About document recovery

If a Microsoft Office or Office family program encounters a problem and stops responding, you can close the program in a controlled manner. The files you were working on are analyzed for errors, and information in them is recovered if possible. In some cases, however, no information can be recovered.

The Document Recovery task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.) lists all the files that were recovered when the program stopped responding.

document recovery task pane

Following the name of the file will be a status indicator, which shows what was done to the file during recovery.

Status Indicator Description
[Original] Original file based on last manual save
[Recovered] File recovered during recovery process or file saved during a AutoRecover save process

The Document Recovery task pane allows you to open the files, view what repairs were made, and compare the recovered versions. You can then save the best version and delete the other versions, or save all of the open files to review later.

Additional file security

You can further help protect your work by using the AutoRecover feature to periodically save a temporary copy of the file you're working on. To recover work after a power failure or similar problem, you must have turned on the AutoRecover feature before the problem occurred. You can set the AutoRecover save interval to occur more frequently than every 10 minutes (its default setting). For example, if you set it to save every 5 minutes, you'll recover more information than if you set it to save every 10 minutes.

With AutoRecover on, if an Office or Office family program stops responding while you have files open, you can use the Microsoft Office Application Recovery dialog box and recovered files will be displayed in the Document Recovery task pane. The data in the files reflects the last time AutoRecover saved the files. AutoRecover should not be used as a substitute for manually saving or backing up your files.

Applies to:
Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003