How to Recover Auto Saved Files From OpenOffice

OpenOffice 4 automatically saves copies of your files as you work, protecting you from losing everything if the program crashes. Recovering from an AutoRecovery save is usually straightforward: reopen OpenOffice and the program walks you through the process. If the program doesn't prompt you to recover, check the backup directory manually.

Restore AutoRecovery Data

Step

Reopen the OpenOffice program you were using prior to the crash. When OpenOffice starts, it checks for available AutoRecovery data and prompts you to restore the lost work listed in the Status of Recovered Documents list. Click Start Recovery to attempt recovery.

Recover lost work.
credit: Image courtesy of Apache
Open the document.
credit: Image courtesy of Apache

Step

Click Next to load the successfully recovered document and report the crash. To load the document without reporting the crash, click Cancel instead. Both options give you your work back.

Browse AutoRecovery Data

Check the AutoRecovery backups.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

When OpenOffice doesn't start recovery automatically or recovery fails, check the backup directory for any usable files. Press Windows-R to open the Run dialog, enter %appdata%\OpenOffice\4\user\backup and click OK. Open any files you find in this folder to see if they contain your lost work.

Load Backup Saves

Load a backup file.
credit: Image courtesy of Apache and Microsoft

In addition to saving AutoRecovery data, OpenOffice has an option to save a backup every time you save a file. OpenOffice keeps the latest backup in the same directory as AutoRecovery files, but gives it the extension BAK. To open a BAK file, first open the OpenOffice program you were using, and then drag the BAK file onto OpenOffice's title bar.