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How to Recover an Overwritten File in Word 2007

Updated April 17, 2017

When you overwrite the contents of a document in Microsoft Word 2007, Word deletes the original file and replaces it with a temporary file containing the edited data. If you are regularly editing and saving a document, Word will create a temporary file for each save. Therefore, if you've overwritten a file in error, you can search your temp files for a previously edited version containing the information you need.

Right-click "Start," then click "Explorer." Navigate to the "Windows" folder, located on the "C:" drive. Type "*.tmp" into the Search box.

Click "Tools." Select the "View" tab, then select "Show hidden files and folders." Click "OK."

Right-click a blank area of the window, then click "Sort by." Click "More."

Check the "Date modified" box, then click "OK." Return to "Sort by," then select "Date modified" to reorganise the list of files.

Right-click a blank area of the window, then click "View." Select the "Details" option.

Search for a recently modified document beginning with the characters "~wrd" or "~wrf." Copy the document to an empty folder on your hard drive.

Open Microsoft Word 2007. Click the Microsoft Office button. Click "Open." Change the file type drop-down to "All files (.)."

Open the folder containing the temporary file. Select the file, then click the arrow next to the "Open" button. Click "Open and Repair" to restore the contents of the document.

Tip

To determine whether or not the temporary file is the document you are looking for, drag and drop the file into Notepad before repairing it in Microsoft Word. Since Windows frequently saves over or deletes temporary files, you may need to use data recovery software to recover deleted temporary files.

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About the Author

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.