How to Recover a Word Document That Was Saved Over

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Potter on Jun 15, 2021

"Is there a way to recover previous versions of a Word document? I accidentally saved over a word document and I really need to get the previous version back since there is important information on it."

It’s really an awkward situation that wants to learn how to recover a Word document that was saved over. In the past, I have told people how to recover lost or deleted Word documents with iBeesoft Data Recovery. And it’s the top questions from my friends and readers. To be honest, it’s much easier to recover a deleted Word document than retrieve previous versions of a Word document. Anyway, since the data recovery software can’t help in this place, let’s try our luck to do the accidentally saved over Word document recovery with the help of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Word software.

Quick Navigation
Method #1. Cancel Changes on a Word Document
Method #2. Check out Whether the Previous Version Option is Available
Method #3. Recover a Word Document Saved over with Temporary Files
Method #4. How to Retrieve Previous Versions of a Word Document with Restore Point

Method #1. Cancel Changes on a Word Document

If you haven’t changed much on a Word document and you press the Save menu or Ctrl +S keys, cancel the change by clicking the cancel menu on the top left. It’s the second menu.

And the shortcut for the cancel can be Ctrl + Z buttons. Try either of them.

Method #2. Check out Whether the Previous Version Option is Available

If you have enabled the File History feature in Windows 10, it’s very likely you can retrieve the previous version of the Word document from the previous version. Let’s put the first thing first.

Retrieve the previous version of the Word document that was saved over

1. Right-click on the saved over Word document and select Properties.

2. Navigate to the Previous Versions tab, checking out whether there are previous versions of the Word document.

3. If you find one, you can select it and click Restore to recover it.

Please note that for some Word document versions, you can also try the method below:

1. Right-click on the Word document, click "Restore Previous versions".

2. Navigate to the Info menu, and you can see the option "Version History". Open the version history list, select the desired one to restore.

If you haven’t seen any previous version options, then you must haven’t enabled the File History at all. In this case, to prevent any risk, enable it right away.

1. Press Windows and R buttons simultaneously > select Control Panel and press Enter.

2. Find and System and Security > File History.

3. Turn on it.

Method #3. Recover a Word Document Saved over with Temporary Files

You know, a temp file is the one that records your changes on a document. You can try your luck to check whether there is a temp file for the previous version of a Word document. Please note that only when Microsoft Word AutoRecover is enabled, the temp file can be created. And generally, AutoRecover is enabled. If not, you need to enable it with the steps below.

You can find the temp file in one of the locations:

A Word document temp file is in this format ~wrdxxxx.tmp (XXXX represents numbers). Do not reopen it with Microsoft Word. The right way should be to open Notepad, drag and drop the temp file to the notepad. After then, you can see the content in this temp file.

Method #4. How to Retrieve Previous Versions of a Word Document with Restore Point

If you have backed up your Windows operating system, then you can restore it to the Previous.

Restore Point, which stands for the earlier state of your computer. It might have the previous Word document. However, it might cause the currently important files lost. If you really need to do it, back up important files with iBeesoft Dbackup first. It enables you to back up selected files, folders, partitions, and more, secure your files.

How to Restore Computer to the Previous Version

1. Click the Windows Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

2. Find System Restore and click it.

3. In the System Restore window, follow the built-in instruction.

Compared with recovering deleted, corrupted, and unsaved Word documents with iBeesoft Data Recovery, recovering saved over Microsoft Word document is complicated. And it’s very likely you’ll fail to do it since you can’t do it with a data recovery tool. In this case, my suggestion for you is to back up important files regularly on an external hard drive. Whenever there is an accident, you can rescue your data with a backup.