How to find a lost Word / Excel / PowerPoint document, opened from email (Hotmail or Outlook Web Access), that was edited and saved – but is now gone?

This is a long post that I hope will help a few desperate souls out there: how to find your lost Word, Excel or PowerPoint files?

Google “lost file opened from email attachment”, “rescue lost word doc” or “word document that I opened from my email did not save on my copmuter” and you can witness the misery of dozens (thousands? millions?) of poor computer users who lost their dissertations, school papers or theses after they emailed it to themselves, opened the document, and saved it – just to discover they can’t find the files they spent hours working on.

I want to smash my computerIt happened to me at least a few times and to my wife a few more.  Worst of all, none of the explanations on the web seem to actually work!  So for the sake of all you who accidentally ran into the same problem, read on (and if it helped, tell me in the comments).

I lost my Word / Excel /  other file after opening it from email

The scenario is always the same.  You:

  1. Opened a file from your webmail, typically using Internet Explorer.
  2. Made lots of changes and saved at least a few times.
  3. Closed Word or Excel.
  4. Tried to reopen the file but couldn’t find it.

Why it happens

This typically happens to users of Hotmail or Outlook Web Access (OWA), usually when you use Internet Explorer (especially versions earlier than IE9).  Google Chrome is built differently (and better in this case, in my opinion).

In Internet Explorer, when you click on an attachment you have two options: “open” and “save”.  If you clicked “save”, you’d be fine.  You will be able to save the file somewhere (e.g. on the desktop) and continue working.  The only way to lose the file is if you delete it or forgot where you saved it.  In any case you can just search for it.   In Chrome, any file you open is automatically downloaded and saved, too.

If you clicked, “open”, however, you’re entering zombie land.  Word will show you the document (maybe after a warning that you opened a downloaded file).  You will be able to edit and save the document regularly.  But little do you know that you’re saving the file in a “safe zone” (technically, a system folder) used for files downloaded from the web.   I call it zombie land because you have no idea that the files you’re saving will disappear the second you shut down Word.  Worst of all, because files are saved in this zombie land, you won’t be able to find these files when you search for them.

How to rescue the file you opened, saved and is now gone?

Luckily, there’s a way to rescue these files, especially if only a short time passed since you’ve opened and closed them.  Here are the instructions for Windows 7 or Windows Vista users, English version.

<disclaimer>  Please be careful and follow the instructions closely, as you can cause damage, too.  If you’re not sure what you’re doing, ask a friend to help. I’m just trying to help you but I can’t assume responsibility if something goes wrong… </disclaimer>

  1. Most importantly, do not try to re-open the file from your email.  If you have done so already, you may have overwritten your file.  You’ll know soon enough.
  2. Click Start (bottom left icon on your desktop) or on your keyboard’s Windows key.  If you don’t have a Start menu (e.g. if you’re using Windows 8), tap Windows logo key Picture of the Windows logo key+R.
  3. Your cursor should blink in the search bar.  Just copy and paste this line
    %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
    and tap Enter.   If this happened to you when using Firefox, please use this line instead: %userprofile%\AppData\Local\temp (Thanks to Paul who commented below for this tip!)This will open the special folder where temporary downloaded files are saved.  Annoyingly, Windows doesn’t show you this folder unless you manually type it.
  4. We now need to show the hidden system files where Windows saved your files.   Click Alt+T to show the Tools menu.  Click the fourth option, “Folders options”.
  5. You should now see the Folder Options dialog box.  At the top, choose the ‘View’ tab to see the Advanced Settings.  Under ‘Hidden files and folders’, choose the option ‘Show hidden files, folders and drives’.
  6. Underneath, un-check the box of the option ‘Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)’.  Approve the warning message by clicking ‘Yes’.  Don’t worry, we’ll put everything back to place later.  Click OK to close the dialog box.
  7. You should now see many more folders and icons.  Some will appear a bit transparent – that means they’re hidden files.
  8. The folder will contains many folders that have strange names like ANH4N2W1, etc.  Your files will be in one of them.  The easiest way to find the file is by sorting the list by ‘Date modified’ and opening each folder at a time.   Just click Alt+V to show the View menu, then choose Sort by, and ‘Date Modified’ and ‘Descending’ to show the latest files first.
  9. Double click to open each folder.  You’ll get an annoying warning message each time you do so, just approve it.
  10. When you open a folder, again sort it by ‘Date Modified’.  You can also sort by ‘Type’ to show your Microsoft Word files first.
  11. If you’re lucky, you’ll find your missing file in no time.  Just notice the file size – if it’s 1 KB you are probably looking at a temporary file created by Word and not at the file you saved.  Just copy the files you found to your desktop or to your My Documents folder.
  12. Check each folder until you find your file.  Jump up in the air and thank God if you have found what you’re looking for.  My sincerest sympathies if you couldn’t find it.
  13. When you’re done, you should return Windows to its normal state by hiding again the hidden folders.  In Explorer (the file browser window), just click again Alt+T, Folder Options, View tab, and check the box ‘Hide protected operation system files’ and choose the option ‘Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives’.

If it all worked for you, scroll to the bottom of this page and add your comment.  I’m so glad I could help.  Just remember to never, ever, click ‘open’.  Always save documents to the right folder before opening and editing them.   It’s safer and would save you trouble.   Or consider switching to Google Chrome or the latest version of Internet Explorer.   That’ll save you at least this sort of trouble.

27-7-2012 update: Cool! This post has been featured in Wired UK  magazine.

11-4-2013 update: Thanks for all the offers for a free drink!  I plan a worldwide tour after the 1,000th comment.

09-10-2014 update: 1,000 comments! Wow! Apparently more than 140,000 people viewed this post. Glad I could help.

1,502 thoughts on “How to find a lost Word / Excel / PowerPoint document, opened from email (Hotmail or Outlook Web Access), that was edited and saved – but is now gone?”

  1. Thank you so much for this idiot-friendly guide; you have saved me from a sleepless night, a whole school load of furious colleagues and an angry Local Authority wondering how the assessment co-ordinator could ‘lose’ the assessment data!

    Incidentally, I had to backtrack to locate my file as it wasn’t in the Content.IE5 folder but hiding under a rock elsewhere within the Temporary Internet Files. Within that folder I was able to search by date modified and up popped my, sensibly named (with date etc. & details of most recent modifications) document. I’m usually pretty good at ensuring I’ve saved downloaded attachments exactly where I want them, I’m not sure what happened this time.

    THANK YOU :-)

    1. Thanks very much for the help..I used the one for Firefox and found it straight after

    2. You just saved our day!!! May everything you desire in your life come true. May you sleep well at night knowing how much you are helping others sleep well too! Sincerely, Sharon and Pascal

    3. You saved me having to stay up all night and do 12 hours work straight! thank you so much you are an amazing person wow I am so happy i do not understand how you can be so great thank you!!!

    4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I followed your steps and it worked!! I looked up several other steps that didn’t work and I was losing hope until I came across this…thanks again!!

    5. Hi Oded,
      Can you help me with a similar issue but on Mac? I keep getting this message: ‘Macintosh HD:Users:(my ID):Downloads:JRI-Poland_NameFinder_v4-2:JRI-Poland_NameFinder.xlam’ could not be found.
      I believe I downloaded an excel file from this genealogy site a while back and have been frustrated in not being able to rid of it for months.


    6. Hi Neil, I’m so sorry but I have no idea how to do this on a Mac. But luckily another commenter called Ruchi posted a comment in July. Here’s what they said to do:
      Step 1: Show hidden files, go here for an explanation
      Step 2. Follow this breadcrumb in finder /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery
      That’s all! Wanted to come back and share with everyone! Good luck

    7. Thank you, you wonderful human being! I lost 3 hours of work on a research proposal due tomorrow, got it back!!

    8. WOW you are an amazing human! sending you lots of love for this! you have saved me from failing my entire degree!

    9. GOD bless you!!!!! I’ve nearly had a heart attack! I’ve been working on this excel file from 2am to 10 am and I was suppose to email it to my boss after I’ve closed it! I still feel about to faint… Thank you from my heart!!!

    10. THANK YOU!!!!! THIS IS AMAZING!!!! Last time this happened I had written a 9 page paper and even talked to my local GEEK Squad and they even connected to my computer and couldn’t find the file. I ended up re-writing the whole paper.

      Today, I was critiquing another student’s paper and after spending time commenting on the 8 page paper, I was unable to find it to send back to them. That is when I found this information and wa-la! There it is!

      I am so grateful that you posted this work-around solution!

    11. You just save my life. If I lost the spreadsheet I’ve been working for the last week, I would have hung myself! Your AMAZING!!!!!!! Thank you!!

    12. Hi! I opened my saved work from email and didn’t save it properly thinking it was saving like everybody else here, I sent the document I thought that had been saving all the work I had been doing to my email for a back up and I logged off forgot about it for about 4 hrs then checked my email to read through what I had written today and it had not saved D: the library is now closed till the morning and I’m worried I won’t be able to recover it because I have already opened it on my email on my phone and lap top? Also because it has been so many hours :( I was just wondering if u could give me some hope as I need a good sleep tonight! I’m a Dopey mare!!

    13. I was in tears. I worked on my Spreadsheet for two day and thought I lost all the information.
      thank you so very much

    14. Thankyou so much!!! I spent so long typing my paper and no other website helped! This was awesome!

    15. Thank you for your generosity of spirit in posting this – you just recovered 3 hours of my life and the final edit of my script. I’m so careful to work from storage devices and back ups usually – this one time I got caught by the self-emailed attachment and it looked like disaster. So grateful – BIG THANKS.

