If you’ve ever worked on a document for hours only to have your computer crash, you know the sinking feeling that comes with losing all your unsaved work. Even if you’re careful to save frequently, accidents happen. If you’re using a Mac, there are a few ways you can recover an unsaved Word document.

Assuming you have unsaved your work in Microsoft Word for Mac, there are a couple of ways you can go about trying to retrieve the lost document. The first option is to look for a temporary file that Microsoft Word creates when you first start working on a new document. These temporary files are typically saved in the same location as the original document, so if you can remember where you saved the document, you should be able to find the temporary file as well.

The second option is to use the Time Machine feature in macOS. Time Machine is a backup utility that saves copies of your files at regular intervals, so if you have it configured, you may be able to find an older version of the unsaved document. To access Time Machine, open the Finder and click on the Time Machine icon in the sidebar. From there, you can browse through previous versions of your files and restore the unsaved document if you find it.

If neither of these options work, you may be out of luck. However, it’s always worth a try to see if you can recover an unsaved Word document on Mac.

How to Check If Your Document Was Auto-Saved

Assuming you were working in Microsoft Word for Mac:

1. Check the Auto Recover file location. This is the location where your unsaved changes will be saved to.
2. To do this, open Word and go to Preferences.
3. Under Preferences, select Save.
4. In the AutoRecover file location section, note the file path. This is where your unsaved changes will be saved to.
5. Close Preferences.
6. Go to the file path noted in step 4.
7. Check the date and time of the most recent file saved in that location. This will be the file that contains your unsaved changes.

How to Recover an Unsaved Document from the Auto-Recover Folder

Assuming that you have not turned off the Auto-Recover feature in Word, your unsaved document should be stored in the Auto-Recover folder. This folder is usually located in the following directory:

Macintosh HD/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/

To access the Auto-Recover folder, you can either use the Finder to navigate to the directory above, or you can open the folder in Word by going to the File menu and selecting Open > AutoRecover.

Once you have located the folder, you should see a list of files with the .asd file extension. These are the Auto-Recover files that Word creates for unsaved documents. In order to open one of these files, simply double-click on it and Word will open the document.

How to Recover an Unsaved Document from Time Machine

Assuming you have Time Machine set up and running on your Mac, recovering an unsaved document is relatively straightforward. Simply open Time Machine, select the most recent backup of your hard drive, and then navigate to the document you wish to recover. Right-click (or control-click) on the document and select “Restore”. Time Machine will then restore the document to its original location.

How to Recover an Unsaved Document from a Previous Version

If you accidentally close a document without saving, or if your computer crashes and you lose unsaved work, you may be able to recover the document from a previous version. To do this:

1. Open the document you were working on. If it was unsaved, it will likely have the same name as the last saved version, with “(Recovered)” added to the end.

2. Click the File menu, then hover over “Versions” (MacOS Sierra) or “Recent Versions” (MacOS High Sierra).

3. Select “Browse all versions…” (MacOS Sierra) or “Browse all versions…” (MacOS High Sierra).

4. Find the version of the document you want to recover, then click “Restore”.

5. Click “Save” when prompted.


There are a few different ways that you can go about recovering an unsaved Word document on Mac. If you have recently saved the document, you can try opening the “AutoRecover” feature in Word. If you have not saved the document recently, you can try using the Time Machine feature in MacOS to Restore the document from a previous version. If all else fails, you can always try using a data recovery software to see if it can recover the unsaved document from your hard drive.

How to Recover an Unsaved Word Document on Mac

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