How to Recover an Accidentally Saved Over Word Document?

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You may have spent a long time constructing an extensive essay, an article, or a report, but accidentally saved over it with an empty document. It seems all hope lost. Fortunately, there are some dependable ways that can recover an overwritten Word document quickly and effectively. Now, let's go through them one by one.

Solution 1: Undo Save in Word

If you accidentally saved over a Word document, the best and easiest way is to recall the operation. You only need to press Ctrl + Z at the same time, then you can recover the Word document to its previous version.

Solution 2: Recover Word File From the Temp Files

When you work on a Word file, Office creates some temp files automatically as a backup in case you forget to save the document. It creates a new temp file after a specific time without overwriting the previous ones. So if you accidentally saved over a word document, you can find your required file from the temp files. However, you need to enable the AutoRecover option before you overwritten the original document.

To recover overwritten Word document from the temp files, you will have to find the location of the temp files on your PC first. After navigating into corresponding folder, you will locate the temp file you need.

On Windows XP/7/8/10/11 system, the file location path is usually: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\

autorecover file location path

If you are also a regular user of Microsoft Excel, temp files is also a workable way to recover unsaved excel files.

Solution 3: Recover Word Document From Backup Copy

Apart from temp files, MS Word also creates a backup copy for your document. However, this feature is disabled by default. You have to enable it beforehand. Once enabled, it will create a file in .wbk file format in the same folder as the original file. If you accidentally saved over a Word document, you can navigate to the file location and open the .wbk file, then save it as a .doc or .docx file.

recover a saved over word document from backup copy

tipsTip

If you haven't enabled this feature yet, you can navigate to File > Options > Advanced > Save > Check "Always create backup copy".

Solution 4: Restore Word Document to Previous Version

If the above methods fail to work, you can try to restore accidentally saved over Word file by restoring it to the previous version.

Step 1: Create a new Word file with the same name as the Word file that got accidentally overwritten before. Alternatively, you can locate your overwritten or saved-over Word file.

Step 2: After creating a new file or locating the old one, right-click on the Word file. A menu will appear, then select "Properties" option there.

Step 3: You will find a "Previous Versions" tab. Click on the tab. Here you'll see different versions of the Word file. Restore the version you need.

recover saved over word document from previous version

tipsTip

  • "There are no previous versions available" often occurs since Windows won't backup your files automatically. You need to turn on the "File History" feature.
  • To do that, open Control Panel and select "save backup copies of your files with File History" under System and Security. You can turn on the File History in the next screen.
  • Bonus Tip 1: How to Recover a Saved Over Word Document on Mac

    The above 4 solutions apply to Windows users. If you are using a Mac computer then you should check the solutions below.

    Method 1: Recover an Overwritten Word Document With Time Machine

    Time Machine is a built-in backup and restore tool on Mac. It can create backups of your files hourly, daily and weekly until the volume is out of space. Therefore, you can easily recover a saved-over Word document in a specific time. Here is how to do it:

    Step 1: Click on the Time Machine icon on the menu bar, choose "Enter Time Machine".

    Step 2: Select a folder where your Word document located.

    Step 3: Choose a point of time, then click on the "Restore" button in the lower right corner.

    Recover an Overwritten Word Document with Time Machine

    Method 2: Use Track Changes to Restore a Previous Version

    Track Changes is another built-in feature of Word. If you have turned on this feature at the very beginning, then you can track the changes of your accidentally saved-over document and have it back. Follow the simple steps below:

    Step 1: Don't close your overwritten Word document. Go to Review > Tracking > select Final Showing Markup. Then the tracked changes will appear in the right pane of the document.

    Step 2: Now, you can check the changes in detail and restore your document to its previous version.

    restore overwritten word document using track changes

    Bonus Tip 2: How to Recover a Deleted Word Document

    The same as an overwritten Word document, an accidentally deleted Word file is frustrating. While there is no program designed to recover an overwritten or saved-over Word document on the market, luckily there are some trustworthy tools designed to recover delete Word documents.

    AnyRecover is such a professional program. It is one of the best data recovery software that can help users out in numerous disastrous situation. With this powerful tool, every user can recover lost data easily from all devices ranges from the external hard drive to damaged hard drive at a fair price.

    anyrecover-icon

    AnyRecover Key features include:

    • Apart from recovering Word documents, AnyRecover can also recover other types of file: audio, videos, images, archives, etc.
    • Get data back from any storage device: internal HDD, digital camera, memory card, USB drive, SSD and more.
    • Guarantee a high success rate, based on the advanced technology and rich experience in data recovery.
    • Adopt an all-round scan and deep scan simultaneously, which greatly shorten the scanning process and scan more data.
    • Fully compatible with all the Mac and Windows versions, including the latest Windows 11.
    • It is 100% safe and easy to use; free trial is offered to recover 8 files.

    Steps to recover your accidentally deleted Word files with AnyRecover:

    Step 1: Run AnyRecover on your PC. Select the location from where you want to recover your data and then tap "Start".

    select location

    Step 2: AnyRecover will start an all-round scan and deep scan on the disk you selected. You can pause to locate your targeted files or stop it during the scanning process.

    scan selected disk

    Step 3: Preview all the recoverable files. Then select the exact files you need and click the "Recover" button to start recovering.

    preview and recover

    With AnyRecover, you can recover data in these situations as well:

    • Emptied Recycle Bin: Did you lost your precious data after emptying the Recycle Bin? Use AnyRecover now!
    • Lost Partition: AnyRecover is the best solution to recover lost partitions from both internal and external hard drives.
    • Virus Attack: Sometimes when virus deletes or corrupts your important data, you can still recover your data via AnyRecover.
    • OS Reinstall/ Crash: If your data got lost due to computer OS crash or reinstall, AnyRecover is here for you.
    • Damaged Hard Drive: Things can be really bad if your HDD gets damaged. Fortunately AnyRecover can handle it perfectly.
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    By James Crawford , to Document Recovery

    Updated: Sep 06, 2021

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