    16. ER MER GERD I was going NUTS trying to figure this out! You saved me! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

    17. Amaaaaaaazing! Thank you so much. If only I’d come across this when I was doing my MSc – stressful times! It was so clear and well explained. Thanks again.

    18. actually what I did was pretty easy. But I don’t know weather it will work for all of you. after accessing temp folder I select the date modified. then it showed all what I did today. fortunately my word file was there.

      Any how thanks a lot for letting me on correct path. thanks thanks i happy. if this didn’t work I had to type 20 pages of equations again.

    19. OMG!!! you’re a lifesaver! I was so disappointed when I thought I had lost all the typing I had just done for the last 2+ hours. Thanks a bunch!!

    20. Thanks for the guide, just saved me from 4 hours of lost work. almost lost my cool….

    21. Thank God
      You really saved my life thanks a lot.
      I wish I cud have found ur help in 2010 then it would have been more helpful to me still its feels safe n secure now.

    22. Thank you so much!!! You just saved me HOURS of work!!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you!!!!!!

    23. OMG, I’m jumping up and down at 1AM thanking you and the good lord. I swear I can’t take much more stress and this almost pushed me over the edge,my whole research paper gone but thanks to your tips, It was lost but now it’s found!!
      Thank you

    24. Thank you so much! I’d spent ages trying to find out how to find the word document I’d spent hours revising. Finally advice that really worked! I did use a partial solution from elsewhere to get to the Content.IE5 file but could not find out how to get Windows Explorer to display the file it was hidden in. I could find out the name for the file it was using to save things in TODAY but could not see how I could find the file name it had saved my document in from yesterday. I was getting really stressed so thanks again! You have probably saved my marriage too as hubby was getting seriously annoyed with my rantings!!

    25. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! You saved me from losing a good 2 hours of work (with only a half hour til it was due!) God bless!

    26. OMG THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH YOU SAVED ME!!!! I’m sooooo glad I found this I actual love you as a person

    27. After initially thinking this hadn’t worked and about to give up I found my file!! Thank you mad panic is over I have my 9000 word report!!!

    28. You are a LIFE SAVER!! Thank you so much. I will never again open a file from an email instead of saving it.

    29. No thank you sooo much I’m making changes to s resume, for a friend who lives in France, I’m in Australia she wants a job here , ooxx your the best , so ezy to understand , now I will spread the word and I that photo of the PC with the keyboard threw it 😂 classic screen shot it ,,,, have a great day you have just made mine 💋

    30. Thank you so much for this big time help…It really saved time n mental agony of working again on same thing..Thanks alot!!

  2. Many thanks for your help. Your guide would have been just what I needed, but I had clicked into the attachment again and accidently saved over it. At least your sensible input and thoughtful advice will be extremely helpful in the future.

    Best wishes to you.

  3. OMG thank you thank you thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!! you saved my life

  4. THANK YOU!! My husband followed your directions and found my dissertation file that I accidently closed out of without saving.

  5. Thanks you for your clearing up matter, I lost a lot of material till I learned to save my files as you explained in your article.

  6. Life saver! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had read other suggestions of how to find the missing document but didn’t understand what to do – your explanation was straight forward and easy to follow. Thank you!

  7. Thank you so much for this valuable information! You definitely saved me from having to redo a whole presentation less than a day before it was due.

  8. I’ve been up all night doing this paper and searched on a few forums how to recover my paper that I was “saving.” I was just about to give up and start over when I ran across this link in one of the forums. I’m so glad I came here. You have saved me a day’s work. I don’t know how I could thank you enough.

  9. Unfortunately, I had already tried to re-open the file attached to the email (point one of what not to do), but will be super-careful to go for the ‘save’ option next time now that I understand about ‘zombie-land’. Thanks

  10. this is a fantastic resource! it didn’t work for me because i had already re-opened the file from my email and overwritten the file–REALLY wish I had found these instructions 1st since the first instruction #1 warns you about this. hopefully i’ll never make this mistake again, but i’ll know how to find the missing file if i do! THANKS!

  11. You saved a long day of data collection and writing for me. I was about to lose it after nothing on the web could help me locate my work, but this post actually alowed me to find the file I had saved hundreds of times today. I cannot thank you enough!!

  12. AMAZING!!!!!! Thank you so much for this posting. You saved my butt big time. I thought I was going to have to redo all my work. Your article was so easy to follow and I was able to recover my file. Crisis averted.

  13. hello, I tried this but it doesn’t work for me – is this because I am working over a VPN connection? My Outlook is open the same as it would be for work. Devastated to have lost 4 hours of work – I used to know in XP where to find the folders but Windows 7 holds no joy for me. Thanks!

    1. Hi Gen, The short answer is that I don’t know. The long answer is that I don’t think the VPN connection should affect where Outlook saves the files for you. The instructions should work for Windows 7 and a document opened via Outlook and Word. Really sorry if it doesn’t work – I can only imagine how upsetting losing your document could be. Best, Oded

  14. OMG I LOVE YOU!!!!!! Thank you so much, i just spent 5 hours on a document then i lost it, with your help i managed to locate it. Thank you so so much x x

  15. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  16. SAVED my butt!!! I spent hours of work on a Final Paper worth 20% of my grade. I am working on my MBA, so they wouldn’t have cared what happened. In fact, they probably would have said “what would your supervisor say if this happened at work? It doesn’t make a difference if you miss your deadline.” I cannot thank you enough.

    I told my boyfriend that I would kiss you if I could! Thank you.

    I found this link at:

    They had the same steps…. EXCEPT they did not have me uncheck the box for hidden system files, and this is where I found it!

  17. This was really a great guide, thank you – even though I did not find my file. In my case, I edited an attachment but did not save it yet – and my computer crashed. Any hope in recovering an unsaved edited file opened from an attachment? If this had been a normally opened Word file, it would’ve been autosaved, and I would’ve found it next time I opened Word. Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Silvia, do you auto-saving enabled on your Word? I suggest making sure it’s set to save automatically every 1 minute. You can access this via Tools -> Options (Alt+T, then O). If Word has saved your file, it should be available in one of these folders. Hope you find your file – I know how frustrating it must be to lose all the work you’ve done.

  18. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Tony, I have no idea- from the blog I can just see comments/replies, so I don’t know how to stop WordPress from sending you comments. So sorry.

  19. Thanks, Oded Ran. Yes, Word is set to autosave, and all my files that were opened from the hard drive (not from Outlook) were there when I rebooted after the crash. It was only the unsaved file opened from Outlook that was not there.

    Related to this, I never see in my ‘recent documents’ any files that I open from Outlook – only files that I have saved. These two could go together.

    In response to Tony’s comment – I checked the box too, and received only one email for each comment after mine. I will make sure I don’t check the box again with this post (which I was about to do before seeing a possible connection to multiple notifications). We’ll see what happens.

  20. I’ve got the same problem with GMAIL today. I opened a file from GMAIL on MS Word and edit and SAVE a few times, and then close. Next time, I try to find it, figure out it’s never been saved. GMAIL doesnt help anything with it, as I dont save/assign the file as Google Documents. But, your tips did help me find it out at last. So really thank you. You know, I’m a writer, imagine you put 3 hours concrete with emotions and write down many details for your story line, and save the file, next thing to know it’s not there ANYWHERE, you could be really frustrated, as what you wrote was emotional and cannot get that back to describe/write the same thing. So THANK YOU!

  21. Thank you soo much, you have saved the entirety of my speech!
    I am one hell of a happy guy

    thanks, i definitely recommend this site

  22. OMG!!!!!!!!! thanks for your help that i’m able to retrieve back my hours of data entries!! scumbag windows live mail program :/

  23. THANK you so much!!!! I found my file after shedding many tears and feeling the devastation…Now Im smiling, its like a miracle has happened!! thank you very much, once again :))

  24. You saved my life!!!!! I had spent 8 hours entering receipts from a big registration project and thought all was lost. I was able to recover all 3 of my documents by using the steps you had above. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  25. You just saved me from either crying myself to sleep tonight or throwing my laptop out the window! I don’t know you, but I want to hug you!! I’m pretty computer savvy and can typically find these files when they disappear into limbo world, but this has saved me much grief! THANK YOU is not enough

    I thought i’d lost all my coursework that i’d started from scratch and spend 6 hours doing and i was in floods of tears and everything and now i am SO RELIEVED
    SO MUCH!

  27. Finally a post online that actually works! You save my partner many hours redoing her work, and you saved me a sleepless and restless night sleep too! Thanks Oded Ran

  28. Thanks for this post – I was one of the ones who re-opened the file and saved over the top of the one that I had worked on :-( but thanks for the info – was great to know how to look – definitely won’t put myself into this position again – will save before working on a document!!!

  29. I love you. You just saved my life, I love you so muchhh
    p.s. i dunno if it’s only my computer but instead of doing all the date modifying stuff there was a search bar and i just typed “.doc” and i got my file; saved me the hassle of searching through all the files.

  30. You are a genius! You’ve added years to my life! I’ve made this mistake before but was never able to recover the files until today.

  31. Thank you so much for this helpful info. I lost my document after spending hours working on it and assumed I never saved since I couldn’t find it so I did it all over again only to not find it again. I was ready to scream until I found this very helpful info that worked great!

  32. OMG!!! Thank you so much. My wife was in tears on losing a days work with a timeline due today! Her IT department said it could not be done…Never say never!! Thanks again!

  33. Thanks for your article mate!
    Was working on a complex financial bid and made the silly mistake of not checking whether the file had downloaded complete and clicked on open (in the assumption it was Open link post download of a file.
    Worked for hours, religiously saved it too. Entered the final numbers in the proposal, saved everything, and quit!
    Now when I tried to find the excel sheet…the workings…realized…it was not there!
    Thanks to your article was able to find it and save hours!


