Power interruptions or system errors are a common cause of losing digital files, but the most frequent cause of lost documents is human error. Sometimes, you might close a document without saving changes, and the resulting challenge is to recover the lost file. If you have recently saved a document, you may only lose the changes made after your last save. Not all files are recoverable, but before you get upset over them, try these methods to recoup your valuable documents.
- Skill level:
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Click the Start icon on the taskbar. Type ".tmp" in the Search box, then press "Enter."
Click "Other" on the Show Only toolbar.
Scroll through the files and search for files that match the last dates and times that you edited the document. Click on them and check if they are the ones you are looking for.
Click Start, choose "Search" and then click "For Files or Folders."
Type ".tmp " in the "Search for files or folders named" box. Then, in the "Look in" box, point to the arrow and click "My Computer."
Click "Search Options" if the Search Options are not visible. Once located, select the "Date" check box, then click "in the last n days." Change n to the number of days since you last opened your file.
Click "Search Now." Then click "Details " on the View menu. Point to "Arrange Icons," then click on "by date."
Browse through the files that match the last few times you edited the document. Click on them and check if these are the ones you are looking for.
If the "Always create backup copy" option is selected in your Microsoft Word program, search in the folder where you last saved the file.
Search for files with a ".wbk" file name extension.
You can also try searching for ".wbk" files using the Search option in the Start menu.
Tips and warnings
- To avoid losing files and repeating the changes you've made on your Word files, make it a habit to regularly save your progress. This will save you a lot of time and effort.
- If you have not recently saved the document, the whole document may be lost unlike when you have recently saved it and only the changes done after are lost.
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