Recover a Lost or Corrupt Document in Microsoft Word 2016

Recover a Lost or Corrupt Document in Microsoft Word 2016

Do you ever have a troublesome .doc or .docx file Word that you can’t open ? Or even lost a document completely with all your hard work gone along it? then you can recover a lost or corrupt document in Microsoft Word 2016.

We all have been there before as  this is a hard lesson that you must keep your computer backed up if you don’t already. There are many free and cheap programs that ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. So once if you are done with your work you can yourself do a favor and set that up.

Here are a few ways for the time being to recover that damaged or lost file.

Recover Text from a Corrupted Word Document

You may encounter an error if your document is corrupted. Those are:

“Word experienced an error trying to open the file.
Try these suggestions.
* Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
* Make sure there is sufficient free memory and disk space.
* Open the file with the Text Recovery converter.”

If you checked the file permissions and you also know that you are able to access it and you have checked your Memory usage and found it not overly high and current CPU. You can use Word’s built-in recovery to try and get a text back and don’t even find the file then skip down to the third section of this article.

Open Word, then tap File -> Open.


Next, tap Browse.

open recent

You need to navigate to the file you are trying to open. From here you can do this. Select the “Recover Text from Any File (*.*)” file type from the drop-down menu if you get the file.

file type from dropdown menu

Tap Open, and with a little luck, Word will recover your text.

select open

Your mileage may change as it is said. Sometimes even if the text can be repaired, you may lose formatting if the file may be corrupted beyond repair.

Force Word to Repair a Damaged File

Microsoft has another way to try to force Word to try to repair a file If the above option doesn’t work. Tap File on the Ribbon, and then tap Open In Word.

file on ribbon



In the Open dialog box, tap to highlight your Word document.

highlight your word document

Tap the arrow on the Open button, and then tap Open and Repair.

click open and repair

Recover a Lost Word Document

You may be able to find backup files those are saved in Word if you can’t even find the file. How to search for Word’s backup files in Microsoft Word 2016 is demonstrated here. Older versions instructions of Word can be found in Microsoft’s documentation.

After you’ve started Word 2016, first tap File -> then Open.

word 2016 open

Next, tap Browse.

click browse

Then navigate the folder where you saved last missing file. All Word documents in the Files of type list. Usually, the file backup has the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file. Tap the backup file and then tap open.

file name

If you don’t find the backup file listed then alternatively search for *.wbk Word Backup files.

name of file

The file name may be unfamiliar since it is automatically generated by Word. So that if you see any .wbk files then open them one at a time until  you find the one you are looking for and save it.

Find and Recover Temporary Autosave Files

If you don’t find any backups in the folder of document’s then you might have autosaved files from the last 10 minutes you worked on any Word document. They appear in a number of locations, including:

  • “C:\ Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Word”.
  • “C:\ Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp”

On Windows 7 and Vista, the locations will be

  • “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Word”
  • “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp”

I found mine stored in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word.

data roming

Look for the following types of files, where “xxx” is a number:

  • A word document file will look like ~wrdxxxx.tmp
  • A temp document file will look like ~wrfxxxx.tmp
  • An auto recovery file will look like ~wraxxxx.tmp or will be named “AutoRecovery save off . . .” with a .asd extension
  • An auto recovery file that is complete will have the extension of .wbk.

If you have trouble finding your Temp files folder or Autosave storage, an easy and fast way to find your autosave files is to use the Search Everything utility to search for filetypes like “.asd” or prefixes like “wra”. You need to wait for it to index your computer’s storage but after it is completed it is lightning quick. One of these options will help recover your lost work hopefully.

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