Word document recovery

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Office lets you recover documents lost but it can be hard to choose the right one.

For many versions of Office you’ve been able to recover open documents that haven’t been saved before a system crash, but the details aren’t obvious.

If Windows or Office unexpectedly stops, there’s a chance that Office can recover the documents you were working on.

When you restart Office, it will present a ‘Document Recovery’ pane with versions of the documents that were open previously. There are sometimes numerous versions available; the original plus maybe several autosaved versions.

The default recovery pane is quite narrow for the information provided.

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From this narrow view it can be hard to work out document names, let alone details of when each version was saved.

Thankfully you can widen the recovery pane by dragging the right edge of the pane to the right.

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Now you can see the full file name plus details of the way the version was saved (original, saved by user, autosaved or repaired) plus the date and time.

Hover the mouse over any document and click on the left-hand wedge to see the options to View, Save or Close plus Show Repairs when applicable.

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You can just double-click on the document name to open that version.

If you close the Document Recovery pane you might be prompted to keep or removed the autosaved versions.

Another option is to hide or show the recovery pane by clicking the ‘Recovered’ button on the status bar.

The Autosave configuration is on the Options | Save menu. The default setting is 10 minutes between automatic saves but we usually change that to 5 minutes – we’ve been stung by misbehaving Windows or Office losing our latest work too many times and prefer the more frequent Autosaves.

Long time users of Office remember the days before Autosave when hours of work could be lost in an instant. Us old-timers still press Ctrl + S (to save the document completely) from time to time almost as a reflex .

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