How to Recover Unsaved Publisher File | 4 Quick Ways

How to recover unsaved publisher files? Don’t worry, this article will provide 4 feasible methods to recover unsaved files from publisher easily. Read on to learn more.


By Penny / Updated on May 27, 2024

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How Do I Recover an Unsaved Publisher File?

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing application from Microsoft Office suite, known for its ability to create various print media like brochures, flyers, and newsletters. Publisher files, which have a .pub extension, support complex layouts and graphic elements.

Imagine you're diligently working on a crucial project in Microsoft Publisher when suddenly your computer crashes, leaving your file unsaved. The panic sets in as you realize hours of hard work may be lost forever. 

How to recover unsaved publisher files? Since all Microsoft Office applications automatically save temporary backups of documents, you have a good chance to recover unsaved publisher files. Also, you can use data recovery software like MyRecover to recover your permanently deleted publisher files.

Possible Reasons for Publisher File Failed to Save:

Understanding the factors contributing to Publisher file failures is key:

  1. Software Crashes: Publisher files may fail to save due to unexpected software crashes or system errors, disrupting the saving process and leaving changes unsaved.
  2. Power Outages: Sudden power outages or electricity disruptions can interrupt the saving operation, leading to unsaved files and potential data loss.
  3. User Error: Accidental closure of the Publisher application without saving changes or dismissing prompts to save files can result in unsaved documents and frustration.

4 Effective Ways to Recover Unsaved Publisher Files

How to recover unsaved files in Publisher effeciently? Here are 4 practical solutions to help you recover unsaved Publisher files.

1. Retrieve Unsaved Publisher Files Using AutoRecover Feature

Microsoft Publisher, like other Office applications, has an AutoRecover feature specifically designed to protect your documents in case of unexpected shutdowns or crashes. Therefore, you can easily recover unsaved Excel files as well as PowerPoint files using it.

First things first, let's check if AutoRecover is set up:

  1. Open Publisher and go to 'File' > 'Options'.
  2. In the 'Options' window, click on 'Save'.
  3. Ensure 'Save AutoRecover information every _ minutes' is checked and set the time intervals (usually 10 minutes is good).

If you had AutoRecover enabled before your file went MIA, it's time to retrieve it:

  • Restart Publisher after the crash, and it should automatically prompt you to recover unsaved documents.

Recent Documents

Didn't get a prompt? Head over to:

  • 'File' > 'Info' > 'Manage Versions' > 'Recover Unsaved Documents'. Here, you might find your elusive file smiling back at you.


2. Recover Unsaved Publisher File from Temporary Files

Search for temporary Publisher files with the ".tmp" extension in the temporary folder of your computer. These temporary files may contain unsaved changes that can be recovered and restored to the original document.

To  recover files from temp folder, here’s a handy step-by-step guide:

  1. Enter %temp% into the address bar in File Explorer or the Run dialog. 
  2. Once the temp folder is open, sort the files by the "Date Modified" column to find the most recent files.
  3. Look for a file that starts with "pub" and ends with ".tmp", such as pub8AB4.tmp.
  4. Right-click on the file, select "Rename", and change the file extension from .tmp to .pub. Press Enter to confirm the change.
  5. Now, try opening the renamed file by double-clicking it, or open Microsoft Publisher and browse to the file location to open it from within the application.

3. Recover Permanently Deleted Publisher Files Using MyRecover

If the above ways not work for you, professional data recovery software - MyRecover is an excellent option. Employ MyRecover to scan your computer's storage drives and recover unsaved Publisher files.

Professional Data Recovery Software
  • It supports recover unsaved publisher documents 2022/2016/2013/2010.

    In addition to Word documents, itcan also recover unsaved/deleted Excel, PPT, PDF, music, photos, etc.

    The recovery speed is fast and the success & safetyrate is high.

    It works on multiple Windows versions, including Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.

1. Download and install MyRecover on your computer. Launch MyRecover and hover the mouse over the storage drive where the Publisher files were located. Then, click Scan.


2. Initiate a quick and deep scan to search for lost or deleted Publisher files, utilizing advanced algorithms to locate and recover lost data. you could preview the recovered files to verify their integrity and relevance before proceeding with the recovery process.


3. Select the desired files for recovery, click Recover X Files, and designate a new destination folder for restoration.



To recover unlimited publisherfiles, please upgrade MyRecover to the professional or technician edition.

Also, MyRecover supports recover files from USB drives, SD cards, HDDs, SSDs, external hard drives, and other storage devices.

4. Recover an Unsaved Publisher Files with System Restore

Utilize the System Restore feature in Windows to revert your computer to a previous state when the Publisher files were intact. This feature can help recover unsaved changes lost due to system updates, changes, or errors.

  1. Go to 'Control Panel' > 'System and Security' > 'System' > 'System Protection' > 'System Restore'.
  2. Follow the prompts to pick a restore point before the loss occurred.


In the ever-evolving landscape of digital data management, the ability to recover unsaved Publisher files and retrieve permanently deleted files is paramount. By understanding the causes of file loss, exploring feasible fixes, and leveraging tools like MyRecover, users can mitigate the risks of data loss and safeguard their valuable documents effectively.

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1. Does Publisher AutoSave?

Yes, Microsoft Publisher does have an AutoSave feature that automatically saves copies of documents to help prevent data loss. This feature needs to be enabled in the settings to function.

2. Can the AutoRecover feature recover files if Publisher crashes unexpectedly?

Yes, the AutoRecover feature in Publisher is designed to automatically save unsaved changes at regular intervals, providing a safety net in the event of unexpected crashes or system failures. If Publisher crashes unexpectedly, users can access the AutoRecover feature to retrieve unsaved changes and recover their work.

3. Where Are Publisher AutoSave Files Stored?

Publisher AutoSave files are typically stored in the Windows temporary files directory. You can access this by typing %temp% in the Windows Run dialog box or the File Explorer address bar.

4. How frequently does Publisher autosave files by default?

By default, Publisher is configured to autosave files every 10 minutes. This interval ensures that unsaved changes are periodically saved, reducing the risk of data loss in the event of software crashes, power outages, or other interruptions.

Users can customize the autosave interval according to their preferences and workflow requirements.

5. Why Might Publisher Not Be Able to Open a File?

"Publisher cannot open the file" error could occur for several reasons including file corruption, incompatibility issues due to different Publisher versions, or restrictions in file permissions. It could also be due to the file not actually being a Publisher file despite having a .pub extension.

6. What precautions can users take to prevent unsaved changes in Publisher files?

To prevent unsaved changes in Publisher files, users can adopt the following precautions:

  • Save files regularly: Get into the habit of saving Publisher files frequently to ensure that changes are securely stored.
  • Enable AutoRecover: Activate the AutoRecover feature in Publisher to automatically save unsaved changes at regular intervals.
  • Avoid closing Publisher abruptly: Close Publisher properly to ensure that changes are saved before exiting the application.
  • Use version control: Implement version control practices to track changes and revert to previous versions if necessary.
  • Back up regularly: Save your work regularly, enable automatic recovery, and consider using a service like File History or  free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.