By Lora / Last update May 12, 2022

Is it possible to recover deleted word documents?

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

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.

   
   
   
       

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

   

As the user's case above, so many users are wondering 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.

No matter you 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?

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 normally, 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 removed directly when deleted.
If you can’t recall the specific filename, you could input the contents in the search bar to locate it.

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: Easy to operate.

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

Method 2. Check the Word backup folder

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

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 real 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: Safe and quick.

Cons: Limited. Only works when a backup is available.

Method 3. 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 quite user-friendly. If you need a more detailed tutorial on how to use Windows File Recovery, please get help. If you need an easier tool, please move on to the end of this section.

Now to use this tool, you need to check out the File System > choose a recovery mode > choose switches.

First, check your File System by navigating to This PC > right-click on the drive where your word files were stored> click 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 got 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, a “/n” parameter could be used with wildcard “*”. Use “/n *. docx” in the command, then all the docx files will be recovered.

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 > a recovery folder will be created 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.

Method 4. Retrieve deleted word documents effortlessly

How to recover deleted word documents with ease? If you are not a guru in IT, maybe you will 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 to try a helpful & easy tool – AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows.

With an intuitive interface, AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows can help you recover deleted word documents effortlessly. Using this tool, you could get back lost or deleted files like docx, xlsx, ppt, jpg, png, pdf, mov, mp3, mp4, zip, etc.

AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows

Restore deleted word files in only 3 steps easily 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 AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows > select the drive where has lost word files > Start Scan.

select-a-partition-to-scan

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

scan-lost-data

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. What's more, 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

In a nutshell, 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; what’s more, using 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 - AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows.