For those who are early adopters of Microsoft Office, you should have used or are still using Word to make documents, it doesn’t matter whether you are on a Windows PC or have already switched to a Mac computer.
Sometimes you might encounter situations like couldn’t open a Word doc because it’s corrupted. Worse yet, you couldn’t find a specific word doc because it got deleted or lost for some reason.
The question is: how to recover the Word file?
In this article, we’ll share a few quick tips and tricks that hopefully can assist you to retrieve the content or the entire Word file.
If You Deleted the Word File or Couldn’t Find It
First of all, check the Recycle Bin (Windows 10) or Trash (macOS). Usually, when you deleted a word file, they will go to the Recycle Bin or Trash. If it is there, just select it and click the Restore or Put Back option to restore it to its original location.
If that doesn’t work out for you, try third-party recovery software.
- If you use a Windows PC, see our review of the best Windows data recovery programs.
- For Apple Macs, check out our best Mac data recovery app review.
Note: you can only retrieve a deleted or lost Word file provided that it is not written over yet. In other words, the moment you realized your file is missing, stop writing new data or saving new files to the disk drive.
If Your Word File is Corrupted or Damaged
Repair Corrupt Word on Windows
The best way is to try this tool called Stellar File Repair, a program specifically designed to restore the original content and formattings by repairing a problematic MS Word document. Below is a screenshot of the software. It supports all versions of Microsoft Office 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.
Repair Corrupt Word on Mac
If you are on a Mac, a typical symptom of Word corruption is this error message:
“This file may be corrupted. Open file with text recovery converter.”
In fact, there is no such text recovery converter on Mac. But you can often rely on the “Recover Text from Any File” feature to recover the content. How to do that? Follow these steps:
- Launch the Word app on your Mac.
- In the main menu, click on File > Open.
- Find the drop-down menu titled Enable: (in some Word versions, it might be Show).
- Select the option Recover Text from Any File.
- Locate your damaged or corrupted Word file.
- Follow the rest instructions to finish the recovery process.
It can be upset to lose a Word document either because it’s corrupted or missing. Chances are you might still be able to get it back or at least retrieve the content you’ve worked and saved, by using a word repair tool or the tips we have shared above.
Don’t forget to back up your important documents. You can do so by making several copies of the Word docs to an external hard drive or simply email yourself by adding the files as attachments. Now online documents are getting popular, consider switching from Office Word software to Office 365 or Google Docs (both are excellent online word doc options). I’ve been using Google Doc for a while, and I’m quite happy about it.
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.