Lost MS Office Files? Check Out These 4 Stellar Solutions

Posted by on March 6, 2019 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 0 Comments

Summary: This article describes 4 best methods of recovering a lost MS Office file, which includes looking for unsaved recoverable files, backup files, and older version of files as well as the most effective recovery software which can deal with all types of data loss scenarios.

We’ve all been there: frantically searching for an MS Office file we just couldn’t find. Perhaps the file is lost due to accidental deletion, system crash or power failure. Or, you just have emptied the Recycle Bin.

It would appear all is lost!

Fortunately, several options are available for recovering a lost MS Office file – be it Word, Excel or PowerPoint file. But, choosing the right deleted file recovery software ensure safe and complete retrieval of the file with the latest changes can be overwhelming.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 4 stellar file recovery solutions:

Method 1 – Recover files from Unsaved Files Folder

Microsoft Office applications automatically save temporary backups of files as you work, to help you avoid losing data when the unexpected happens. So, you can recover lost file by restoring the temporary version of the Office file. To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Launch the MS Office application you were working in, and choose Blank document/workbook/presentation.

Step 2 – Click on File, and then click on Info.

Step 3 – On the Info page, click on the Manage Versions button, and then from the drop-down menu select Browse recent unsaved files.

Step 4 – The UnsavedFiles folder will open, containing all unsaved files – your Office app has created temporary backups for.

Step 5 – Select the file you need and click on the Open button.

The Office application will load the selected temporary file, which might help you recover lost data.


  • There is a greater chance of incomplete file recovery by restoring temporary files, as it may not contain recent changes done in the lost file.

Method 2 – Search for Backup and Recover Lost Office Files

If the “Always create backup copy” option is enabled in your Office application, you may find a backup copy of your missing file.

Note: To locate the “Always create backup copy” in Word, click Options in the File tab and from the Word Options dialog box click on Advanced, and then click Save. To locate the option in Excel, open the Save As dialog box and click on the Tools button in the lower-right corner, and then from the drop-down list click General Options.

To find the backup copy of your Office file, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Open your default file location.

Step 2 – Next, browse or search for files starting with the name “Backup of” followed by the name of the missing file. For instance, here’s a screenshot showing the backup of a Word document with the ‘.wbk’ extension:

Step 3 – Double-click on the “backup of your lost file” to open it in your Office application.


  • This method won’t work if the “Always create backup copy” is unchecked.
  • Not all versions of Microsoft Office, have “Always create backup copy” option. But, you will find the “AutoRecover” feature in most of the Office versions. If you’re using this functionality, set the time for automatic recovery of your file to a few minutes. That way you’ll only lose a small amount of work.
  • During data disaster, computer files are prone to getting corrupted or damaged, including the backup copy.

Method 3 – Recover an older version of Office File

If you cannot find a backup of your file, try using the Windows built-in feature “Previous Versions”. This feature allows users to restore earlier copies of a file in a few steps:

Step 1 – Open the folder where you have last saved the file

Step 2 – Right-click on the file in the folder you want to recover, and then click on the Properties option.

Step 3- When the properties screen appears, click on the Previous Versions tab and you’ll see all the previous versions of the Office files

Step 4 – Next, click on the Copy or Restore button to recover a previous version of the file you need.

Note: The Copy button will restore the selected file to a specified location, while the Restore button will overwrite the file saved on your hard drive with the previous version.


You cannot guarantee whether you’ll get access to the lost file, by restoring a previous version of Office file.

Method 4 – Recover Office Files by Using DIY Data Recovery Software

In the above discussed methods, we have talked about Windows recovery features that can be used to recover lost MS Office files. However, the methods cannot save you from every kind of mishap with file – like corruption or permanent deletion.

The most effective way to recover Office files is to perform data recovery. You can do this with the help of a reliable software.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional is a powerful data recovery software for Windows that helps recover lost or permanently deleted as well as encrypted Office files quickly and easily.

Let’s look at a few other reasons that makes this tool worth trying:

  • The software can handle any data loss scenarios, including corruption, accidental formatting and unintentional deletion of files
  • Allows recovery of Office files based on unique file signatures, which ensures security
  • Let you preview the files before recovery
  • Allows to recover files from a specified location

The software provides a simple way to recover lost Office files:

Step 1- Select what you want to recover

Step 2 – Choose the location where you want to recover your lost data

Step 3 – Scan all lost data

Step 4 – Select Office files and recover

Step 5 – Save the recovered files

Wrapping Up!

When it comes to retrieving lost Office Files, Microsoft recommends using a few Windows inbuilt recovery options to accomplish the task. But, the inbuilt recovery options won’t necessarily work in all cases, and recovers incomplete files.

However, with a professional data recovery tool such as ‘Stellar Data Recovery-Professional for Windows’, you can recover complete Office file even it is permanently deleted or lost due to severe corruption.

Author Bio:

Manish Bhickta is a Data Recovery wizard with Stellar Data Recovery for more than 3 years. He loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials around them.

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