Recover autosave files in office

Written by MyComputerAid on Friday, September 5, 2008 21:05 - 0 Comments

Microsoft word recovering office files from autosave feature  2003 and 2007

It is possible to recover files that you were working on if the system crashes, the power fails, or some such calamity causes the computer to shut down.  Microsoft Office programs, such as Excel and Word, or even Powerpoint, create autosave files periodically.  By default, the autosave feature usually saves the files at around 10 minute intervals, but you can change this to be even more frequent, which is good if you happen to be working with documents that may changes drastically in the course of a short period of time.  Even if you haven’t planned for a sudden power outtage, this applications can often retrieve files that were stored temporarily on disk.

Because the way the autosave and autorecovery features have changed in different versions, this article can be considered as a general guideline, and small corrections should become self-evident as you go through the process.

The first task is to be able to identify your files.  By default, a tempory file is crated in the “C: Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoft” director when a new file is begun.  If the file is created on a network drive, then look on that drive for the file.  The filename will vary depending on the type of file, and the application it belongs to, but most of the commonly used names are given below.  There may be other types of files as well, but the ones listed are most likely the ones that can be recovered.

PowerPoint:
Temp file for PowerPoint: pptxxx.tmp

Excel
Temp file for excel:

Word
Many times, just starting Word will recovery a file that was in progress.  Do not attempt to load a file, just open the Word application.  If it doesn’t automatically recover what you were working on, look in one of these directories:

“C: Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftWord”.
“C: Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsTemp”

For a file that looks similar to (“xxxx” represents a number):
Word document: ~wrdxxxx.tmp
Temp document: ~wrfxxxx.tmp
Auto recovery file: ~wraxxxx.tmp
A complete autorecovery file will have the extension of .wbk.

You may be able to simply open the file in Notepad.exe.  This would result in the loss of formatting, but you could at least retrieve the lost text.  In the event that it does not automatically restore, try notepad as the second course of action.

Excel
Excel doesn’t have the AutoSave feature enabled as default, you have to add it. This is because it isn’t always practical to have this functionality enabled. To enable the AutoSave feature, you have to use an Add In. Go to “Tools” “Add ins” and choose “AutoSave”.  In Office XP, AutoSave has been moved to Options, similar to Word.

Auto saved files may be found in this directory:
“C: Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsTemp”

The filename could be displayed in a couple of ways:
~dfxxxx.tmp
31.tmp

PowerPoint
Powerpoint automatically saves files at 10 minute intervals by default.  It saves the files to the same directory as Excel and word, namely:
“C : Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsTemp”

The filename convention is:
pptxxx.tmp

One final clue:

If you have been working on a file for hours and the document was created via copying and pasting or at one point had cut the entire page or document to paste some place and then placed something else on the clip board, the data may not have been lost. This is because when any info is copied it is sent to a temp file with the name ~wrlxxxx.tmp. Therefore you could search your system for files of this name and then use the same “Drag and Drop” technique to view the data in Notepad to recover the data.

Article written by MyComputerAid.com

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