3 Ways to Repair a Damaged Microsoft Word File

You’ve done a great job, they wrote all the chapters of the course paper and suddenly the Word gives out, that the document is damaged.

Various manifestations of such trouble are possible:

  1. when opening, the computer freezes constantly,
  2. information about a critical error is issued,
  3. violation of the document structure,
  4. incomprehensible symbols appear instead of the text.

A malfunction in Word can manifest itself in different ways, but the result is the same - all the work done is down the drain. Long hours, spent over the creation of the document, typing the text was in vain. Do not despair, you need to be ready to solve the problem that has arisen. There are many ways to restore.

‘Third-party’ applications

We recommend starting with programs, specializing in the recovery of files of a certain format, in this case, the formats of the Microsoft Office package. Because, eg, software developers use special algorithms to restore images, little suitable for working with text documents, the quality of recovery in this case can seriously suffer.

We suggest using the RS Office Recovery program, proven to be one of the most effective tools for restoring Microsoft Office documents. Just download and run the program and perform a disk scan, on which the corrupted file was stored.

All discovered documents, available for recovery, the program will display in a separate window. The documents will have original titles. You will be able to view the contents of the documents and then restore the necessary files, just by clicking the ‘Next’ button.

The disk structure is damaged

If the computer refers to damage to the disk structure and refuses to read the contents, this is caused by:

  • incorrect shutdown of the system,
  • a virus attack,
  • voltage drops,
  • random failures,
  • wear of the carrier, significant damage to its integrity,
  • by roughly pulling the media out of the port.

    Causes of damage to the disk structure

Most often the situation turns out to be reversible.

Built-in recovery capabilities

By default, Word offers two possible ways to open a damaged document:Open and restore the file. Open with a text recovery Converter

In order to test additional file recovery methods, we intentionally ‘damaged’ a Word document, and then tried to fix it, using various methods, described below. We will tell you about the results for each recovery option.

Standard recovery methods, mentioned above, can be implemented via the ‘ dialog box. Open the fileFileOpen

Now instead of, to click on the ‘ button. OpenOpen and Restore

Error on the hard disk: the file cannot be read

If this happens to a file on the hard disk, the algorithm of actions is as follows:

  • start restarting the machine. It often helps,
  • check the connection density of all components and wires of the computer.

If it didn’t lead to anything, you can switch to the system.

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button with the Windows logo.

    Click the ‘Start’ button with the Windows logo

  2. After that, call the command prompt by typing cmd in the search field.

    Type cmd in the search field

  3. Right-click on the desired service from the top in the list that appears. Select login with administrator privileges.

    Right-click on the utility, click on the line ‘Run as administrator’

  4. A command line field will appear, where to enter ‘chkdsk : c/f/r’. Press the ‘Enter’ button.

    In the field, enter the command ‘chkdsk : c/f/r’, ‘C’ can be replaced with the letter of the damaged media, press ‘Enter’


The final stage is the ‘reanimation’ of files, why run the sfc utility:

  1. In the admin command line, type the command ’sfc /scannow’, click ‘Enter’.

    Typing the command ’sfc /scannow’, click ‘Enter’

  2. Then the utility will cope with the task. At the end of the procedure, the command is typed again, to make sure, that everything went well.

Open the file using the link

The method is a bit confusing, but it can be effective, again, everything will depend on the type of damage to the document. So, we are creating a document, we add the text to it, copy this text, then we insert the special text into the new document as a link and, finally, we update this link with an indication of the corrupted file, not the original one. Ugh! Let’s get started.

First open a new Word document and type something like ‘Hello Word’, and then save this document somewhere.

Now select the text, which you just typed, and copy it to the clipboard. You can select it and press CTRL CCopy

Then create a new Word document, through the menu ‘FileNewSpecial insert

Here you need to select ‘Formatted text (RTF)Unformatted text

Treatment of archived data

One of the most common situations, related to the inability to open documents, is a corruption of archives. If you downloaded such a document from the Internet, the archiver, when trying to open it for unpacking, will issue a message that, that the file is corrupted, reporting problems with CRC, testifying to the unexpected end of the archive. In the simplest case, you can simply try to download the required document again from the same site or from another source.

