to-recover-deleted-word-documents

How to recover deleted word documents?

Here are some options available for you, including but not limited to seeking help from an official tool and freeware. Check them out below.

Method 1. Check the Recycle Bin

It is easy to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin. But this method applies to the files that were deleted usually, including but not limited to deleting by the DEL key, dragging to the Recycle Bin, right-clicking and choosing Delete, etc.

Notes:✎...
The files larger than 8998 MB will bypass the Recycle Bin and get directly removed when deleted. If you can't recall the specific filename, you could input the contents in the search bar to locate it. 
If you find deleted files not in Recycle Bin, please refer to the tutorial and get help.

Step 1. Go to Recycle Bin > find the deleted word file.

Step 2. Right-click the word document > click Restore.

recycle-bin-restore-word-file

Then the deleted docx files will go back to their original places.

Pros: It is easy to operate.

Cons: Limited. It only works when your word files are normally deleted.

Method 2. Check the Word backup folder

If you want to recover data or files, the safest means is to restore from backups. If you have a word file backup, you could get them back quickly.

Notes:✎...
This approach applies to those users who have enabled Always create backup copy in Microsoft Word. To check if you have activated it yet, go to File  in the Word app >  Options  >  Advanced > Save > check if Always create backup copy is on. Replace the UserName with the actual username on your computer.

Step 1. Go to the path C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word to check if you have backup files.

word-backup-file-path

Step 2. Then locate your word file backup, and save it in another save place.

Pros: It is safe and quick.

Cons: Limited. It only works when a backup is available.

Method 3. Restore previous versions of the folder

The Previous Versions tool is also a feasible way. When your files get removed/lost/corrupted/damaged, you can restore previous versions of the file or the folder to undo the deletion.

Restore points will be created with the System Protection turned on (usually enabled by default on the c: drive). Also, if you have turned on File History, the system will record the modifications you made. Thus you could revert to the earlier versions.

Besides, you can find the previous version of the Word doc when you have saved over/overwritten it.

Step 1. Click File Explorer > find and right-click the folder which contains the target Word document> Properties.

Step 2. Choose the latest or needed version > Restore.

select-previous-versions-click-restore

In this way, you could restore the Word docs you want.

Pros: Easy. Free. Quick.

Cons: Limited. It only restores Word files saved on the C: drive.

Method 4. Retrieve deleted Word files using File History

As mentioned above, previous versions of files are from restore points and File History. File History is another viable means, requiring users to enable it manually.

That is to say, you have to activate this tool in advance, or there won't be any available histories.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security.

system-and-security

Step 2. Click File History.

file-history

Step 3. Click Restore personal files.

restore-personal-files

Step 4. Click the arrow icon to select the wanted version > select the Word file > and click Recover to get it back.

restore-deleted-file

What's more, you could also use this app to retrieve deleted Excel files not in Recycle Bin.

Pros: Easy. Free. Quick.

Cons: Limited. It requires backup in advance. Also, it merely restores the files stored on the local drives.

Method 5. Turn to the Windows Backup feature

Windows has its integrated backup feature - Backup and Restore (Windows 7). It allows users to choose what they want to back up and choose the target location they like.

But please note that this app only backs up local drive files. If you are to recover Word files stored on external hard drives, please move on and take a look at the following two methods. 

 Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

backup-and-restore-windows-7

Step 2. Click Restore my files.

restore-my-files

Step 3. Click Browse for files/folders >  select the deleted Word files/folder that contains the Word file > Next.

browse-for-folders-to-restore

Step 4. Choose the target place you want/restore them to the original location > click Restore.

restore-to-its-original-location

Also, you can use it to recover deleted folders on desktop.

Pros: Easy. Free.

Cons: Limited. You have to make backups before files are lost. It does not apply to file loss on external hard drives.

Method 6. Recover deleted word documents via Windows File Recovery

How to retrieve deleted word documents? Microsoft has released a tool – Windows File Recovery, which could recover lost or deleted files on Windows 10 from external/internal hard drives.

It is a command-line utility, users need to recover files with its winfr command, and therefore it is not entirely user-friendly. If you need a more detailed tutorial on how to use Windows File Recovery, please get help. If you need a more straightforward tool, please move on to the end of this section.

To use this tool, check out the File System > choose a recovery mode > choose the switches.

First, check your File System by navigating to This PC > right-click on the drive where you have stored your word files>>> Properties.

check-file-system

Then choose a recovery mode.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Switches are also available for you to target the folder or file type.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/segment Segment mode; recovers files under NTFS drives using file record segments. Segment
/signature Signature mode; recovers files under all file system types using file headers. Signature
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Then please follow the tutorial to recover deleted word documents.

Notes:✎...
This tool requires Windows 10 2004 and above.
Please avoid using your computer after accidental deletion in case files get overwritten.
The destination drive (where you choose to store the recovered files) cannot be the same as the source drive (where files go missing).
If you meet the error "Windows File Recovery failed to create destination folder", please get help.

Step 1. Get Windows File Recovery in Microsoft Store > click Open after installation.

microsoft-store-get

Step 2. Input the command:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

If you cannot recall the filename, don't panic, you could use a "/n" parameter with wildcard "*". Use "/n *. docx" in the command to recover all the docx files.

Let's take an example if you need to recover word documents from E: drive to D: drive, then you could input:

winfr E: D: /segment /n *.docx

winfr-segment-docx

Step 3. Then input y to confirm your operation > wait for the processing > it will create a recovery folder in the target drive.

When finding Windows File Recovery stuck at 99%, please get help from the tutorial.

Pros: High recovery rate; official, reliable.

Cons:

  • Too complex: it is too difficult for ordinary users to recover lost files using commands.
  • A little bit dangerous: hard to avoid command typing errors.
  • Low recovery rate.
  • It is not compatible, only applying to Windows 10 and above machines.

How to recover deleted word documents effortlessly and efficiently?

How to recover deleted word documents with ease? If you are not a guru in IT, you may find it hard to correct the command syntax and avoid mistakes.

Since Windows File Recovery doesn't have a graphical user interface, we recommend you try a helpful & easy tool – MyRecover.

With an intuitive interface, MyRecover can effortlessly help you recover deleted word documents. Using this tool, you could get lost/deleted files like docx, xlsx, ppt, jpg, png, pdf, mov, mp3, mp4, zip, etc.

MyRecover

Restore deleted word files in only three steps quickly and efficiently.

  • Free you from complex commands.
  • Save your precious time.
  • Offer you the best user experience.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run MyRecover > select the drive that has lost word files > Start Scan.

select-location-to-scan

Step 2. During the process, you could preview or directly select files to recover.

scanning-drive

Step 3. Go and select the word files you need > click Recover x files

select-deleted-word-files-click-recover

Now you have successfully retrieved deleted word files. Moreover, it is also helpful when you need to restore deleted ZIP files.

Pros:

  • Easy to operate; easy for all users even without any computer expertise;
  • Convenient. Files recovered will be kept in the original format/filename/path.
  • High recovery rate; recovers multiple types of files with a high success rate.
  • Compatible; Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 & Windows Server.

Cons: It is paid to use.

To sum up

If you wonder how to recover deleted word documents, you could refer to this article and get some detailed help.

Firstly, you could try to recover deleted word files directly from Recycle Bin; then try to check if there are file backups on your computer;

Moreover, the official tool Windows File Recovery is a good choice for users who know commands.

In addition, if you need an easier means to retrieve deleted word files, you might as well try the professional Windows data recovery tool - MyRecover.

Lora
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.