  35. Thank you thank you! I worked all night on my final term paper and never saved it to hard drive from an attachment, i kept saving it or hitting the save button but once i closed it out, it was G.O.N.E.! lol glad i found this website, it saved me alot of time and frustration!

  36. Thanks a million! This happened to me before and had to redo my work. But this time came across your post and it really worked. To view the hidden files had to click “Organise” button, “Folder and Search Options” and click on the 2nd tab “View” and then got the options you mentioned. That of course was an absolute no-brainer compared to finding the location of the folders on which you guided perfectly. I opened my file using OWA in Internet Explorer 9. Wonder why Microsoft does this to us without giving us an option to locate the file – seems the problem is widespread. Thanks once more for your help.

    1. Lucas, I’m glad I was able to help. It’s so frustrating to hear that even with IE9 this issue still exists. I’ve switched to Google Chrome some time ago and never looked back.

  37. OMG, OMG, OMG, I am jumping with joy. You just saved me 7 hours work on my dissertation! Thank you so so so much.

  38. Thank you so much for this post! It has saved myself (and many others) tremendously! Hopefully people who have the same problem find this site easily, as there are many other websites which will tell you that the document is unrecoverable.
    Thankyou again

  39. You just made me the happiest girl. Thank you so much for this tutorial – this is information that needs to be known to alllll!!! :)

  40. Wonderful! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide precise concise instructions on recovering a saved file opened from email …. I found my lost file within 5 minutes of finding your notes! I’d spent an hour looking for such guidance! Thanks again

  41. I have a problem with IE8 and Word attachments from webmail such as gmail or yahoo. If I Save the file and then try to open it I get the message something like Word cannot open the file. (implies that it may need to be restored or something).

    I support the public computers in a county library system and have gotten lots of reports on this. Generally using Chrome or Firefox works, but I really would like a fix for IE.

  42. I just tried it, but it came up almost immediately “no items match your search”. So then I told it to search again on “computer”. It took a very long time, but again it came up “no items match your search”. I have Windows 7 and IE9.

  43. OMG, you saved my life today!! Your article is the best thing that has happened to me ever, saved me from tons of frustration and a whole day’s worth of work. Simply put, Simply Supeeerrrbbb!! Can’t thank you enough!!!!!

  44. OMG…. complete melt down, cant believe i am so dumb!!!!! i tried EVERYTHING before i managed to come across your TRULY LIFE SAVING pgae!!! easily simple and it WORKED yah ….. essay thats due tomorrow !!!your like a demo god hahahaha…
    cant believe this is only a hotmail prob, you would think they would amend this somehow???

  45. You have just saved my PhD proposal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I was in tears, I was a mess, i was retyping 5hrs work and the deadline was 2 hours ago. I had to send my crappy unedited draft copy with apologies but I have just been able to send my finished paper only 2 hours late and hopefully (fingers crossed) it won’t be a problem. I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  46. omg. I’m here to tell you that Gmail absolutely does this too! I have lost files in the past but unfortunately my searches did not bring me to this article so they went unrecovered. errrg. However, when I lost my file last night after several hours of work I was so distressed! I’m on severe time constraint to tech review a book…every hour is precious! Finding this article gave me a glimmer of hope. After searching file after file after file with no success, I was about to give up…then I decided to search the files in the scroll box on the left side of the window…just in case. And just when I was about to give up, there it was…in it’s entirety…with all the work I had done. Thank you.thank you.thank you. And thank you! Who can I hug???

  47. You have saved me many tears. I was so proud of the work I had achieved tonight, and thanks to you I have been able to restore the file (and potentially my sanity!)

    Thanks again.

  48. I could not be more relieved!!!!! Thank you! I did make the mistake of reopening my file, but there were about 8 different version in the temp files . . . one of which I needed. THANKS!

  49. anyway you can help – after i enter %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

    in the search box that says “all or part of the file name:” i get the following error message:
    C:\Documents and Settings\a483714\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temorary Internet Files refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. CHeck to make sure the disk is propoerly inserted…

    Please please please help, I’ll do anything!

    1. Hi Karthik, You can try and replace the %userprofile% with something like c:\users\XXXXX where XXXXX is your Windows username. If you don’t know it, then try clicking the Windows button and ‘L’, then you’ll see it. So the entire like would look like this: c:\users\yourname\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5 I hope that helps!

  50. Life saver!!!! Thank you so much for helping me out. I wish you could explain everything to me in this way! You complete star

  51. guess i’m the only hopeless one. Still getting the same message as before using my username as the XXXX. Time to give up?

  52. I love you dude. You just saved me so much double work. Thank you for being a kind soul and posting this for idiots like me. Much love and respect.Thanks again

  53. Brilliant – you have saved my son a lot of re-work. I find it incredible that this problem is still around – I have been falling foul of this for years. It is also amazing that your blog was the only place where I could find a reliable remedy – thank you so much!

  54. I was looking for an excel document that I opened via an accounting online program (Xero accounting). I edited the document and when I closed the doc I saved. I thought I will be given the option to chose the location, but not so. And I could not find it anywere! I could not find any hidden excel documents, but in the Search block above the Windows icon, I could see the Temp Internet files when I pasted this %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\ (without the Content.IE5) inside the block. However the excel files was totally different names, but copied and paste each one in a new folder and I found my file! Thank you it helped al lot!!!

  55. YAY!!! Thank you, thank you so much. This helped me find the homework assignment I worked my butt off on. Your instructions were perfect. Thanks again

  56. Thank you! I unfortunately opened the file from my e-mail and it was overwritten, but thank you for this information!

  57. This worked for me eventhough I had reopened the original e-mail file in Windows Mail. The file I had worked on yesterday ended up in a different folder than the file opened today. Thank goodness – this saved me hours!! I’m saving this link, but hoping I won’t need it again :-)

  58. Thanks a bunch dude. I had just done hours of homework that I had started on a different computer and I was about to get really pissed. lol

  59. I am so happy I could cry. I spent 4 hours into the early hours amending a document which I then closed without saving and with only massive thanks to you, you have saved me staying up the rest of what is left of the night re-doing it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  60. OMG, your article saved me from going crazy! I had lost a whole day of work and of all the helpful suggestions, your instructions were the only one that were easy to follow and that helped me find the lost file. You are a genius!!

  61. Thank you for making it easy to follow. Six hours recovered. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Stoopid Microsoft. Why have they not plugged this hole?

  62. I love you. Really. Thank you for posting! One thing I had to do was be sure to be logged into the computer under the user name (profile) when the document ‘disappeared’. In my previous attempts (before reading your post) I had logged in under Administrator… this did not work. I totally see why now, but in my altered state while frantically looking for my precious document, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Again thank you!

  63. Wow you are THE BEST! I had a 4 page paper due tomorrow and I literally found it right away following your steps. Thank you SO much for taking the time to write these steps out… I would have never figured this out. I wish there was some way I could repay you back because this saved me from turning in a late paper since I didn’t have to re-do it. I am SO glad I found your instructions on the internet. You are the best!

  64. You have no idea how much I love you right now! I was just having a complete and utter meltdown over an important document that I spent ages on! I am normally so careful about saving before editing (I am a teacher and always teach my students the importance of doing this!) but I guess tonight I was just so busy that I forgot! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can now stop crying and go to bed! :)

  65. Thank you – this was truly helpful. Since I was using outlook above path in search did not locate my file.Not sure if it’s any simpler- but this what I did.
    1. Open any other word attachment from email- click save
    2. Insert header or footer
    3. In header or footer insert file path (it’s in “Quick Parts/Fields”)
    4. Step four will show you hard drive location for files opened from emails
    5. Search full path in Start/Run…open the folder and follow the steps oulined by Oded

  66. OMG…you are awesome!!!! I was in tears! I thought i had lost a 37 page power point presentation….thanks to you I just found it!!! thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

  67. Thank you, it is really a life saver, when it comes to documents which you have worked out for hours and saved on email attachment.

  68. I was so upset when I couldn’t find my finally finished paper for class, I tried so many suggestions from different websites but nothing worked. I was sobbing when I ran across this site and decided to try one last time. When I found it I was in complete shock and so relieved.Thankyou so much!!!! I’m never making this mistake again!!! Thanks again! =)

    1. GMAIL is NOT immune to this problem! I have been a victim of this unfortunate calamity at least 2 or 3 times using GMAIL over the last few years. Perhaps the only solution will be to scream about it until programmers develop a safety feature giving direction to the user to prevent loss of the files opened from email. What a remarkable oversight!

  69. I love you!!!! You have actually saved my life and given me a weekend with my children back!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Just lost my sons homework after assuring him I would print it safely… thank god I did not have to re do it… you are a truly wonderful person… Thank you very much!!!

  71. You have no idea what a relief this was to find your instructions – so easy to use and it worked. Twenty-five agonizing minutes of thinking I’d lose my mind in re-creating an important work document; three minutes to restore it. You are my hero.

  72. Thank you so, so much!! I couldn’t believe I lost my essay, but now I’m the happiest person on Earth!!!!! You’re the best!

  73. You are a genius!!! Thank you so much. I though I had lost about 3 hours of work on a very important college assignment.

  74. I made this stupid mistake and I cannot even begin to thank you enough. I would have lost 3 hours of work – I was literally in tears. THANK YOU SO MUCH I LOVE YOU

  75. This happened to me on my work computer and this solution doesn’t seem to get me where I need to be on the drive. On my work computer is a bunch of different O: drives. Would this effect where the file is located? I’ve tried copying and pasting the location into the search bar, but it just keeps showing up as “error” or it goes to a place with nothing in it.