However, almost all modern applications of this type have a special archive recovery function.

For example, in the popular WinRAR program, you can use the fix tool, which is called by pressing the corresponding button on the right side of the main panel, then specify the desired archive format. If the integrity of the archive cannot be restored by this method, and the program will tell you again when you reopen it, that the file is corrupted, try to extract documents from the archive container one at a time. It is quite possible, that critical data remained intact, and the problems are observed only with the accompanying descriptive objects, which are not particularly important.

Open in Draft mode

One more thing, which you can try, - open the file in ‘draft’ mode, which does not take into account the header information, etc. and, therefore, may open a corrupted file.

To do this, click ‘FileParametersAdditionallyShow the contents of the document

Here, check the box ‘Show replacement picture frames’ and ‘Use draft fonts in draft modes’. Now go back to Word, in the ‘View’ section, click ‘Draft

Now try to open the corrupted file. If it still doesn’t open, you will have to continue exploring other possibilities to fix the damaged document.

⇡#Recovery of PDF documents

If, at the very least, you can do without financial expenses when restoring the files listed above, then with PDF documents, such a focus will not work. The whole point is, that this format is widely used in the business environment, and developers of data recovery software do not miss the opportunity to make money on corporate users. No wonder, what is this kind of applications and services in the global network - a wagon and a small cart, and it is necessary to approach the choice of a suitable solution very carefully. Of the trustworthy products, we note Windows-Recovery Toolbox for PDF ($27), SysTools PDF Recovery ($29) and Web service pdf.recoverytoolbox.com/online ($10 for repairing one file). Clear, that it is best to use desktop solutions to recover large amounts of data and PDF documents containing confidential information. The online service also has the right to exist and can be useful for one-time cases of file recovery. It is also important to remember, that the listed tools are not capable of processing encrypted and password-protected PDF documents.

Previous versions

Another option, which can help you restore a Word document, - these are previous versions of files. In Windows 7 and higher, the system Restore function automatically creates backups of your documents.

The ‘ function. System recovery

You can check, are there backups of the required file in the system, just by right-clicking on it, by selecting ‘PropertiesPrevious versions

All previously saved versions will be displayed in the list below. Obviously, that you will lose all data, which were added to the document after the last backup was created and before, how the error occurred, but it’s still better, than nothing.

Audio and video files

As for audio and video, it is easier and best to use utilities specially designed for recovery. However, if the damage has not reached a critical nature, to simplify your actions, you can use any of the well-known converters, which convert formats among themselves. It is quite possible, errors or damages, they will ignore the multimedia contained in such objects, and the created files in the converted format will open without problems in the program you need.

As an interim solution, you can, for example, use audio editors to extract audio from video. After that, you will need to save the audio track to a separate document (if it was damaged), and then in the video editor, replace the original track with audio from the new document.

How to enable auto-save

Automatic text saving is carried out at designated intervals. The auto-save function allows you to save data from loss in case of unforeseen situations. This function is provided in the editor, but if it is not included, then without it, you will have to spend longer restoring the Word file.

To enable the auto-save function, follow these steps:

  1. Enter ‘Options’ - ‘Save’.

  2. Enter the time interval, through which the material will be automatically saved.

To find out, where are the recovered texts stored, you need to go to ‘Save’ - ‘Data directory for auto recovery’. The address for finding corrected documents is marked in the line - this is the AppData folder.

By default, the AppData directory is hidden. To configure access to it, you need to find the ‘Parameters’ (via the ‘Explorer’ - ‘View’). In the tab that opens, click ‘View’, uncheck the box next to the options ‘Hide protected system files’ and ‘Do not show hidden files, folders and disks’ and check the box next to the option ‘Show hidden files, folders and disks’.

The auto save function also helps to change the overwritten file., accidentally saved with new data in an old document. For this, without closing the saved version of the text, you need to select ‘Document Management’ (via ‘File’ - ‘Details’) and return that version, which was the work from the very beginning. In those cases, when the material has not been saved yet, we need to find the necessary version, click ‘Restore’ and then ‘Save as…’.