How to Recover a Draft in Word 2016

By Dan Gookin

You can recover some — but perhaps not all — of an unsaved document in Word 2016. When you forget to save a document, or the computer crashes, or the power goes out, valiantly make this attempt:

  1. Press Ctrl+O to summon the Open screen.

  2. Ensure that Recent is chosen as the file location.

  3. Click the Recover Unsaved Documents button, found at the bottom of the list of recent files.

    You may have to scroll the list of recent files a bit to locate the button

    The Open dialog box appears, listing the contents of a special folder, UnsavedFiles. It’s Word’s graveyard of sorts. Actually, it’s more like a morgue in a county with a lousy EMS.

  4. Click to select a document to recover.

    The document may have an unusual name, especially when it has never been saved.

  5. Click the Open button to open and recover the document.

The document you recover might not be the one you wanted it to be. If so, try again and choose another document.

You might also find that the recovered document doesn’t contain all the text you typed or thought would be there. You can’t do anything about it, other than remembering to save everything in the first place!

The recovery of drafts is possible because of Word’s AutoRecover feature.