One of the most popular text processors in the world is undeniably Microsoft Word. For most users, this program allows them to easily create text documents. However, many of us tend to forget to save our work. This is also the reason why the autosave feature exists. Such feature helps us avoid data loss. If you’re wondering how you can find, activate, and access the Word autosave location on Windows 10, well, you’d be glad you found this article!

Today, we’re going to teach you how to open Word autosave location on Windows 10. Read through this post to know how you can retrieve files that you forgot to save.
P.S. If you don’t want to read the full article, you may simply watch a short video showing a quick fix here:

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UPDATE: To use the autosave feature in Microsoft Word 2021, the file you’re editing must be saved in the Microsoft cloud. If you’ve installed the latest Office version and wish to use autosave for your local files in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  • Open the document and go to File > Info.
  • Select Upload and then select Save to Cloud.
  • Choose OneDrive or SharePoint.

From now on, you don’t need to worry about recovering unsaved Word files. Your document is automatically updated as you work.

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Method 2: Checking Word settings

Of course, before you learn how to open Word autosave location on Windows 10, you must know how to activate the feature first. You can do that by following the instructions below:

  1. Launch Word, then click File.
  2. Select Options, then click Save on the left-pane menu.
  3. Make sure that the ‘Save AutoRecover information’ option is selected. You can also choose your preferred time interval for automatic saving.Enable the ‘Save AutoRecover information’ option.
  4. Go to the AutoRecover File Location field. Here, you will see the location of the autosave directory.  By default, it is set to C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\. However, you can always change that to your preferred location by clicking the Browse button.

Once you’ve located the autosave location on your computer, you need to launch Word and navigate to the directory. Look for the automatically saved file and double-click it to open it in Word. It is worth noting that the directory may be hidden in your computer, especially when it is located in the AppData folder. You can quickly access the folder by pasting the location in the address bar of File Explorer.

Of course, you can still manually access that folder. You just have to follow the path. Remember to reveal the hidden items so you can see the AppData folder. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to access the Word autosave location without any issues.

Despite several face-lifts Microsoft gave to Windows 11, the procedure remains the same. So if you’re looking for how to open Word autosave location on Windows 11, follow the same steps.

Method 3: Checking the AppData folder

As we’ve mentioned, the default autosave location for Word is the AppData folder. Microsoft Word can save the files in various locations, including C:\Users\Your_username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Word and C:\Users\Your_username\AppData\Local\Temp. Most recent versions of the program use a different location. In some cases, unsaved files can be found in C:\Users\Your_username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles.

If you’re using Microsoft 365 subscription on Windows 10 or Windows 11, your options are simpler. If a backup document was created, you’ll find it in one of the two locations:

  • C:\Users<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word
  • C:\Users<UserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

You will find various types of Word files in the aforementioned folders. Typically, the autosave files have a squiggly line or tilde before the file name. They also have a .tmp extension along with a 4-digit number assigned to them. Here are some things to consider:

  • A Word document inside an autosave folder will look like this: ~wrdxxxx.tmp.
  • A temporary document file will look like this: ~wrfxxxx.tmp.
  • An auto recovery file will look like this: ~wraxxxx.tmp.

It is worth noting that complete auto recovery files will not have a .tmp extension. Instead, you will see them with a. wbk extension. Once you find one of those files, double-click it. Doing so will open the document in Word. Make sure you save the file after opening it.

Method 4: Using the option for recovering unsaved documents

If Word unexpectedly crashes or you accidentally close the program, don’t panic. You can still open the autosave location by following the instructions below:

  1. Open Word, then go to File.
  2. Select Recent, then click Recover Unsaved Documents.
  3. You will now be able to see the autosave location folder. Now, you can select the document you wish to restore.

Choose the unsaved document you wish to recover.

Another option for accessing the autosave location would be to navigate to this path:

File ->Info ->Manage Versions ->Recover Unsaved Documents

Make sure you save the file once you open it.

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Method 5: Checking the recycle bin

Another way to retrieve unsaved documents on Windows 11 is to check the recycle bin. Word often creates autosaves that end up in the recycle bin if not restored. You might also check there to restore a document you previously deleted.

  1. Double-click the Recycle Bin on your desktop to open it.
  2. Search through the files for your unsaved or missing documents. Pay attention to file names ending with doc, .docx, and .dot. extensions.
  3. If you find the document you’re looking for, right-click the file and select Restore to recover it.

Method 6: Searching your computer for .asd or .wbk files

Word automatically saves your files. However, there are some instances when it can be difficult to find the autosave location. If you can’t find where this is, it would be ideal to search for the specific file extension. Autosaved Word files typically have a .asd or .wbk file extension. You can search for these files by following these instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+E. This should launch File Explorer.
  2. Once File Explorer is up, click the search bar in the top right corner.
  3. Type “.wbk” or “.asd” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  4. Your system will search for all .wbk and .asd files. Right-click the file and select Open File Location. Doing so will open the Word autosave location. This will allow you to see all your automatically saved files.

If you can’t locate any .asd or .wbk files, make sure to search for .tmp files. It is worth noting that .tmp files are not necessarily related to Word. So, some of them might be part of other applications. You can go back to Method 2 to learn how to identify temporary files associated with Word.

It is true that the Word autosave feature is quite useful. However, the autosaved files are still prone to corruption. If they get infected by viruses, you will lose them entirely. So, to protect your autosaved files and your entire system, make sure you use a reliable security tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. This program detects common and unusual threats and attacks that may damage your files and harm your computer. With this program, you can rest easy knowing that your PC and your files are sufficiently protected.

Method 7: Checking the document directory

In some cases, the autosaved files can be found in the same directory where you saved your file. However, these files are typically hidden. You can reveal them by following the steps below:

  1. Launch Word.
  2. Go to File, then click Open.
  3. Click Browse then navigate to the directory where you saved the file.
  4. Make sure you change the File Type from ‘All Word documents’ to ‘All Files’.
  5. You should be able to see the backup file. This file is easily recognizable because it will have ‘Backup of’ in its name.
  6. Open the file, then save it.

Method 8: Searching for the document via Search

It’s possible that you already saved the document but forgot about it. It’s also possible that you mistakenly saved it to a location which you can’t remember. It might even have been saved to the cloud. This can happen in Windows 7 where the latest Word versions use OneDrive as the default save location. Try searching for the document on your Windows 11 PC:

  1. Hit the Windows key and then type the document name. If you can’t remember the name, use a combination of keywords.
  2. If the result list contains the document you’re looking for, click the document to open it.

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