Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!
+ Get this BONUS — free!
Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!
Linda, I'm not sure what your previous post was, because there's only the one post above. But here's how I find an unsaved Word document.
First of all, if you "crashed" out of Word (the program simply shut down because the power shut off, or Word for some other reason didn't exit normally), when you open Word, it may list a file that was autosaved at the time of the crash. Tell it you want to recover that file.
If you didn't crash out of Word, but rather simply didn't save the file, then try the following:
1. Find out where the Word autosave folder is -- look in the Word options.
2. Look in that folder to see if there is anything which has the correct time/date and size, or close to it. Doesn't matter what the name is, you need to check the time/date and size.
3. If you find anything that might be close, then you may have found the autosave backup file that Word automatically generated. Copy that file, giving it the name <whatever>.docx or <whatever>.doc (depending on how it was originally saved). (Check how other Word files are being saved these days to see how this one was probably saved.)
With any luck, one of these two methods will allow you to have your file back.
For future reference, set your autobackup interval to every 1 or 2 minutes, to make better sure that you will have a current autobackup of it.
Thanks for your helpful hints, Jim. I was lucky: I found the file after all.
However, this can happen so easily. I knew about the list that appears after crashing Word, but not about being able to find files in the autosave folder. That will be great knowledge to have ... in case it happens again (and doesn't it always!?).
Also hadn't realized I could set time frame for auto save. Will check out how to do that and ensure mine is set for a short interval.
UPDATE: Found it in Word Options under Save and it was easy to reset to 2 from default 10 minutes!
Here's how I set up an architectural firm, so that they would be well-protected against drawings getting inadvertently deleted or corrupted:
All of the network drives and folders were set up on one computer. There was also an external hard drive on that computer. Everyone saved their drawings to their network folder (i.e. on that one computer).
They use AutoCAD, and so I set the AutoCAD autobackup interval to three minutes. These autoback copies were saved to the external hard drive.
I installed Memeo, which does continual backups of any files you make changes to. I set it to save the three most recent copies, again to the external hard drive.
--> Memeo not only auto-backed up the actual drawings that they worked on, but also the AutoCAD autobackups, giving them multiple copies of everything, all automatically done.
About once a month, I imaged all computers to the primary external hard drive, and to a second external hard drive. I first deleted the oldest image, freeing up space for the current image. I kept the four newest images.
The keys here are the following:
-> Autobackups of everything were continually done, putting copies in multiple locations.
-> Monthly images were done to the primary drive, and to a different drive than the primary drive.
This can apply to any scenario, including Word documents.
You can set autosave for every 2 or 3 minutes, but the problem is that if you exit Word normally, without saving, the contents of the autosave folder will probably be lost. This is by design, because Word will only find something in the autosave folder, and prompt to use it, following an abnormal exit. At normal shutdown, the contents of the autosave folder should be deleted. To get around this I created an autosave backup folder, then set up a scheduled task to regularly copy the contents of the autosave folder to the backup folder. The copy job runs silently in the background, because it is set up to run under a different User, who is not logged on. The backup folder will grow over time, and needs to be cleaned out occasionally, but that doesn't matter.
Thank you both for the excellent information. I have a cloud backup which backs up everything daily and, thanks to this Lounge, now do monthly image backups on an external hard drive.
Hadn't realized that autosave works only when Word "crashes" so like the solution to get around this.
Until I can set that up, I'm just manually clicking Save frequently when working on an important document...not ideal, but a temporary security measure!
Actually, Linda, it IS ideal to manually click Save frequently. It's much better to develop that habit than to depend on technology to do it for you. I guarantee you that anytime you are on any computer, you manually click Save frequently. So your habit will work for you everywhere you go, as opposed to depending on technology, which may work only on your primary computer.
Having said that, it's good to do the manual Save AND have the technology solution in place, so that you are well covered in case of data loss.