How to Open Recently Closed Word Documents: A Quick Guide

Opening a recently closed Word document is quite simple. In most cases, you can recover your document by opening Word, navigating to the “File” tab, clicking on “Open,” and then selecting “Recent.” Among the list of recent documents, you should be able to find and reopen the one you recently closed.

After completing this action, you’ll have your document back and can continue working on it from where you left off.


Ever been in a situation where you mistakenly closed a Word document you were working on? It happens to the best of us. Whether you closed it by accident or your computer decided to update at the most inconvenient time, it’s a frustrating experience. But don’t worry, there’s hope! Knowing how to recover recently closed Word documents is a skill that can save you a lot of time and prevent panic.

This topic is important because anyone who uses Microsoft Word could find themselves in this situation. Whether you’re a student finishing an essay, an employee drafting a report, or just someone who likes to write, losing your work is a nightmare. That’s why understanding how to retrieve closed documents is crucial. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your hard work isn’t lost forever. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to open recently closed Word documents.

Step-by-Step Tutorial to Open Recently Closed Word Documents

The following steps will guide you through the process of recovering your Word document.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open the Microsoft Word application on your computer.

This is the first and most obvious step. Make sure to open the same version of Word that you were using when the document was closed.

Step 2: Click on “File”

Once Word is open, go to the top left corner and click on the “File” tab.

This will open a new menu where you can access various functions, including the recent documents feature.

Step 3: Select “Open”

In the “File” menu, click on “Open.”

This will present you with different options for opening documents.

Step 4: Choose “Recent”

After clicking “Open,” look for the “Recent” option and select it.

Here, you’ll see a list of the documents you’ve worked on recently.

Step 5: Find and Open Your Document

Look through the list of recent documents and find the one you accidentally closed. Click on it to open.

If your document doesn’t appear in the list, don’t panic. There are still ways to recover it, which we’ll cover later on.


Easy to UseThe process to recover a recently closed document is user-friendly and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.
Quick RecoveryIt takes just a few clicks and a matter of seconds to recover your document.
Prevents Loss of WorkBy knowing how to retrieve a closed document, you can save your work and avoid the stress of starting over.


Limited to Recent DocumentsThis method only works for documents that were recently closed and appeared in the recent list.
Not Always ReliableSometimes, the document may not appear in the list due to various reasons, such as not being saved initially.
Potential for OverlookingWith a long list of recent documents, it’s possible to overlook the one you’re looking for.

Additional Information

When attempting to recover a recently closed Word document, it’s important to note that this method works best if you had previously saved the document. If you hadn’t saved the document, or if it doesn’t appear in the “Recent” list, there’s still hope. Word often autosaves documents, especially if you have the autosave feature turned on.

In such cases, you can look for the “Recover Unsaved Documents” option at the bottom of the “Recent” documents list. Clicking on that will bring up a folder with unsaved documents, and you might find your lost work there. Additionally, if you have OneDrive or any other backup service, check there for a saved version of your document.

Remember to regularly save your work as you go, as this is the best way to prevent the loss of your document. Setting up autosave options and using cloud services for backup can give you an extra layer of security.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on “File.”
  3. Select “Open.”
  4. Choose “Recent.”
  5. Find and open your document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my document isn’t in the “Recent” list?

If your document isn’t in the “Recent” list, try looking for the “Recover Unsaved Documents” option at the bottom of the list, or check your backup services, like OneDrive.

Can I recover a document that wasn’t saved at all?

If you hadn’t saved the document at all, it might be more challenging to recover. However, Word’s autosave feature might have saved a version of it. Look in the “Recover Unsaved Documents” folder.

Is this method foolproof?

No method is entirely foolproof, but following these steps will give you the best chance of recovering your document.

How can I avoid losing my Word documents in the future?

Regularly save your work, enable autosave features, and consider using cloud services for backups to minimize the risk of losing documents.

What versions of Word does this method work with?

This method works with most versions of Microsoft Word, including Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and newer.


Learning how to open recently closed Word documents is a valuable skill that can save you from frustration and lost time. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can quickly recover your work and continue where you left off. Remember to save your work frequently, use the autosave feature, and back up your documents to ensure you’re covered in case of unexpected closures.

Now that you know how to recover your Word documents, you can work with confidence, knowing that a simple mistake won’t cost you hours of redoing your work. Keep this guide handy the next time you find yourself in a bind with a closed Word document!

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