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Library Technical Help Guide

This guide provides resources and instructions for technical assistance, including document formatting and printing.

Finding Lost Documents

Lost Documents

On this page you'll find information about retrieving documents that have been lost on a personal computer or laptop, for example:

  • files that were opened as an attachment and modified, but didn't save into an expected location,

  • files which closed without prompting for a save location.

It's not always possible to retrieve a lost file, but here are some searches and functions you can perform to try and locate or restore a lost file, as well as some important pitfalls to avoid.


When trying to locate or restore a lost file, DO NOT

  • Try to reopen the document from an email or a flash drive, as this may overwrite the lost copy
  • Shut down or log off your computer, as this may delete temporary files

Lost file recovery for WINDOWS:

  • Open the Windows menu, then type %temp% and hit Enter; this will open your computer's temp folder, which is where documents are stored when they're opened from the internet (e.g. downloaded from Google Docs or an email attachment)
  • Open My Documents and use the search function in top-right corner to search for your document using keywords from the title (e.g. resume, lab report)

Lost file recovery for MAC:

  • To locate AutoRecovered files on your computer, switch to Finder, then click Go > Go To Folder (or press SHIFT + COMMAND + G) and enter the appropriate folder path from the table below. Replace <username> with your username:
    • For Excel: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/ Support/Microsoft
    • For PowerPoint: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft.Powerpoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery
    • For Word: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery
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