  76. Thank you so much for this!!! You are an absolute genius!!! I have been working on something for hours, and up until midnight, and was about to lose the will to live when I thought I’d have to start over! You’re a computer legend. x

  77. In a follow up to my previous comment, it seems like I can get to the temporary files folder – I just can’t get to the list of all those folders with the weird names. Can anyone tell me why this is or how I can get there? Once I get there, I will most likely be able to locate my document, but for now, it remains lost somewhere in zombieland.

  78. Thank you SOOOO Much! I was working on a paper for over 4 hours when I stupidly closed the file without saving it…I don’t think i’ve ever done that before but this is my last class before I graduate and I’m anxious to get it over with. You saved me hours of work! You’re a life saver!

  79. … If only I had found this page sooner. I was just on the phone with my gf and she had this similar problem with the OWA and she told me she lost the file. I did not believe it was possible and having had a similar experience with gmail where I was simply able to locate the file, I told her to download and open the file again, click “save as” and see what location it prompts. But it didn’t work and I told her to try it again and this time just save the file like she previously did, then download AGAIN and open and “save as”, just to make sure that SURELY the recently saved file would be there this time around, and it wasn’t… I was completely baffled so I decided to google some more… Until I came across your page and read the first instruction and thought to myself “Oh no what did I just make her do…!! :O” Thanks for the instructions anyway!! :)

  80. I can not begin to tell you how thankful I am for your taking the time to post this help. I was a victim of my own stupidity, as I opened my document from a yahoo email – spent hours citing my sources, and rewriting the paper. Only to click save, close… and lose the document. I searched for over an hour on the internet for help – which included one set of advice telling me to reopen from my email to see if I could find the temporary location settings there. I had just a shred of hope left when I your post. I carefully opened each file, one by one… praying to find my research paper. Low and behold, IT WAS THERE! Complete with all my changes and revisions. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You have no idea how much it means to me that you took time out of your day to make an “idiot guide” to help technically challenged people like myself. May God Bless You, my friend. You are wonderful!!! ~Jenn

  81. OMG!!!!!
    It worked and I had spent two hours on the phone with Microsoft and my internet email provider and fiddling myself. WOW. Thanks. BTW, I never did save the lost MS WORD document, I just closed it and it appeared to be gone for good!


  82. My midterm project was finished and due in about 6 years. I finished it, closed it, and went to submit it online only to see it is not there. So first and foremost I googled how to get it back, I came across multiple sites with multiple different solutions none of which worked… until this one!!! I can’t possibly tell you how grateful I am. Losing a word document doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you’re in grad school, it’s due in 6 hours, and you’ve just finished after you’ve been working on it for weeks (I was so happy to find it that I legitimately cried).
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  83. Add another one to your list of grateful admirers… This one was more than two days work! You will not be forgotten

  84. hi, i just wanted to let you know you have just saved my life. hours of tears, trauma and absolute despair, and i was just about to give up …but your post did the trick. I am so unbelievably grateful and will be bookmarking this page. THANK YOU so so so much!

  85. You are an absolute star! GCSE student daughter in complete meltdown having ‘lost’ several hours’ work. Thanks to you, I found it and am now ‘SuperTechyGeekMum’!!
    A million times thank you!

    Susan & Beth x

  86. Great article… any suggestion on why a document wouldn’t be in here? :-( It’s the exact senerio you describe (opened in windows live hotmail).. the file is a word file. Would the file be a word file with the same name?
    Many thanks

  87. LOST – 5 hours cursing, searching blindly and retyping a short but important document from memory
    GAINED a sparkling, valuable piece of knowledge that no doubt will escape me next time (if!) but at least I have learned that it can be done!
    Brilliant, thanks for posting this you should knighted or sainted or something :) Chris

  88. I punched the air and thank you – after searching for over an hour in temporary internet files (I knew it was in there) your instructions took me straight to it! Thank you!!!!!

  89. I try this & i still could not find this! I downloaded some coursework to modify via hotmail as a “zip”. I then went to work on it & clicked the save button a number of times & even manually, a message came up saying “this document is a read only one or something.. but you came save it if you change the name” So i did by simply writing “complete” next too the original title. I follow these steps & i still cant find it anywhere! Uhm…help?

  90. I was literally bawling half an hour ago and you saved my lifeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Thnk you soooo much!!!!!!! I appreciate it

  91. OMG!!! Thank you so much! I cried for like 20minutes after working on an admission’s essay for hours and it didn’t save!! But it’s recovered and I’m happy lol. Thank God.

  92. You are a miracle worker. I read through so many other “help” blogs and found them… well, unhelpful. But this one rocked! I found what I needed and I did in fact jump in the air and thank God. Thank you so much for the idiot proof assistance. You’re the best!

  93. Oh wow! I think this tip (which worked by the way) postponed my grad school related mental breakdown just a bit longer. Thank you so much!

  94. Thank you… I’ve never had a more helpful piece of forum advice… You are going to good place when you die! ;-)

  95. I’m an idot and am so terrible with computers. Can you please help? When I click ctrl Alt T it won’t open the tools box

  96. omg. you saved my life. I was just crying and so frustrated and your instructions worked and I got my work back. WOW! YOU ROCK!!!!!

  97. I have just done this & it worked brilliantly! Thank you so much, i thought i had just lost a mornings worth of work!

  98. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! You have saved me from many sleepless nights and this really detailed step by step guide was the only one that worked or that I actually understood :D I spent all day on it and throughout the day kept clicking save thinking it had saved and their was no problem. It turns out as I had been opening it from my email it kept saving it I dont know where, and when i came to open it it was gone. I had a breakdown and did not know what to do. Thank you soooo much, you are a saviour and I hope you have a very good life

    Forgive the caps but I am shouting it. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU :-)
    I am already two day and 20% pentalty behind with this project being worth 50% of my grade on this 14 page project.
    So this was not small thing you’ve done.
    GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  100. Dude you are a life saver! After editing a document for hours we found out that it was no where to be found. Thank you so much!

  101. I encountered this problem but unfortunately I still have windows XP. does anyone know of a way that I can get my document back with XP?

  102. Thank you so much Oded Ran. I was sure all of my hard work was lost. It looked like it was saving but alas it was no where to be found…but by following your easy steps I found my document and recovered it. Thank you! Thank you! I wish all “tech-support” and trouble shooting help was as great as you!

  103. Thank you sooooo much, I was already in tears. I lost my part of the group project and with your web page and detail steps I was able to find the file. Thank you very much God Bless you a million times over.


  105. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! I just spent 3 hours editing a paper and when i thought i lost it, i almost had a mental breakdown.

  106. You know, my friend who I don’t even know, you saved me (and hundreds of consumers who were in a worksheet and needed urgent outbound calls) much aggravation.

    There are probably a million entries on the web for people who have had this annoying problem, all with ridiculous answers from ‘helpful’ types, like, ‘Use a MAC’, or ‘You should have saved it more often’, or whatever.

    Your simple, concise and more importantly highly accurate step by step guide worked perfectly and I thank you.


  107. I didn’t think to save a file I opened from my hotmail/live account and “lost” 3 hours worth of homework for my MBA program…we’re talking 5 pages of math and calculations that I thought might kill me to have to do, again. Thank you for your expertise, my first drink of the night will be a toast to you…
    Thanks, again

  108. You are a blessing from God!!! I am working on my Masters Action Research and I saved the generic way and thought I lost my file. I have lost many files in the past. However this one is really important. I am very grateful and I can not thank God enough for sending me you… I have not slept due to completing this research all day and its 5 am right now. You have blessed me tremendously. Thank you!

  109. You just saved me from throwing my laptop through the window! I’ve been working o this document for hours and I stupidly opened it up from a hotmail attachment and I seemed to have saved it into thin air. I can’t thank you enough for this guide to recovering the document, as to be honest, I was quite sceptical as these things never seem to help! But I’m so glad I found one that did. Thank you so much for putting this up! Your a legend :)

  110. You rock! And just saved me tons of time. I did the same thing last week, never found it and ended up rebuilding it. This time I was determined to find a way to get the file – you’re my savior!

  111. You just saved me as well. Thank you!!!! I thought I was done for! :) I will be printing and saving this website as a bookmark and a PDF. LOL….Can never be too careful. :)

  112. OMG!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!! I ran into 5 sites before yours, all telling me to do different things, and none of them worked. Yours worked beautifully! I am so happy right now!!!! Haha!

  113. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

  114. This is the right site for anyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just great!

  115. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! Will not have been able to recovered hours of efforts without your help. GREAT knowledge. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

  116. AMAZING!!!! jumping up and down. After the office assistant and tech support guy in our office were out of ideas, we found this article. You saved my brief on a Friday afternoon due for filing on Monday.

  117. 21 year old college student here. I KNOW better than to not save an email attachment before editing, but we’ll chalk it up to lack of sleep… Thank you so much for the clear, concise and most importantly WORKING instructions. You have saved a lab report today.

  118. Thank you very much, I just followed your instructions and succeed to find a file in a computer’s friend that she thought was lost with the effort of a whole day.

  119. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this topic here on your site.

  120. Just saved my business school application essays and a whole lot of heartburn – thank you so much for your assistance!


    I now HATE microsoft word. But thank you. I found it. You’re doing more good than those in washington!

  122. Thank you for sharing this, kind sir. I am so releived, I almost threw this laptop across the room when I realized what I’ve done!

  123. Hi Oded Ran, Great tip but I don’t see a Content.IE5 folder anywhere on my Windows 7 laptop within the Temporary Internet Files folder. Am I doing something wrong?

