Recovering files edited from outlook

I’m doing a quick post on this because I make this mistake far more often than I’d like. It’s the problem that occurs when you open an attachment in an email client, do all your awesome and game-changing edits, click ‘save’ rather than ‘save as’ as you go, then when you close realise the document has now been lost somewhere in the ether of Microsoft Office as it was only being saved in a temporary file location.

When this has happened to me, to date I’ve never once had success with the ‘recover unsaved documents’ or ‘restore previous versions’ options in Office, or with trying to search my laptop for temp files. What does work for me is to open a different attachment from the email client, but one which is still a word doc (If you open the same attachment, it will just write over any ether-lost-version with that so make sure not to do this!) Then click ‘save as’ with that different word attachment open. The folder that opens up is the temp files folder being used by Word on your computer, and if you scroll through you should be able to find a copy of your lost document. Check the ‘date/time modified’ and if it still shows the time of your most recent save, then right click the document, choose ‘save as’, and stick it safely into your actual documents folder. Open it up and hopefully it’s the document you lost, complete with all the edits you’d saved before!

I hope that helps someone, as I know that before I figured that solution out, there was much howling and cursing of Word, Outlook, computers, life etc in the Knowles household. This can all of course be circumvented by remembering to choose ‘save as’ before you close any document opened from an email. If you figure out a way to make your brain remember this fact, please do let me know.

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