How to Recover Lost Work in Word 2013

By Lois Lowe

Unfortunately, computers have been known to lock up occasionally, and applications, like Word 2013, crash in the middle of important projects. When that happens, any work that you haven’t saved is gone. For many people, it seems like computers act up even more if you are on a deadline, or forgot to save recently.

To minimize the pain of those situations, Word has an AutoRecover feature that silently acts like a superhero and saves your drafts as you work, once every ten minutes or at some other interval you specify. This means if your computer locks up, there is some temporary version of your file.

These drafts are saved in temporary hidden files that are deleted when you close the application successfully (that is, not abruptly because of a lockup, crash, or power outage).

If the application crashes, those temporary saved files appear for your perusal when the program restarts. You can choose to do either of the following actions if the application crashes on you:

  • Save them if their versions are newer than the ones you have on your hard drive.

  • Discard them if they contain nothing you need.

  1. In Word, choose File→Options.

    The Word Options dialog box opens.

  2. Click the Save category on the left.

  3. Make sure that the Save AutoRecover Information Every xx Minutes check box is selected.

  4. If desired, change the value in the Minutes box to another number.

    For example, to save every five minutes, type 5 there.

  5. Click OK.