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Dear Mary Lindsey,

I've recently realized that in a Word document I've been working on (I have the 2010 version of Word), I inadvertently deleted a part of the document, only realizing it when I made a search later, and found that part of the document had vanished. I've heard that every word document gives the option of showing a recorded history of its changes, but when I looked up how to find it, I only found a site telling me about finding history deliberately recorded by the "track changes" feature. Is there a way to find the history of changes made to a word document if the "track changes" feature hasn't been used? If there's a way to get back what I lost, I'd be most happy if I knew how.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Jascha,

I am sorry that you lost part of your document.  Unfortunately, the only way to retrieve the historical data within the file is to revert to a date (if known) prior to the deletion and/or follow Step 2 below.  I would strongly recommend that you also configure your Autosave settings in Item 1 below.

How to AutoRecover Unsaved Files in MS Word 2010

You can recover at least a part of your unsaved files if you lose power in the midst of a writing session or you close the file without saving it.

There are two steps to the process.

1) Configure your Autosave setting:
a) Select File > Options > Save from the menu to display the Save Documents screen
b) Select the Save AutoRecover information every … Minutes check-box and set the time interval to something like 10 min (default).
c) Select the Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving check-box.
d) Browse and select another location if you do not like the default autorecover file location.
e) Click OK to save the settings.

2) Recover your autosaved document:
a) If you close a file without saving it, select File >Info > Manage Versions > Recover Unsaved Documents.
This will open the AutoRecover folder that you’ve configured in the previous step. (This is on the condition that you actually setup your computer to recover files)
b) Select the autosaved file and click Open to open (recover) it.
NOTE: Even when you configure the AutoRecover option you still need to save your document regularly to make sure all of it will be saved.
When, for example, you set your AutoRecover Information interval to (once in every) 10 minutes, and your computer crashes 9 minutes after the last AutoRecover, then you will lose everything you did during those 9 minutes — unless, of course, you manually save your document.

I do hope that this helps you to recover at minimum some of the deleted file.



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Mary A. Lindsey


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