Word Document Recovery Software for Mac

Have you found your critical business Word documents missing, or intentionally trashed by someone? Are you using MS Word on your Mac, or sticking with Pages, the native Apple's Word processor on Mac OS X? Your priceless documents can be recovered if you act fast. Follow these instructions to learn how. MacOS Big Sur Ready!

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These days, MS Word documents are saved in an open XML-based DOCX format, which is standardized and has a definitive file signature which can be easily picked up by Deep Scan. Older MS Word document files were identified by .DOC extension, and are also supported by Disk Drill's Deep Scan binary reconstruction method.


Alternatively, it's also smart to always check the items found by Quick Scan. Even though this Word document recovery algorithm locates less deleted files due to the way Mac OS X works, than the similar algorithms on Windows, it can still find multiple instances of recently deleted files. Anyway, Disk Drill, being a great free Word file recovery app on Mac, provides several methods sheltered under one central "Recover" button, and in most cases it does the best job possible.

How to Recover Deleted Files with Mac Word Recovery Software

1. Get Disk Drill for Mac Installed

Download the free trial version of Disk Drill data recovery software for macOS and install it on your computer. If the lost Word files were on your machine’s main hard drive, DO NOT use this disk for storing and installing Disk Drill. Instead, connect an external disk or flash drive to your computer and use it to download and install the software. This will protect you from inadvertently overwriting the files you want to recover.

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2. Launch Disk Drill Data Recovery Software for Mac

If the lost files were on an external device, you should connect it before starting the program. You will be presented with a disk list in the app’s main window. Select the drive or partition that contained the deleted files.

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3. Start Your First Data Scan

Click the Recover button to start scanning the disk for lost and deleted files. You can manually select the type of scan that is performed, but the best results will be obtained by allowing Disk Drill to run all its techniques in the optimal order. A status bar will be displayed which shows the progress of the scanning process. Recoverable files will begin to be listed as the scan proceeds. You can pause and restart a scan at any time to recover data at your convenience.

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4. Preview the Word files on Mac

Preview the files that can be recovered by Disk Drill. You can filter them to see just your Word files or search for specific items by name. You will need to upgrade to the paid version of the tool to perform the recovery. This can easily be done from within the software so you can start to recover Word files on Mac right away.

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5. Recover Deleted Word Documents on Mac

Click Recover again to restore your selected files. Scan results can be mounted as a virtual disk to facilitate the recovery process. Choose a new storage location where the recovery data will be saved. Don’t use the disk that contained the deleted file or you risk overwriting it before it can be restored. Let the recovery process complete and get back to working with your newly recovered Word files.

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Recover Word Documents on Mac from Any Device

Lost and deleted Word files on any type of iOS device can easily be recovered with Disk Drill for Mac. Just connect your iPhone or iPad to a Mac and let Disk Drill scan it to restore your lost Word files.

PC / MacPC / Mac
PC / Mac

Dell®, HP®, Acer®, Asus®, MacBook Pro®, MacBook Air®, Apple iMac® and more

HDD / SSD
HDD / SSD

HP®, Samsung®, Seagate®, Toshiba®, WD®, LaCie®, Intel®, Adata® and more

USB Drive
USB Drive

SanDisk®, Samsung®, Kingston®, Corsair®, Patriot®, PNY®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power® and more

SD / CF Card
SD / CF Card

SanDisk®, Transcend®, Toshiba®, Lexar®, Integral®, SP®, PNY®, Kingston® and more

Tablet / iPad
Tablet / iPad

Apple®, Samsung Galaxy®, Microsoft Surface®, Amazon Fire®, Huawei MatePad®, Lenovo® and more

iPhone / Android
iPhone / Android

Samsung Galaxy®, iPhone®, Lenovo®, Huawei®, OnePlus®, Google Pixel®, LG® and more

Tips to Keep Your Word Files Safe

Backups

Backups

Taking regularly scheduled backups of your data is the best way to keep your Word files and all of your other information safe. You can use software installed on your system like Time Machine or opt for a cloud backup solution.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus Software

Viruses and malware can be responsible for all kinds of data loss scenarios. Keeping your computer protected with an updated and reliable antivirus tool can go a long way toward keeping your valuable information safe.