  124. Hi again Oded,

    Update on my previous post. In between your steps 7 and 8, I copied the entire Temporary Internet Files folder to another location, and as if by magic, the Content.IE5 folders then appeared. I found my document within a couple of minutes!

    Huge gratitude and respect !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

  125. THANK YOU sooooooOOOOOOO much!!!! Words cannot described how much u helped me!!! I was shedding tears and so upset. U are the freaking bet!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

  126. Thank you so much!!! Just found a brochure I have spent 20+ hours working on … you saved me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  127. Thank you so so much!!!!! actually stopped me from bursting into tears and throwing the laptop at the wall!! absolute legend!!!!!!! Saved me 7 hours worth of work! cant thank you enough!!!!!!

  128. OMG I love you right now! I was almost about to cry had 40 pages of material I thought I had lost forever! Thank you so so so so so much!!! You are amazing! I had so many documents open, I thought I had already saved it into my files blah I was wrong. But you came ot the rescue, Thanks!

  129. I opened a doc from outlook and put on like 6 hours of work and I lost it.
    I cannot thank you enough.

    The files open in out look will be in the following location
    C:\Users\user_data\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\

  130. yep saved me too.
    Thanks alot!

    Who would of thought that:

    “Show hidden files”


    “Show hardly any of the files that are hidden”

    And that:

    “Hide protected operating system files ”


    “Un-tick if you want to view the rest of the hidden files, that you meant to see when you clicked the first box”

  131. Thank you for your contribution that clearly saved the day of many of us !

    Well, I am in the same situation as yarrow (6th november comment)… Anyone found out how to do the same magic trick under Windows XP ? What is the path to go ?

    Any help would be very much appreciated ! Too bad they did not somehow prevent users from editing attachments.

    Have a nice day

  132. Phew… just found out how to do it under XP… YIIPPEE! Well, this worked for me, so cautiously check for yourself whether that works also for you. The path to enter in the address field of your explorer window looks like:

    C:\Documents and Settings\$yourusername$\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

    where $yourusername$ should look more or less like your login in XP.

    One (maybe risky) way to find out the path is to click on *another* attached file in your webmail application. Then select the feared “Open” instead of “Save”, which should open Word if it is a doc file. Then select in the Word menu “File/Save As…”. It should propose you to save this other document in the hidden folder ith a random name. Now, you just have to roll down the path leading to this hidden folder. It should look like what I pasted above.

    The very clear instructions given to you by Mr Oded Ran should now apply within this Content.IE5 folder. One just “devilish” thing is that the Content.IE5 stays invisible within the “Temporary Internet Files” folder, even if you choose to show all hidden files and folders in the Display Options of Explorer. You can access it only by typing the right path in the address bar!

    Once again, many thanks to you Mr Oded Ran. Your example gave me enough courage to search for the solution under XP!

    1. Thanks to both Oded Ran for the original post and Mo for adding the bits around Windows XP. Document found and hours of work recovered.

  133. Thankyou so much you just saved another whole nights work! Glad i took the time to read your blog. Couldn’t find a solution anywhere else but knew it had to be on my pc somwhere. Thanks again!

  134. that happened to me through Google Docs. I wanted to kill Google. Thank you so much… I’ve been crying and desperately looking for solutions on the Internet for hour. Thank you so much!

  135. THank you thank you thank you!!!! I wish I would have found this a month ago when this happened the first time!! But hey, at least this paper was saved!!

  136. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! You are brilliant!!!!!!!!! Sending good kharma your way!!!!!!!!! Blessings be upon you kind technical guru genius wizard!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  137. You are the best! I too had to look in my temporary internet files and search through (I could not find it in the folder you stated above) but I did find it in the end and I’m SO glad I did. Thanks!!


  139. What a BABE. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more useful and life-saving Internet post. Massive ditto on what everyone above says. I shall be sharing this with a gazillion others. Legend xxx

  140. Oh my lord jesus christ i probably jumped in the air for a good 5 minutes. THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU ARE GOD LIKE! i could kiss you

  141. You are a life saver! THANK YOU!!!!!! My partner and I finished 4 hours worth of edits on an essay for our business law class earlier this afternoon, only to find the document had vanished. If it weren’t for your clear, accurate, step-by-step instructions, I would still be in tears AND without a complete essay to hand in tomorrow morning.

    Good karma is headed your way (along with some virtual blown kisses from us).

    Thank you :D

  142. You are amazing! I hade an important uni assignment due and then could not locate my finished product THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!

  143. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!! You are my hero! I had been directed by my dad to look for them here but he left off the Content.IE5 bit. Had just started to type my report comments again (in floods of tears!) and thought I would do one more google search and thank God I did. YOU ARE AMAZING!

  144. I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! Oh my god, I can’t even express how relieved and happy I am right now. YOU’RE A LEGEND!

  145. Youre amazing. I was crying until I thought that just maybe someone figured this out. I was right! Thank you so much. I recovered my paper. So amazing! Thank you

  146. You said a number of times that this doesn’t happen with GMail but I am telling you it does. It happened to me but you saved all my work. Amazing. Thank you.Thank You thank you./

  147. Oh my gosh THANK YOU!! I lost my paper last night and was completely miserable as I tried to find it, and then as it became hopeless, I was trying to re-write it in the late hours of the night. But I thought I’d quickly try to find it again today, came across this, and I am just THRILLED that it’s worked!! I found the document!!! Thank you SO SO very much! You’ve saved me many hours of bitter writing! I’ll be sure to pass this info along!!! Thank you!!!!!!! :)

  148. Just found this after doing a Google. My son saved 2 hrs worth of work on his PC which was part of a Hotmail attachment and couldn’t find it. Thanks to you, after following your instructions I managed to find all the work again for him. Many thanks from us both.

  149. there were no folders when i opened the temporary folders file after i checked/unchecked the boxes you said! what may i have done wrong?

  150. This saved my final composer paper for my final in my music theory class! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH! Without this I probably would have failed!

  151. thankyou so much! after searching for ages for a fix i finally found this website and your fix worked. I cannot thank you enough!

  152. Hi Mrs Marsden,

    Were you actually in the “Content.IE5” folder, when you looked for the hidden folders (with random names such as “14NKXDP8”)?

    As Mr Oded Ran and I have mentioned, the “Content.IE5” folder is located in a “Temporary Internet Files” folder (the location of “Temporary Internet Files” depends on whether your system is Windows Vista or XP). However, the “Content.IE5” folder is completely invisible within the “Temporary Internet Files” folder, even if you check the box to display hidden files and folders. The only way to access the “Content.IE5” folder seems to be to type its whole path in the address bar of the Windows Explorer (e.g. “C:\Documents and Settings\(…)\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5”).

    Yet, I am afraid this must be done in the same Internet Explorer session when you opened and saved your attached file. The hidden folders with random names seem to be erased and recreated anew at each new session.

    Good luck,


  153. OH MY GOD! my 30 page research paper that was due tommorow is now back in my sight!!!! i can finally wipe my tears away! this was excellent, im glad i looked into this

  154. OMG!!!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!! I swear i screamed and jumped for joy and thanked god that i got it back! have been working on it for hours and the deadline of my article is tomorrow… so again thank you soooo much!!

  155. Thx much, though I did not find the file but the instructions were excellent and I learned something new that added to my computer literacy. Best of luck to you.

  156. OMG, thank you so so sooooo much. You are truely a lifesaver, I thought I had lost 5 hours worth of work. You have turned my frown upside down :)

    Thank you again for posting this.

  157. That was great.

    I’m wondering if you can help me with a problem I’m having. I opened a document from a hard disk drive, which is no longer functional. I worked on a document in Word that I really need, but now have no access to. Do you think Word saved it somewhere on my physical, internal drive? If yes, how can I access it?

    Thanks for the great advice.

  158. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I had tried all the other forum options and was almost about to give up – the difference with yours is the hidden files steps .. it makes all the difference! Once again thank you very much you have saved me a fail!

  159. My daughter just lost her saved essay, part of her final exams for her BSc. After an hour of struggles and tears my friend found your guide to recovery. Even though I had already enabled hidden files and looked carefully in the temporary Internet files I had no idea about the need to uncheck the hidden system files. Now I have a very happy daughter and a relieved mum and dad. Thanks very much for posting your advice.

  160. Oded,
    After following your intial Alt T directions, I had no luck, so I read the comments and got to Helena’s September 10 post. (Thank’s, Helena!) By not including the last bit “Content…” and only using:
    %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\
    a bunch of “hidden files” popped up. Then, in the top, right-hand side, I clicked on “details.” Then, I clicked on “type” and chose “Microsoft Word Document,” which narrowed the list down to two. I was almost fooled into thinking the last one was not the right file because the file name was different, but I right clicked, copied, and pasted the file onto my desktop. It was the file that I had opened in Yahoo, worked on for 6 hours, and saved, thinking I had saved it to my work folder. I can’t thank you enough! You are amazing!

  161. you are incredible! this is the best advice I have ever come across! You saved my entire research project! Thank you SO SO much.

  162. I have a Windows 7 computer but when I paste in the file path it says no search results available… :( I think I will die if I don’t get my assignment back please please help!

  163. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Everyone told me it was gone for good… but thank to you i recovered what i needed. Times like this make me really appreciate the internet and its ability to connect strangers. I am really, very grateful.

  164. As with the other comments, this was a lifesaver! Thanks so much for posting this info and allowing silly people like me who save from email to recover their docs!!!!

  165. hey I can never thank you enough for saving my twelve hours of work, but, but it was corrupted with so many rubbish and unnecesary spacing which I struggled to solve but am glad l got it back. Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank youuuuuuuuuuu!

