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Thread: 'Ghost' files?

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    'Ghost' files?

    I know that MS Word makes ghost backup files of my documents as I type them. I'm not asking about the backup I want of my document that I save, but the copy of this document that Iím not going to save.

    How long are these documents on my disk? How can I find these documents and delete them? Am I asking about the temp files? Iím not sure I am. Somewhere, from years ago, I seem to remember reading that these Ďghostí files are stored permanently


    Bob Wall

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    You can find out where the temp files are stored under File Locations, found under tools - options, which varies depending on which version of Word you're using.

    AutoRecover Files Location.jpg

    Normally these files are deleted when you close the document, unless there was a Word malfunction of some sort, but occasionally some temp files will get orphaned here. You should be able to delete them safely.
    Last edited by BigMac56; 2013-06-11 at 04:59.

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    Thanks for the reply. I did check that site in Word 2010.

    I occasionally delete all files with .tmp extension.
    Bob Wall

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    I occasionally search my Word folders for all files with a ~$ at the start and all files with "Backup of" and delete them.
    The former are lost temporary files. The others are backups of documents that have been altered and saved. They will have a .wbk extension.


    You can turn off the creation of these backup files but I would rather just occasionally delete them.

    A find in my user folder will locate "Backup of" files just about any place I would have put them. I just did this and found 109 to delete!
    The lost temporary files need to be spotted in individual folders. They will be toward the beginning of any alphabetical list. There shouldn't be many of these.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2013-06-11 at 14:05.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
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    I have used the ~ tilde before, but I havenít gotten a meaningful result, or with any other combination such as ~*.*

    I usually go through and use the *.tmp to find the files to delete. I occasionally find a ~wr*.* file, which I know is a backup file for the Word document I currently have open. If Word is closed and I find a ~wr*.* file, I just delete it.

    Iím not going to consciously save this file. Is this file saved somewhere on my disc where I can see it in the future?

    I definitely want to keep those .bak files.
    Bob Wall

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    For unsaved documents (that happen to get saved) the place to look is File > Info > Manage Versions > Recover Unsaved Documents. You might also choose to Delete All Unsaved Documents under Manage Versions.

    Alternatively you might look at File > Recent > Recover Unsaved Documents (note subtle placement at bottom right of the window).

    Finally, you should check your options under File > Options > Save >...
    ... Save AutoRecover information every xx minutes
    ... Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving
    ... AutoRecover file location
    Last edited by Andrew Lockton; 2013-06-11 at 18:32.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    I have to look in a folder for the ~$ at the beginning to find the orphaned lock files. I open a folder and make sure it is organized in alphabetical order. They are then easy to spot. These do not take much room and don't contain text from the document so I don't worry about them as much as the backup files.

    Once a document is actually sent or used, I don't need the backups. I make them anyway in case I accidentally save over the top of something important before the document is used. Virtually all of my important work is based on templates. The templates usually contain anything that I would want to reuse in a different document. Since most documents I produce are edited at least once, keeping the backups would double the file storage requirements.

    Since I keep all closed files on my current hard drive (as well as in backups) this can get significant. (I like to be able to call up a closed client file quickly if the former client calls with questions.) It is all a matter of personal practice.

    P.S. the extension on the Word backups is .wbk. I believe I used .bak in Word Perfect and MultiMate.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2013-06-12 at 11:24.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
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    I like to keep all my old files. I have a 1 TB fixed disc, which I probably will never fill. I also back up onto 32 GB flash drives every day. One of the most common problems I had when teaching, was that a student had lost a file, or the computer hung up on them and they lost it. The first thing I asked was, ĎWhere did you back it up to?í That usually got a dumb look in return. Iím such a stickler for saving that I will do a CTRL S without thinking about it.

    Thank all of you for your responses.
    Bob Wall

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    Star Lounger lesle's Avatar
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    Download the Everything search engine from:
    http://voidtools.com/
    It uses the master file table, is small, and is fast.
    You can search your whole machine for whatever, such as ~$, ~wr, etc.
    If you want, you can delete all files found, at one time, from within everything.
    It's simple and straightforward, and just works.

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    Thanks, I tried it and it worked excellently. Since there is just no pleasing me, I tried to find files by dates, and that didnít work. After I post this reply, finish my emails, and do a few documents, Iíll reboot to see what changes occur. I hope that nothing changed.
    Bob Wall

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    I just discovered the 'Thanks' icon. I have entered 'Thanks in the thread, but I haven't used this 'Thanks' icon until today. I will remember to use it in the future. My apologies to all the posts I've received over the years.
    Bob Wall

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    Interestingly enough, Search Everything quit working when I rebooted. Iíll download it again later. While it did work, I found a lot of ~ and .tmp files that I couldnít find otherwise. Iíll leave them in the Recycle Bin for two months before deleting them. I wonder if Search Everything will work on my backup flash drives.
    Bob Wall

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    Answering my previous message; No, Search Everything doesnít work on my flash drive.

    I did find a location C:\Users\Owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Unsa vedFiles

    where all (?) of my unsaved documents seem to be saved. Later I will go there and delete this unsaved document.
    Bob Wall

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