Where O where has my little file gone?
May 27, 2008 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Where did the file go after it was opened from a website and edited it in Microsoft Word?

A friend of mine downloaded a Word .doc from a website and instead of choosing the option to save the file, opened it. It opened in Word and she made numerous modifications, each time being careful to save it (note: not 'save as'). She closed Word and is now unable to find the file. I had her search the %LOCALAPPDATA% directory and also the autosave directory for Word, but she was unable to find it. I performed a similar test by downloading a file from Google Docs and opening it. I had the same problem and was unable to find the file. This is Microsoft Vista. I also tried Vista's find utility and chose the option to include the search in non-indexed and hidden/system files. So the question is where does the file get temporarily stored when opening a file directly from a website?
posted by mcarthey to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Those usually end up in the TEMP directory ("C:\ Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp") (or %TEMP%) and get saved as wrdxxxx.tmp

It might have been deleted by now though.. did word save it under "recently opened files" drop down?


posted by mattdini at 11:36 AM on May 27, 2008

Try this:

Open the file again from the same website. Click File -> Save As. The browser should open a window asking where you'd like to save it. Many times, it will default to the folder it would have automatically saved it in if you did not click "Save As." This should help you locate it, if it hasn't been deleted already.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 11:42 AM on May 27, 2008

Have you looked under C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files?
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on May 27, 2008

You can bring up a list of all Word documents on the computer by going to Start>Find and searching for *.doc - it'll be sure to be there.
posted by tybeet at 11:49 AM on May 27, 2008

This happened to me once. The file was nowhere to be seen in Temporary Internet Files. The problem was that I had the default setting of "Hide protected operating system files" in Control Panel -> Folder Options -> View.

Why in Vishnu's name my temporary Word doc is treated as an operating system file I have no idea.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:54 AM on May 27, 2008

It may still be in the most recent documents list at the bottom of the "file" menu. Otherwise, it will most likely be in the folder that Artw listed.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:03 PM on May 27, 2008

If that directory is not visible then try following the steps East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 lists, as it sounds like that might be why your filehas become invisible.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on May 27, 2008

Check out this recent askme.
posted by ghost of a past number at 1:03 PM on May 27, 2008

The other utility which could help is Locate32. I use it every day and it has found the wayward file more than once.
posted by yclipse at 2:34 PM on May 27, 2008

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