When working with files on a Mac, nothing can be as disastrous as leaving a Word document unsaved or deleting Word documents by mistake, especially after several hours' or even days' work on it. Though Microsoft Office Word app offers AutoRecover feature to restore a Word document that was not saved on a Mac, it may not be enabled or fail to recover sometimes.
In this article, we will introduce all the fixes on Mac word document recovery, no matter you want to recover unsaved Word document on Mac with or without AutoRecovery, or restore deleted/lost even retrieve a previous version of Word document on Mac.
In this part, we will show you 5 solutions for unsaved word document recovery on Mac, without or without using AutoRecovery.
If you haven’t enabled AutoRecovery, or you want a recovery solution with higher recovery rate, you can use dedicated Mac Word data recovery software. To make things easier, here we will recommend you the best Word document recovery tool for Mac – Cisdem Data Recovery.
Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is designed to safely get all your deleted, lost, formatted even unsaved Word documents and other files like photos, videos, audios, archives back from your Mac hard drive and other storage devices.
AutoRecover is a feature of Microsoft Word series helping users to save the files automatically when working (editing or modifying) on a Word document. By default, Microsoft Word automatically saves the files every 10 minutes. Here, we need to make sure if the AutoRecovery is ON.
For Office Word 2016/2019/2021/Office 365
For Office Word 2011:
If you have turned the AutoRecover feature ON, there is an extra simple but easily over-looked method to recover the Word document that wasn’t saved due to force quit or power off on Mac---to open a Word document.
Situation 1: The unsaved Word document is caused by force quit, program or system crash, but the Mac is not powered off.
Solution 1: Open any one of your Word documents, then the Office Word will be launched, and all the previously opened Word documents will be opened. Find the Word document, go to File > Save.
Situation 2: The unsaved Word document is caused by sudden power off.
Solution 2: Restart your Mac immediately, once you see the desktop, you will find all the Word documents left unsaved are opened. Then, go to File > Save and make your Word documents saved.
If you haven’t enabled AutoRecover, or you have tried AutoRecover but it didn’t work, you can launch Terminal on Mac to restore unsaved Word document on Mac after crash, to find and restore unsaved Word docs from Temporary Folder.
It’s possible for Mac to move the temporary files to Trash bin after rebooting. Thus you can try to restore a Word document not saved on Mac from the Recovered items folder in Trash bin.
There are some times we just lost or accidentally deleted a Word document, here we recommend 2 ways to recover lost or deleted Word documents on Mac.
When the Word document is lost or deleted, the first thing you should do is to check the Trash bin. Since, all the removed items are transferred to Trash bin by default on Mac. Here are the steps to recover from Mac Trash.
In fact, if you have a good habit to back up files via online storage services, that would be much easier to get the lost or deleted word document back. Though there are many online storage services, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, the steps to recover Word documents from these backups are quite easy and similar. And much probably, you may have backed your Word document in OneDrive or iCloud, here we take these 2 tools to demonstrate how to do the online Word document recovery.
Go to iCloud website or app, login into your iCloud account.
Find and click on the Word file you want to restore to your Mac and click the Download icon to move it.
(Optional) If you cannot find the deleted Word document, go to Settings > Advanced > Restore Files, choose Word document you want to recover, then click "Restore File" to recover.
Here we have 3 tricks to restore a previous version of a Word document on Mac.
If the Word document is not created by you, go ask for the original Word document from the sender;
If you are the one created the Word document, it is much likely that the current Word document has went through different versions, so track down to see if you have sent out previous version before via emails/iCloud, or deleted in Trash Bin, if yes, get them back and rename it.
We all know that Mac Preview builds in the feature allowing users to revert to previous versions, likewise, we can also get the similar feature within Word for Mac. But note that Version history in Office only works for files stored in OneDrive or SharePoint Online.
For Office 2016 & 2019 & 2021:
For Office 365 for 2023:
If you have turned the Time Machine ON, your Word documents will be well backed up and you are able to get a previous version of your Word document.
Steps to Recover Previous Version of Word Document on Mac
Mac Word AutoRecovery offers the easiest solution to restore unsaved Word document, but if you still cannot get the Word documents back with AutoRecovery, using Cisdem, it can find and restore unsaved, deleted, lost documents fast.
Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.
AutoRecover didn't work. Still I have no backups. Any other possible solutions to recover my deleted word document without the need of third-party tool? Please help.
So far, the fullest guide to recover a word document, I managed to recover the docx file in my icloud backup. Thanks.
Awesome. This really helped me and I appreciate your work. Happy New Year 2018!