My computer restarted while I was asleep because of system updates (need to turn that off), and when I opened up Word the first time after it restarted, it gave me a pane on the left hand side that showed me all the documents I had opened. I chose one of the documents but I want to open them all, how can I bring that pane back?


I forgot to mention I'm on Word 2007. I've found that if you go to


you can see the autorecovery files. Mine are still in there, but I don't want to touch them, I'd rather bring back that pane and do it right just in case they disappear as soon as I double click haha...


Have you tried restarting your browser?

It seems Word detects if there are files to be recovered and will ask you to pick them

Alternatively, you can follow these steps to find the location of your auto-save files (called .asd) and open those in Word.

If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for AutoRecover files. To do this, follow these step, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running. For Word 2007:

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, click Save.
  3. In the AutoRecover file location box, note the path, and then click Cancel.
  4. Close Word.
  5. Open the folder that you noted in step 3.
  6. Look for files whose names end in .asd.

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  • 1
    thanks, there has to be a way to open up the Document Recovery pane though... – GiH Feb 10 '10 at 16:52
  • I've looked fairly hard and couldn't find ANY referrence, I suggest crashing Word if all else fails – Ivo Flipse Feb 10 '10 at 17:12

I don't think there's a button or alike to just press to get it open. The way I've done it in the past is by purposefully 'crashing' Word

Open up Word. Open a Dialog box (ie: File-->Open). Open the Windows Task manager (CTRL-ALT-Del-->Task Manager, or right-click the task bar->Task Manager). Right click the Word process and and "End Process Tree".

Word and Windows will fight you about closing it, but just force it. :)

Next time you open Word the Recovery Pane should open again.

You might want to back up those recovery files you found first.

Here's some other info from MS on recovering documents you might find helpful.

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