How to Recover an Unsaved Word Document on Mac, Here is the Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Yulia Ilina

Is there an easy method to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac? Whether you forgot to save the Word files, or the Word program suddenly crashed on Mac, especially the ones you have been working on for a period of time, what are the best Word saviors to retrieve them back? Of course, you can simply use the built-in AutoRecover feature to find out whether the files are still available, which should be the most recommended method. If you still cannot retrieve an unsaved Word document on Mac, here is the ultimate guide you should follow.

Recover an Unsaved Word Document on Mac

Part 1: 4 Workable Methods to Recover Unsaved Word Files on Mac

Method 1: How to Recover Unsaved Word Files on Mac via AutoRecovery

If the Word program suddenly crashed or the Mac powers off, you can simply retrieve the unsaved Word documents with the built-in AutoRecovery feature. It will automatically save your Word files every 10 minutes and you can recover an unsaved file to the last automatic save.

Step 1: Open the Finder menu on your MacBook. Select the Go menu and choose the Go to Folder option. Enter the following command line to the pop-up column before clicking the Go button.


Step 2: Go to the AutoRecovery folder, you can find all the autosaved Word files. There is an AutoRecovery save of prefix in the original title and choose the unsaved Word documents on Mac.

Step 3: Double-click the autosaved Word to open the Word on Mac. Open the File menu and choose the Save As button. Type a new file name and choose a folder for the file before clicking the Save button.

Auto Recovery Mac Excel

Method 2: How to Restore Unsaved Word Files on Mac with TMP Folder

When you need to restore unsaved Word files on Mac that you cannot locate from the AutoRecovery folder, TMP Folder is another workable way to get the files back. Usually, the Word program saves a copy named Word Work File in the Temporary folder.

Step 1: Go to the Applications folder and choose the Utilities program. Just double-click the Terminal app to enter the $TMPDIR command line to find the TMP folder where unsaved Word files are kept temporarily.

Open Terminal on Mac

Step 2: Switch to the Finder menu and select the Go menu. After that, you can choose the Go to Folder button to enter the address of the TMP folder. It will direct to the temporary folder for Word files.

TEMP Folder of Mac

Step 3: Scroll download to open the TemporaryItems folder. Right-click the files unsaved Word files and choose the Open with… option. Open it with Microsoft Word to save and recover the unsaved Word on Mac.

Recover Word from TEMP Folder

Method 3: How to Restore Unsaved Word Files with Previous Word Version

What should you do if you cannot open the Word documents sent by others or created with a previous version? Of course, you can simply use the previous Word version to restore the Word file on Mac. Here you can learn more about how to use OneDrive to help you out.

Step 1: Open the recent version of the Word document you wish to recover. Go to the File menu and choose the Browse Version History button if you are using Office 2016 or 2019 for Mac.

Step 2: Choose the previous version you need to restore the unsaved Word on Mac. You can select a version to open it in a separate window. After that, select the Restore button to get the process done.

Restore Previous Version of Word Mac

Method 4: How to Recover Unsaved Word Docs via Data Recovery

Mac Data Recovery is an all-featured data recovery that enables you to restore deleted Word documents on Mac. It provides both a quick scan and a deep scan to retrieve Word files at a high success rate. You can also use the Filter feature to locate the deleted, unsaved, or lost Word files. Moreover, it enables you to retrieve multiple file formats from deleted files, crashed hard drive, recycle bin, damaged disk, and more.

1. Recover unsaved Word documents for Office 2016/2019/365 and others.

2. Preview the size of unsaved Word and other information before recovery.

3. Retrieve the Word files from Email, ZIP files, hard drives, memory cards, etc.

4. Provide the deep scan mode to retrieve the unsaved Word on Mac easily.

Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Download and install Mac Data Recovery, you can open the program on your Mac and click the Start button to choose the Mac Data Recovery menu. If you need to retrieve the unsaved files from a USB drive, you can connect the device to your MacBook beforehand.

Mac Data Recovery

Step 2: Check the options for both Document and Others to retrieve the lost or unsaved Word documents on Mac. Moreover, you can also switch to the Deep mode directly from the Deep Scan button to restore the unsaved files by scanning thoroughly and completely.

Scan Mac

Step 3: Once you have completed the process, you can search and preview the Word files with the DOC or DOCX extensions. When you get the desired Word files, click the Recover button to restore them to the destination folder on your MacBook.

Recover Data on Mac Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: 2 Efficient Methods to Restore Deleted Word Documents on Mac

Method 5: How to Recover Deleted Word Docs with Trash Bin

It is not difficult for recovering the Word documents you just delete. The files in Trash Bin from iCloud Drive are automatically emptied from the Trash after 30 days, regardless of the Finder settings. If you have deleted some Word files on your Mac by accident, here is the way you can get them back.

Step 1: Choose the Trash Bin icon in the Dock and search for the Word files you have deleted. You can click the deleted files and preview them within the Trash Bin directly.

Step 2: In case you can’t find the deleted Word document, navigate to the Recovered Items folder in Trash Bin. Right-click the files and choose the Put Back option to recover deleted Word on Mac.

Retrieve Word from Trash Bin

Method 6: How to Retrieve Deleted Word Files via Time Machine

Once you have enabled the Time Machine on your MacBook, you can back up your Word document as far back as 24 hours. Besides, it also enables you to get back the deleted files you have saved previously. Select the backup version to retrieve deleted Word documents on Mac.

Step 1: Choose the Apple menu to select the System Settings button. After that, you can click the General in the sidebar, then click Time Machine on the right to find the backup files.

Step 2: By using Spotlight, you can also start searching and opening your Time Machine on Mac. Just locate the desired Word document from the Time Machine version you want to retrieve.

Step 3: Once you have found the deleted Word file, you can choose and click the Restore button to restore the unsaved Word document on Mac and save it to another location to avoid replacing it.

Time Machine Retrieve Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: Is It Possible to Restore a Replaced Word on Mac

What should you do if you have replaced a Word file with the same name? Is it possible to get the previous one that you have replaced? The details on the previous document remain on the hard drive until it is overwritten. Here are some simple ways to get the files back.

You can start recovering replaced Word on Mac by opening the new version through the Version History to check if this is the one you need. In case, the file has been changed then you can use your Time Machine to recover the word document mac. It should be an efficient method to restore the replaced Word Document on your Mac.

Win Download Mac Download


Here is a detailed guide about how to recover unsaved, deleted, lost, and even replaced Word documents on Mac. Just choose a suitable way to get the files back according to your requirement. If you cannot find the unsaved Word files, Mac Data Recovery is always a recommended Word Recovery on Mac you should take into consideration.