  166. Thank you so much, my son phoned from uni in a desperate panic that he couldn’t find his essay of 3000 words. After trying all manner of searches and googling the problem, I came across your website. Can’t tell you the relief both me and my son felt. Once again THANKS!!!

  167. I cannot thank you enough for your help. I am a very basic computer user and your instructions were clear and concise and saved me a lot of time.

  168. Thank you sooooo much!! My brother was trying to find the file for hours.. and I found it within minutes with your guide! Thank you :)


  170. This saved me! Had been looking for a “lost” word doc (lots of edits to it) for around an hour and a half. It’s was a word doc downloaded from hotmail, I dutifully kept saving it but it was saving to the mystery hidden Internet files!!! Within minutes this guide helped me find my fully edited intact document (for coursework I may add) and so has saved me around 5 hours work!!! Thank you sooooooo much I had nearly resigned to rewriting tomorrow. Never will I make the same mistake again…but if do I know where to go! Thank you :-)

  171. For Windows 8 you have to go to settings/control panel/appearance and personalization to get to “folder options.” From there you follow the directions, but when I copied and pasted what you said to search nothing was found either way. Thank you for your info though, it might have worked if I had an older version of Windows.

  172. You saved me. I spent 2 hours online looking for a solution (including official Microsoft help pages) but your method saved my article. Thank you!

  173. Thank you so, so, so much!!!! Was near tears trying to find an essay I had worked on for hours and searched for probably about an hour and half – no other site helped as much as this one!!!! Tip to anyone else, really check those hidden files and use either the date or file type, as very nearly missed mine!!!! Again thank you so much, can finally go to sleep!!!!

  174. Thank you so, so, so much!!!! Was near tears trying to find an essay I had worked on for hours and searched for probably about an hour and half – no other site helped as much as this one!!!! Tip to anyone else, really check those hidden files and use either the date or file type, as very nearly missed mine!!!! Again thank you so much, can finally go to sleep!!!!

  175. Thank you so much – this really does work. This was a life saver for me today. I lost a day’s worth of work and freaked out :-) I tried the same command before – but was not told to uncheck ‘Hide protected operating system files’ …..that was the key!

  176. So I tried your steps, although I was not able to copy and paste the long search name, I found it a different way through some other posts I seen. However, I still was not able to retrieve my document that I edited from an email attachment. There were actually more than one that I lost and was only ably to find half of one. I didn’t open either and yet I could only find half of one. Why is that? Is there any hope for me? Will I loose all my chances if I shut down my laptop completely?

  177. Dear Author,
    i saw many comments into your address. i failed. please HELP:: i opened the document in Outlook and continuously was saving it, but now i cannot find it.
    i carefully read the instructions, but at the very beginning, i had troubles: in Start menu where you posted your link: %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5

    my computer doesnt give me the proper folder, instead it says: No items match your search… please help somebody anybody, my 15 pages of report is gone with winds!!! i have to submit my reports tomorrow… Jan 29th of 2013…SOS!!! HELP!!!

  178. These directions were incredible. No other websites helped until I came across this one. I followed the directions exactly and lo and behold, there was my paper sitting in a hidden ghost folder. Wow! I have no clue how you knew this, but it was a lifesaver!

  179. Thank you soooooooo much!!! After spending over 3 hours editing a paper, I thought it was lost forever. Let’s just say you saved me a few strands of hair :) Thanks, again!!

  180. Add one more to the chorus of ‘You saved me!’ Worked all day on the document only to discover that it wasn’t saved on my hard drive. I don’t understand my Word doesn’t mention that it’s not being saved in a proper location the first several times you hit CTRL+S but who am I to know the mind of Microsoft?

  181. IT WORKS! Three hours of work almost down the drain without you! You have no idea how much you helped us!

  182. Thank you so much!! I asked the ICT professional at my school (I’m a teacher) today & he had know idea. Thank goodness to google which made me find you!! yay!!

  183. This could well be one of the most important blogs ever written! Fantastic! :-) On behalf of everyone, thank you for this very important act of public service you have performed. :-)

  184. Thank you so much! I spent 3 hours writing an assessment, which is an absolute chore and I thought I’d lost it all! But I found it thanks to you! Thank you. :)

  185. NOTHING ELSE WORKED – THIS PAGE SAVED MY LIFE!!! So happy to have found my file. It was days of work (stupidly, I’d done ‘Save As’ then kept hibernating my computer)…….THANK YOU SO MUCH. I can’t recommend this webpage enough!

  186. Lewis is dead-on: You. Are. A. God. Six hours of hard work were recovered in less than ten minutes. And I had even re-opened the docs from my email before following your directions, but I still found them in their beautifully edited state among the hidden files. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  187. I don’t know how to thank you, words cannot express my gratitude. It worked a treat, so simple. And your instructions were easy to follow, better than some of the others advice stuff that is on the web, making me lose my will to live and telling me to give up (I’m glad I didn’t). This page is now one of my favourite pages if it were to happen to me again or someone I know. Now I really believe if there is will there’s a way, especially with technology anyway!

  188. Oh my word, thank you so much!!! This is first site I have seen that suggests more than searching for *.docx. You have helped save my document and my attitude for the rest of the day. Wow! I thank God for you and pray he blesses you richly for helping all of us. Have a great day! I know I will :)

  189. It worked!!! I did open up the file from my email again after I lost it, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find it. there were a couple different files, in different folders, but I was able to find it. I am definately saving this to my favorites, just in case I ever need it again. I now have an extra hour to do something besides rewrite my paper. Thanks!

  190. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I now keep this page bookmarked as it has come in handy many many times for me, family, and friends. This time helped save a whole’s day work..

  191. I love you, I love you, I love you!!!!!!
    I am a 32 year old wife and mother who works fulltime and am also a part time university student. My assignment was due tonight at midnight. I was very happy to finish it by 10:15 and get to bed at a decent hour… Then the unthinkable happened. After waking up my husband (who has to be up at 430am for work) in complete hysterics, I calmed down and did the ever-so-faithful google search for help and found you!!! Your instructions are very easy to follow and a complete lifesavor!!! I still can’t believe I did that, as I always hit save and not open, but oh well, I made a huge mistake and your amazing tutorial saved the day!!!
    Again, Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!
    My paper is in, and I am going to bed!!

  192. I tried several other suggestions I found online and nothing was working. And then I found you! It worked!! Another well-deserved THANK YOU from what would have been another person in crisis mode.

  193. I had spent 3 days straight working on a Microbiology study guide for a test that I really need to make a good grade on. It took me 2 days straight and a lot of organizing of notes and reading the book to get JUST HALF of my information together. After 30 minutes of sobbing in the library, I decided to try and google to see if this has happend to anyone. Found my file. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  194. I was almost at melt-down yesterday evening. Worked for a couple of days on an essay straight from my email. Then saved it regularly without even thinking about the save as option, closed it and it disappeared. I had already been refused an extension and no way was my tutor gonna believe this one! Your instructions got my essay back, not only that but the very last version with all the hard work in. Thank you so very much. x

  195. Thank you so so very much for posting this! I am so grateful as hours of work went into my document, only to not be able to locate it anywhere.

    The instructions were clear and easy to follow.

    Thank you again.

  196. Thank you so much!!!!!! I think you know, but this was extremely helpful and thank you for taking the time to do this and save alot of people alot of extra work trying to redo what they’ve already spent hours working on.

  197. Thank you and thank God for this post. I lost a lot of sleep last night but found your post this morning. Even though I had already opened, saved, and changed the attachment again the wrong way by just clicking open this file, I was able to recover my work from zombie land!!!! I wish I could shake your hand!!!!!!

  198. I am still not able to find my file. I saved it using the library computer and when I opened it from my email to see where would the file have gone to, “TEMP” I am afraid as you said, I wrote over it. I have lost 7 pages of my readings report. I am in tears.

  199. I LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE YOU! GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooo much you’ve saved a dissertation!!xxx

  200. OMG!! Thank You so much! I have been working on this document for the past two weeks, and all I have been doing was clicking the save button. Not once did I realize that I haven’t saved the file to a location. By following your simple and straightforward instructions I was able to retrieve my file! Thak You again, you are a life saver :)

  201. OMG! Thank you sooooooo much for this post. I had been working on my dissertation for my degree and spent 10 hours reading and editing journals into my essay, and went I went to send it there was no sign of a the file on my hard drive. I scanned it for two hours with no avail! Until I googled for help and found this….. I literally screamed so loud once I had retrieved my work following your method, that I got asked to leave the library by the security team! Your a star! Thanks a million! – London, Uk

  202. help I followed instructions and i came across the same problem as Nariman

    January 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  203. Saved my paper! I had e-mailed it to myself from work. When I download it at home, I usually save it to the appropriate folder. Somehow I forgot to do this and just saved as I went. Little did I know that I was saving it to the “zombie land” and wouldn’t be able to find it.
    I was in utter panic. I found this post while frantically searching for help. Much to my delight, after search through a few randomly named folders, I found my file!


  204. Well, it has to be a fine service you are offering, because my students directed me here to see how they found their essays. I was aware of this problem–and you have a faster way, since you’ve given them a copy-‘n’-paste option. Thank you for your help: the tears were not wasted.

  205. Thank you so so much … I lost my dissertation and was crying my eyes out trying to find it !!! I followed your instructions and found in within minutes !! Thank you !!!!!

  206. Thank you so much! I have no idea what I would of done if I haven’t found this website! You’re a genious!

  207. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  208. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!! I use IE9 so had to go about it a slightly different way. But I found the file lurking in the temporary internet folder under a peculiar name and managed to get it back!!!!!

