The AutoRecovery feature of Microsoft Word 2013 automatically saves your document every 10 minutes by default. A lot of hard work can potentially be lost in those 10-minute intervals, but Word enables you to change this time to a more suitable value. If Word crashes, you're automatically presented with an AutoRecovery side panel, from which you can open the saved file. However, you can manually select unsaved documents that were previously captured by the AutoRecovery feature or view the current save location for AutoRecovery files.

Recovering Documents

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word 2013, then click a file from the left AutoRecovery panel. This panel only appears if Word was irregularly shut down after auto-saving a document. If the AutoRecovery panel does not appear, continue the procedure.

Step 2

Open the last version of the document you saved, if applicable. If you never saved the document, skip this step.

Step 3

Click "File," select "Info," and then choose the latest "...(When I Closed Without Saving)" option in the Recovery section. Click "Restore" and then "OK" to overwrite the previously saved file with the AutoRecovery version. If no version appears in the Recovery section, continue the procedure.

Step 4

Click "Manage Versions," then select "Recover Unsaved Documents." Double-click a version from the Open dialog to view the file. Because these files were previously unsaved, the file names might not be recognizable, which means you'll need to use a little trial-and-error to find the correct file. If you can't find the file, you might find it in the default AutoRecovery location.

Opening the Default AutoRecovery Folder

Step 1

Click "File," "Options" and "Save."

Step 2

Drag your mouse across the full directory location, then press "Ctrl-C" to copy it.

Step 3

Click "OK" to close the Word Options dialog. If you keep this dialog open, you'll be unable to open AutoRecovery files.

Step 4

Press "Win-E" to open File Explorer.

Step 5

Click the address bar, press "Ctrl-V," and then press "Enter" to open the AutoRecovery location. Double-click any listed file to open it in Word.

Changing AutoRecovery Options

Step 1

Click "File," "Options" and "Save."

Step 2

Check the "Save AutoRecovery Information Every..." and "Keep the Last Autosaved Version If I Close Without Saving" options.

Step 3

Enter a new value in the "Minutes" field to change the default save interval.

Step 4

Click "Browse" in the AutoRecovery File Location section to choose a new file location.

Step 5

Click "OK" to save your changes.