Avoid Physical Damage

Avoid Physical Damage

Physical damage to your storage media can result in lost Word files. Keep your computer or hard drive away from excessive heat and moisture. Consider using a surge protector to guard against damaging power spikes.

Use Data Protection Tools

Use Data Protection Tools

Disk Drill offers Mac users two free data protection tools that will help keep your Word files safe. Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery allow you to specify files and folders for additional protection and streamlined recovery.

Deep Scan for Word Document Recovery Mac

You've already heard about all the data recovery methods Disk Drill is capable of. Deep Scan is one of them. MS Office for Mac OS X is known for being relatively unstable, so we recommend not only enabling auto-saving of your Word documents, but also using one or both shields in Disk Drill to enable data protection on your Documents folder. If the disaster already happened, Disk Drill's Deep Scan and other data recovery options are always ready to help!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Updated on by Disk Drill Team

    How do I recover a permanently deleted Word document on Mac?

    To recover permanently deleted Word documents:

    1. Install and launch Disk Drill on your Mac.
    2. Select the disk that contained the lost Word documents.
    3. Click Recover to begin scanning the disk for deleted docs.
    4. Preview the documents the app has found and select those you want to be retrieved.
    5. Click Recover to restore the selected Word documents.

    How do I restore an unsaved Word document?

    Use the following steps to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac.

    1. Click on File in the upper left of Word.
    2. Click Manage Document > Recover Unsaved Documents.
    3. Check the dialog box for your missing file.
    4. Select the file and Open it in Word.
    5. Select a file name and click the Save As button.

    Where do I find AutoRecover files in Word for Mac?

    Navigate to this folder to view AutoRecover files in Word for Mac:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery.
    This is a hidden folder, so you need to use the Command+Shift+Dot key sequence to see the folder.

    Where are unsaved Word documents stored?

    Unsaved Word documents are stored in temporary storage and can be recovered using the Manage Document > Recover Unsaved Documents option.

    How do I recover a Pages document on a Mac?

    You can recover a Pages document on a Mac using these methods:

    • Restore the document from the Trash;
    • Recover from a backup;
    • Use File > Revert To from inside Pages recover a previous version;
    • Get your file back with data recovery software.

    How do I find my documents on a Mac?

    You can use Spotlight to locate Word files with this process:

    1. Open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of your Mac’s screen.
    2. Type your search term in the Spotlight Search box.

    How do I uncorrupt a Word document on a Mac?

    Follow these steps to repair a corrupt Word document on your Mac:

    1. Launch Word on your Mac.
    2. Click File > Open.
    3. Choose the drop-down called Enable or Show.
    4. Select the Recover Text from Any File option.
    5. Locate the corrupted Word file.
    6. Follow the prompts to repair the corrupted file.

    Can I recover an overwritten Word document on Mac?

    It is possible to recover an overwritten Word document on your Mac by restoring a previous version of the file. Microsoft Office keeps previous versions of all the files that it creates and allows you to recover them if necessary. This feature offers added protection and enables you to return quickly and easily recover from inadvertently overwriting a Word document.

    How do I recover an overwritten Word document?

    To recover an overwritten Word document on Mac:

    1. Open a Finder window and navigate to the overwritten file.
    2. Right-click on the file to open it.
    3. Select Files from the Microsoft Word toolbar.
    4. Click Info > Versions and choose the version you was to use for the recovery.
    5. Click the Restore button at the top of the document.

    How do I restore a previous version of a Word document on Mac?

    Version history for Word documents in Microsoft Office only works for files that are stored in OneDrive or SharePoint in Microsoft 365. Use the following steps to look at previous versions of these files.

    1. Open the file you wish to view.
    2. For Office 2016 or 2019 for Mac, select File > Browse Version History.
      For Microsoft 365 for Mac, select the name of the document on the title bar of the application, then select Browse Version History.
    3. Select a version and it will open in a separate window.
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