  209. YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE i had 25% worth of my geography GCSE lost, and thanks to you i found it! but it wouldn’t work for me when i copied it into start so i copied it into the computer address bar and found my controlled assessments THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  210. OMG THANK YOU!!! I didnt lose a paper, or school stuff…I lost HOURS of tideous inventory and formula files that I had to correct and resend back and I didnt really know what I was doing in the first place! I had my staff come in to pitch in today and they would have been so pissed!! This is AMAZING!!!! I even opened the file from email 3 more times…I found all of the temp files but mine was still there!!!

  211. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! This helped me find my file after trying all of the other sites help guides that did not work.

  212. Not very good with words or spelling but just had to say THANK YOU THANK YOU
    What a life saver found my lost work from
    Your site when many other sites said it could not be done. Thanks again

  213. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was totally freaking out and thought I had to redo my assignment! Thank you life saver!!

  214. THANK YOU! You saved me two hours work! Very simple to follow, and I had indeed already reopened the original file from the email, but thankfully I realised shortly after I lost it that I had indeed lost it! Fabulous!

  215. thank you so much you made me seem a genius in finding my little sisters gcse work she had lost! saved her a lot of stress!! thank again! life saver!!

  216. OMG I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!!! I FOUND MY ENGLISH PAPER, SAVED ME… Like you actually saved my life, I’ve never felt so indebted to a stranger before in my life. AGHHHH you actually saved me soo much time of my life, did I mention that I LOVE YOU?!?!?!?!

  217. Thanks so much – I nearly jumped out of the window, but then I found your site and recovered the spreadsheet I’d been crafting for 2 days.

  218. Hi there,
    Thank you for the help, its genius that there is a way! I did it on a university computer, 2 days ago, I cant seem to find it using your method, I think perhaps its because files are only saved temporarily on these computers…. I still have hope though… any chance you have any other tips?
    Thank you for your help :)

  219. As a would be novelist I lost some pages yesterday and a couple hours I serched in vain. I read post after posted article how to recover the pages but none of the suggestions worked. I was in a very dark mood and then I came across you article and the world suddenly became a whole lot brighter. Thank you for your excellent work.

  220. heey, how do u find a lost powerpoint that I downloaded from a VLE? I clicked open, then added about 5 slides, then clicked save and then it was gone? :( do u know what to do?

  221. Many thanks for your clear and concise instructions, they were instrumental in recovering my sister’s university assignment! I’m not the most tech savvy person and was having trouble following other online advice but then I came across this blog post and felt encouraged by your straight forward instructions and your sympathetic words. It was such a relief to receive help from someone who actually understands how stressful these situations can be. My sister was having a major meltdown (it wasn’t pretty) but your words saved the day so thank you muchly!

  222. Thanks a lot! I followed your instruction and explored teh zombie land. My file just stays there! Thank God I saw your post.

  223. Your suggestions are great but didn’t quite fit my dilemma. I did however find the answer here:

    So, Adam College Kid, hope you find your file using this method! Note though that I had to manually type the file path for appdata, it was hidden.

    I have learnt my lesson now and won’t be saving files directly into an existing zip!


  225. You will never have to buy a beer in Chicago Illinois, USA – EVER!!!! I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see that file back.

  226. THANK YOU! I even took my laptop to the tech guys at my college yesterday (an hour before my paper was due, when I realized it was gone) and they couldn’t figure it out. Thank gawd for the internet! It may be late, but at least I don’t have to rewrite it!

  227. Well… I have many very tech savy people around and none of them could tell me how to get my file back… which I spent 2 hours editing and then didn’t want to re-do it… Thank you so much for this.. I’ve now booked marked these instructions!

  228. You should take donations!!!! Thank you so much for this. This is the second time this has happened to me. After the first time, I started using Google Chrome, so all my downloads saved to my desktop. Then, my computer crashed, and I didn’t realize I was using Internet Explorer instead of Chrome. Subsequently, my report was lost in Zombie Land. I tried several other methods I found online, and yours is the only one that worked. I was worried I’d ruined my chances by the time I stumbled across this post. Thanks again!!!!

  229. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just found a document that I had been working on for quite some time and I had lost for closing it without saving it to my desktop.

  230. So, add me to the list of grateful people. I thought I’d lost 79 pages of data. Thank you! Thanks be to God!

  231. Thank you so much. Mine is lost forever but I did find it again. I had opened the one in the email though. The good news is I am going to google chrome now. Thanks again so very much. Even though it didn’t work for me I can at least get to work on it again knowing it is forever gone.


  233. OMG!!! I spent all weekend working on edits to my thesis and saved 34567848 times then couldn’t find it. I realized I had opened it from an email and had not actually saved it to my computer. I literally sat in front of my computer in a panickey disbelief and had even tried to oped it from my email (no no #1). But after finding and following you instructions I have recovered my edits!!!!! You don’t even know how thankful I am for you right now!!!

  234. This just saved my LIFE!!! I thought I had lost hours of work due ONE DAY FROM NOW as a course prerequisite (for a course that won’t be offered again in my city for a long time)! I was literally crying when I thought I had lost the work and now I will be dancing around the room CELEBRATING! THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have no idea how happy I am right now! I wish I could give you a huge hug and a reward!!! THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL!!!

  235. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! All day writing an ESA report emailed to me that I opened without saving-as first!

  236. i try all the steps above and i can;t find the my word back..isnt;t any others steps?i am using microsoft word 2010 and windows 7

  237. The path the author provided did not help me but I was able to find another path and found my lost files there.
    There is another path that might be useful:
    C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook

  238. You are an amazing person to share this with others. Thank you so much for this. I am so lucky! I found my group work and i wont have to re do it thank you again <3

  239. You have no idea how thankful I am for this! Managaed to get back my final, A Level coursework after spending days altering it! Thank you!

  240. My friend…..(if I should call you so)…I thank God for YOu! You helped saved my sister from breaking down…..She found her file!!!!!!

  241. Just shared this on my uni facebook page hope you don’t mind because you have just saved my life! THANK YOU :) xxx

  242. You’ve seriously made me go from a crying hot mess to dancing around my room. Add me to the list of people who could kiss you.

    P.S. Thanks for not only writing the ONLY solution that worked, but writing it in a way that someone who is a) computer illerate and b) panicking uncontrollably could understand and do.

  243. OHHHH MYYY GODDDDD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! I was CRYING when I thought I’d lost it! I wish i could thank you in person!

  244. Thank you so so much, if it wasn’t for you I would have had to rewrite an entire economics assignment including about a million graphs drawn in paint which I hadn’t saved either! You’re a champ!
    Zoe from New Zealand

  245. omg. thank you so much! you have literally just saved my life!!! and you have also taught me a lesson. CLICK SAVE NOT OPEN!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :D :D :D :D :D :D

  246. THANK GOD for genius internet geeks!!!!!!! you saved my life and saved me from a sure depression!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  247. World class mate, amazing. I don’t know who you are or where you’re from but you just saved a lawyer in South Australia from serious strife. My IT guys at the office had no idea but luckily I had learnt through expert evidence in court that this sort of thing could be done, Googled it and found your post. Life saver. It is very late, I am stressed and still have work to do, but had to take the time to leave a comment.
    Lovely Coopers Pale Ale in South Australia with your name on it. I’m going to crack open one now.

  248. Thank you very much, I tried so many other options before I found your excellent instructions! Work finally recovered!!

  249. YOU JUST POTENTIALLY JUST SAVED A LIFE!! Literally would not have graduated college without this help!! Thank you, good karma is coming your way!!

  250. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
    download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

  251. Three and a half hours heavy strategic thinking saved from disaster. I can only add to the posts of thanks above (I was in the same kind of mess as Kourtney!) and raise a virtual glass to your sharing of knowledge! Thanks x

  252. WOW! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Your steps were so easy to follow and i was able to find my lost file despite trying to re-open it from my email. oops.. I had tried to re-open it before I went searching for your post!

  253. Thank you sooo much for helping out! I thought my file would be lost forever.
    Your instructions were very clear! (Also, I’m never clicking ‘open’ again in my life)

  254. Thankyou so much! Couldn’t believe this worked but it did…miracle!!! I will never Ctrl+S on e-mail ever ever again! xxx

  255. Thank you so much! I thought my file would be overwritten, because of what you mentioned about re opening a file to find out it’s location. It took me a while before I stumbled across this article, followed the instructions and found it!! Thank you again! Cheers

  256. Thank you so much! I was working on a masters assignment and I thought it was gone forever after I closed it from an e-mail atachment, I have spent so much time on it. Thanks again

    very clever and very clear instructions.

    Ruth x

  257. OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I am so glad I found your blog. It literally saved me from re-doing a whole days worth of work. I can’t thank you enough!!!

  258. Muchas gracias, el documento que recobre gracias a tu tutorial era para aplicar a una promoción e mi empleo.
    Muchas, muchas gracias!!!!!

  259. Great directions…unfortunately I downloaded the attachment prior to finding your directions and I’m screwed. I’m hoping the big glass of bourbon next to me helps me calm down as I set out to re-type the lost work.

  260. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU SAVED MY SCIENCE PRESENTATION. this was concise, easy to follow, and SOOOO HELPFUL.

  261. Thank You so much…Man I was about to cry when I first lost this document…Thanks again, again and a thousand time again….

  262. Thank you so much, just had a total meltdown over some lost work and my boyfriend found your link which has saved my bacon (and my files!!)
    So grateful,

  263. Thank you so much!! Had a big paper due today and my stupid self didn’t save as first. This helped me greatly and I was able to recover my paper! A big thanks to you!!

