How to Get a Letter I Deleted by Accident From Word

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AutoRecover in Microsoft Word automatically creates copies of your files as you work on them. If your computer crashes or you close the application without saving, Word makes available an earlier version of the file -- but only if you still have an original copy of the document. If you deleted a letter you created in Word, you must search for a previous version of the file in File Explorer; Microsoft Office stores backup copies of your data in specific folders on your hard drive. If you can't find an older copy of your letter, or if the copy is missing substantial content, use File History to recover a backup of the file.

1 AutoRecover

2 To open File Explorer

Press "Windows-E" to open File Explorer and then type the following into the address bar: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word

3 Select View

Select "View" from the menu bar and then click the "Options" button in the Show/Hide group.

4 Click Change Folder and Search Options to open the Folder Options dialog box

Click "Change Folder and Search Options" to open the Folder Options dialog box and then click the "View" tab.

5 Clear the Hide Extensions for Known File Types

Clear the "Hide Extensions for Known File Types" check box and then click "OK" to apply your changes.

6 Right click the Name field

Right-click the "Name" field in the right pane and select "Size Column to Fit" from the drop-down menu.

7 Scroll

Scroll through the files in the folder to search for a copy of the letter you deleted. If you see your document in the list, check its extension to confirm it's in the ASD format.

8 Open Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word. Drag-and-drop the ASD file onto the blank document to import the data into the word processor.

9 Click File

Click "File," then "Save As." Choose a location to save the recovered letter to, create a name for the document and then click "Save."

10 File History

11 To open File Explorer-2

Press "Windows-E" to open File Explorer and then navigate to the folder that previously contained your document.

12 Choose History from the Open group

Choose "History" from the Open group to open File History. Click the back button on the bottom of the window until you see your letter in the list of files.

13 Select the letter

Select the letter and then click the "Restore" button (the blue orb) to recover the file.

  • If File History is disabled on your computer, you can't use the feature to recover your letter.

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.