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Dustin, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 12459
Experience:  Since Office 2000, Ive been using, repairing and teaching the basics of MS Office to anyone with a need to learn. Worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller .
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Customer Question

I have saved my word document, but now it doesn't appear anywhere on the computer and I can't find it anymore. Any help?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Microsoft Office
Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am here to help.

your using a Mac, correct?

What version of word are you using, 2008, 2011? ( and you are using microsoft word, correct ? )
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dustin,


I have word 2011 for Mac.


Here's what happened: I repeatedly saved the document on my macbook yesterday while I was working on it, and when I closed the word page, I wasn't prompted to save the document either (making me believe that I had saved it properly). However today when I opened my documents, the word doc wasn't there. I then went into word, hoping to be able to open the doc from the 'recent documents' file. While the name of the doc appears, when I click on it I get a prompt telling me that Word cannot find the selected document, and asking me if I want to try to find it. I tried using spotify and auto recovery files to get the doc back, but it doesn't appear anywhere...

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.

Was this the first time you had saved the file. Or had you saved it previously?

Lets check the recent files..

While in Word, click the file menu and go to "Open Recent" like this:

Screen shot 2011-10-16 at 7.04.43 PM.png


Is the document located there.. ? ( it could be under a different name, so check thoroughly)


If this doesnt help, please clarify if this was the first time you ever saved this document.





You can get back to me on this same question, the same way you have been doing.. Just send me a reply.


Log into, then on the Top right, click on my questions

Then, click the "reply to expert" next to my face..



If my answer helped, please click one of the smiley faces to rate the solution, and then click the submit button to accept the answer..

If my answer did not work, please wait to rate the answer and also wait to submit your rating and instead send me a reply so that I can continue to assist you as needed.

Thanks! D.Sandlin



Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I created and saved the document yesterday, and worked on it the entire day saving quite often. Both with Ctrl + S and the save key.


The document does appear in the Recent Document drop down menu, but when I click on it, I get an error message saying word can't locate the document, and asking me if I would like to try to locate it myself.

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.

DO you have time machine set up and running on your mac?

If your not sure, go into spotlight or the finder, type in time machine and try to start it.

What does it say? Does it ask you to set it up for the first time, or does it seem that its already setup?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, I don't have Time Machine set up on my mac, but after today I probably will look into that :/

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Apologies for the delay.. Sent the last message As I was leaving for breakfast, just returned and seen you replied quickly and been waiting for me for a bit.

Ok.. So we dont have time machine. And the file is showing on recent documents.. But its not pulling it up saying it doesnt know the location.

Your normal save location, where is it. On your internal hard drive, on a external hard drive, a cloud folder or cloud storage or backup folder?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No worries. It's on the internal hard drive. I saved it in a file in my documents.

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Can we check the trash folder, just to be safe...

And also, do you have your my documents folder set to sync to icloud, or sync to any other online sync, or backup service?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I've checked the trash folder, and it's not there either. I just double checked as well.


I don't have any icloud or online sync either.

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for clarifying the online sync or icloud issue, as that can cause things like this to happen.

Lets try a repair on your file system and structure. Since the file is showing in open recent, maybe its there, but the path is broken.

So lets try this repair.

To open Disk Utility, from the Applications folder, open Utilities, and then double-click the Disk Utility icon.

In the column on the left, click your startup disk.

Click the First Aid tab, and then click Repair Disk Permissions. Disk Utility will reset any files and folders with incorrect settings.

Once this is done.

Go back to word, and try the open recent dialogue again. Can it open the file now?

You can get back to me on this same question, the same way you have been doing.. Just send me a reply.


Log into, then on the Top right, click on my questions

Then, click the "reply to expert" next to my face..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I repaired te permissions, but it still doesn't work. I keep getting the same error message :(

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
In that case.. I dont know if were going to be able to find the file.

It seems its just one of those freak occurences that happen. Word remembers it, but your mac deleted it.

I can help you set up time machine if you want, or automatic online backups of your my document folder that way this doesnt happen again..
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ugh how frustrating! This had never happened to me before. There is really no way I can recover all the work I did yesterday.


I guess I should set up time machine then in case something like that happense again.

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
The page below, covers setting up time machine.

If you dont have a time capsule, its definitely worth buying an external drive for this purpose.

Once time machine is setup, it will automatically make copies of your drive at intervals. This way, you have copies in case the worst happens..

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How to automatic online backups work, and how is that different from Time machine?

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Time machine, allows you to store files on a hard drive, or on a time capsule device in your home.

Online backups, allow you to store files on a server that is dual redundant, online, for a fee. The only real advantages of online backups over time machine are these.

  1. If your home caught on fire or was hit by lightning, both your computer and your time machine external drive would be burnt, or broken.
  2. Online backups, dont require you to purchase a separate hard drive, and maintain it.
  3. Online backups allow you to access your backup files from anywhere, not just from your house.


Mozy, Carbonite, and dropbox or some of the best out there. But the page below will help explain a little about online backup services.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Great. Got it. I will review the info, and think about the best option for me. Thanks.

Expert:  Dustin replied 3 years ago.
Your welcome, if anything else comes up.. Or if you want to discuss this further you know how to reach me.

Dustin S.

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