How to Recover Lost Word Documents on Mac?

Word Documents on Mac
Word Documents on Mac

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular programs, which is used to create documents or texts by Mac as well as Windows users.So, it might be a panicky feeling if you lost a word document, containing some important textor information. It might happen that you’ve accidentally deletedthe document or closedthe Microsoft Word application accidentally while working on the document. You may also lose documents or files on Mac due to application crash, system crash, disk errors,and various other reasons. Fortunately, there are ways recover lost Word documents on Mac. In this post, we will discuss some of these methods in detail. 

Methods to Easily Recover Lost Word Documents on Mac

Ifthere aresome essential Word documents missing on Mac, you should first look for them within the system. It might happen that you have renamed the document or saved it to another folder. If you remember the file name, you can try to find itusing the Spotlight feature on Mac.For this, open Spotlight by clicking the Search icon on the Menu bar and enter the name of the document in the search field.If you find the file in the search results, then simply double-click on it to open it. Alternatively, you can select the document and press and hold the Command key to check its location. If this is not the case, then try the following methods.

Method 1: Recover Lost Word Documentsfrom Trash

It might happen that you’ve accidentally deleted the Word document without realizing it. When you delete a file on Mac, it first goes to the Trash folder. So, you should first look in the Trash folder for the lost files. These are the steps to follow to recover lost Word documents from the Trash Folder.

  • Double-click on the Trash icon in Dock.
  • Look for the lost Word documents in the Trash Folder. When found, select and right-click on the document, and click on Put Back. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop the lost documents on Desktop or into some other folder.

Method 2: Recover Lost Word Documents using Time Machine

Time Machine is a built-in macOS application that you can use to create backups. Once you configure it, it backs up all your data including applications and other settings at regular intervals on an external storage device. If you’re using Time Machine, then you can easily recover the lost Word documents from the backup.These are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Connect the Time Machine backup drive to your Mac.
  • From the menu bar, open the Time Machine window.
  • Search for the lost Word documents in the Time Machine window.
  • When found, select them and click on ‘Restore’.

All your lost Word documents will be recovered to their original location.

Method 3: Recover Lost Word Documents from iCloud

If you’re using iCloud and regularlybacking up your files on it, then you can recover your lost documents from iCloud. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Launch any browser on your Mac. Visit iCloud’s official site and log in to your account.
  • Click on profile (top right corner of the screen) and then click on the Account Settings tab.
  • Scroll down to the Advanced tab.
  • Click on ‘Restore Files’ and select the Word documents that you want to recover.

Method 4: Recover Word Documents using AutoRecovery Option

There is an Auto Save option in MS Word. If it is turned on, it saves a copy of an open Word file every 10 minutes. In case of a system crash, screen freeze, etc., where you didn’t get the opportunity to save the document, you can use the AutoRecovery option to recover it. All the changes or additions that you’ve made in the last session will remain in the recovered document file.

Follow these steps to use the AutoRecovery option:

  1. Open ‘Finder’ on your Mac and then click on Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type: ~/Library/Containers/
  3. Then, click Go.
  4. Open the AutoRecovery folder and find the documents that you want to recover.
  5. Select a document and rename it.Add “.doc” filename extension.
  6. Double-click the document to open it.
  7. Go to the File menu and select “Save As”.
  8. Rename it and choose a folder to save it.Then, click on the “Save” button.

Method 5: Get back your lost Word documents with Mac data recovery software

If any of the above-mentioned methods could not help you recover lost documents on Mac, then you can use a professional tool which does data recovery on Mac, such as the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. With the help of this software, you can easily find and retrieve lost or deleted Word documents from your Mac and other storage drive. It works smoothly on all macOS versions, including the latest macOS Ventura. You can download the free trial version of the software to scan the drive and preview the recoverable files.


There are several scenarios wherein you may lose your Word documents. If you’ve mistakenly deleted any Word document or lost it due to any reason, you can followthe methods discussed above to recover your lost Word documents on Mac. If nothing works, usea reliable Macdata recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.