  264. You literally saved my life!!! My school assignment was already late and I’m so exhausted…. Losing the file was just the icing on top of the cake of a bad day!! But THANK YOU!!!!!! I can now submit my paper!!!




  266. Thank you so so much for this. You’ve saved me so much time. I had a really important piece of work due for my doctorate and I couldn’t believe I’d managed to lose it! You are a lifesaver!

  267. Thank you soooooo much! You just helped me get back my edited version of my final essay for my degree so I am SO pleased I saw this! Great advice.

    I’ve been crying for about the past hour after writing 5000 words and being exstatic after finishing it then to find its no where to be seen. Thank you so so so so soooo much for making this page, I can’t thank you enough, I can actually go and sleep now!!!!!
    Ahhhh stress free and essay written – thank you!!!!! i think i love you, priase the lord for computer know it alls

  269. I love you too Mr stranger Oded guy!!! this information is priceless!! Thank you so much for posting! you saved me hours of work. I am dancing too!! I want to say that i opened unworked orginal file in email (in my panic) many times but thankfully it did not overwrite or effect lost file once i found it via your method. Although i did not hit save on unworked document. maybe this would make a difference. Was thinking you should collect donations based on how helpful people find the info… you could give to your charity of choice??? thank you you little genius you!! Blessings!! e


  271. Thank you so so much, ur a total star. I made this error with my school reports but have just found then using your method :D thank you thank you!!

  272. You don’t understand how much this means to me. I desperately checked other sites but they didn’t give me the info you did. You’ve saved me so much time on an assignment due tomorrow. It would have been an all-nighter if it weren’t for you and all I can say is thank you and God bless, good sir. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  273. Thank you so much for saving my mom from doing her report all over again. My mom is 65 years old and had been laboring all day yesterday finishing her financial report. I had told her to save numerous times and I saw that she did. Little did I know that the file she was saving was opened directly from her email. After she retired for the day, happy with her accomplishments, I checked on what she did but I couldn’t find it. I was already crying. I know she would be devastated if I told her that the file she had saved was gone and I couldn’t bear to see her work on the report again after all the time she spent on it. You are heaven sent for sharing this to us. Godbless you and your family!

  274. It told me no items matched my search. I figured it was a long shot since I had already closed out of everything. At least I have something to try when I neglect to save it from the beginning. I appreciate the info

  275. Hi, I did this on my work computer and it is windows xp professional. is it the same process? its not working :( ive been doing this paper for 12 hours!! help

  276. Thank you so much! I spent 8 hours on a presentation and at least 2 hours trying to find it, after spending the day repeatedly saving, when I went to email it to a friend for comments I couldn’t find it. Nightmare. I really didn’t want to re-do it and you saved me from that. I can’t thank you enough!!! :-)

  277. Who ever you are I thank God for your parents. They truly created a genius. I lost hours of work and by the grace of God you guided me to find it. thank you so much. I pray for your intelligence in this technological world.

    Until I obtain it, I glad your able.

    I love you

  278. I am a late arrival to this post, but am very glad to report your recovery method is brilliant. I am an attorney and “lost” my document as addressed in your post. But your recovery process worked flawlessly. You should receive an honorary law degree for your help given to a lawyer!

  279. man you are doing the lords work. cause of u i retrieved a funding proposal portecting womens rights in a middle eastern country that the US invaded. thank you so much for this god bless!!

  280. pmg help me please, ive lost my essay and ive tried to follow the steps you said but it wont let me get past the search option when you search the link to find hidden files helpppppppppp

  281. when i type this %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5 in the start seach nothing shows up help!!!!!!!!!

  282. Thank you so much! Idk what I would have done if I did not find this post! I was crying before this how I spent all this time and my paper was gone. I tried every other method and was so upset! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  283. Thank you! I don’t usually open files this way… but I opened it earlier today at a client’s office – then went back to it tonight to update some changes. This was an Excel file.

    Granted, I could have recreated it my changes pretty quickly, but it was frustrating to no end that I could not search and find it! I had hidden files showing, but not system files.

    Oh – and I went back and reopened it from the email again to see if I could figure out where it was saving it– no luck… but I was also lucky in that it didn’t overwrite my edited version.

  284. All I can say is that you are an angel! You saved me from typing a whole new paper on my Saturday off. Does suck I did not find you until after finishing a bottle of wine so now I cant leave the house but worth it! Thank you times infinity! You are truly a life saver!

  285. OHMYGOD. YOU’RE A GENIUS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS GUIDE. YOU ACTUALLY SAVED MY LIFE :’) I worked on my essay for so long last night and I was in shock this morning to find that none of it had saved and that my notes were half missing. I actually had a melt down and almost cried but then I found this! Thank you soooo much!

  286. THANK YOU SO MUCH. We recovered the document within 3 minutes but was searching for this “zombie file” for more than an hour.

  287. Thank you so much. You’re right that all the other online suggestions for how to fix this fail. This helped so much, and I really did thank God that I found your page. Thanks and God bless.

  288. Had a research project due today for submissions in a very important court case. Accessed my email from internet explorer, even though I normally use chrome, kept on pressing save and closed it. Had a serious meltdown in the office as I searched diligently for the file, knew my job was on the line. Saw ur link online and followed the steps to a “T”, thank u so much Oded ur truly heaven sent. Thank uuuuuuuu, all the way from Jamaica :)

  289. Thank you a zillion times – I just recovered hours of work – was in near tears at the thought of re doing it all !

  290. I just did all of the above, including the header/footer idea. I found all the right folders, but…nothing! I did open the original attachment, though, earlier in the day. Perhaps I overwrote the changes?

  291. your an absolute legend, found my file of 1 weeks worth of work, thank you soo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  292. You are amazing! Thank you so much! Worked brilliantly. You have saved me hours of work and stress.

  293. You are an absolute star…
    Saved me hours and an asswhipping from the boss. you’re a good man charlie brown

  294. Kia ora from New Zealand :) after deciding to call it a night at 12am I clicked control+s and then closed my doc! grrr! generally an optimist I was ready to admit defeat at 1.20am, and surrender to doing it all again tomorrow! grrr! Your instructions helped me to recover my work which is near completion, this is a huge blessing for me a working and studying single parent trying to balance it all! Thank you, I am oh so grateful

  295. I was about to cry, but your page helped me out in recovering a word doc that I have been working on for hours… mant thanks!!

  296. I was in tears that I had lost my final paper that is due TOMORROW. I can’t thank you enough for your help. I found it!!!!! I truly did think I’d be staying up all night rewriting the entire thing. Thank you; thank you; thank you!!!

  297. I didn’t get anything when I pasted the command in the search. Am I using a version of IE that doesn’t follow that search command?

  298. Damn dude – You just saved me a ton of work. This is an excellent step by step guide. I’m glad this came up as one of the first when I searched the web. Thanks again!

  299. OMG THANKYOU!!! My wife just finished editing a word doc via Facebook and lost it… I will be totally honest and took the credit and was heavily rewarded :))) Thankyou Tho

  300. So, I am one of those unlucky people who tried to re-open the file from Gmail BEFORE I found your instructions :( Does this mean that my file changes are lost forever?

  301. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, WISH YOU ALL THE BEST!!!!! YOU SAVE ME BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  302. You my friend, are the absolute God of Internet. This is the second time I’d “deleted” a massive school assignment that was already late, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
    If you ever need a place to stay, a dog sitter or even a hug, hit me up.
    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

  303. Mate you have saved my life. I have two assignments due tomorrow and I lost the first one of them. I will gladly name my first child after you.

  304. OH MY GOD I am so happy. Thank you for this informative piece. I’m bookmarking it right now in case this ever happens again. I lost a research paper for a summer class that I spent 8 hours on. I saved it, closed Word and then tried to upload it to my Google Drive…and it was gone. I was almost about to start over (it’s 2AM right now…) and I found this. Thank you!

  305. This was an absolute life saver, three hours of work recovered I can’t thank you enough for the easy step by step directions. Your a lifesaver….

  306. OMG I wish I could find you and kiss you and hug you!! LOL. I spent the last hour trying to retrieve my final paper for class. I have read about 5 blogs and this is the only one that fixed the problem….and in about 5 minutes!!!! I am saving this post for sure!

  307. Well, you can add another “found file” to your list. Thanks for the post and more importantly for the knowledge!! Cheers :-)

  308. Thank you so so much for this posting, a serious god-send…now my tears seem so silly – at least a heartattack is no longer on the horizon ;-P

  309. Well, I just lost 3 hours of work because I had already reopened the attachment thinking somehow it might have saved back to itself in the email…….then I searched the web and found your solution. There was my file, but I had overwritten it! You wrote a great post. Thank you on behalf of everyone you are able to help.

  310. This is an invaluable post. You just saved me thousands of dollars and countless hours that would otherwise have been required to reproduce the proposal I’ve been developing for over a week. Even if I’d been able to recreate it, I would certainly have missed the submission deadline, and the organization I’m working for would have forfeited more than $40,000. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  311. OMG thank you soooo much, all the other advice I googled didn’t help and I thought my powerpoint seminar was gone for good. I even opened the email attachment (in attempt to locate it’s default path) which I just read here you should NOT do, but thankfully it didn’t overwrite it (probably cos I didn’t save the reopened file in caution). Thanks so much you have saved me from redoing my uni assignment due tomorrow, and it’s a group presentation so I’m not letting them down now! This magical “Content.IE5” folder was the trick! Thanks a million!

  312. Spent 3 hours myself trying to find my document. Followed your instructions and found it in 3 min. Awesome make sure you stop by here on your world tour for 2 drinks!!