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Perfectly repair corrupt Word files in simple steps.

  • Fix all Word file issues like blank Word document, Word file not opening, unreadable Word, etc.
  • Provide an easy fix option for text, images, font, hyperlinks, header, footer, etc.
  • Repair corrupted files with a very high success rate in 3 simple steps.
  • Support Office 365, MS Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and earlier versions.
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How to Repair a Damaged Word Document?

Word files sometimes get corrupted or damaged, meaning they don't open or work right. This can be annoying, especially if the file is important. Luckily, there are ways to fix a damaged Word document.

This guide will show you how to repair damaged Word file, whether it's due to software bugs, computer crashes, or power outages. We'll start by explaining how to tell if a Word document is damaged, then cover methods to recover and repair it. Plus, we'll offer advice on preventing file corruption in the future.

Part 1: How to Identify a Damaged Word Document?

Before attempting to repair a damaged Word file, it's essential to identify the signs that indicate the document is corrupted. Here are some common indicators of a damaged Word file or damaged Word document:

  • Error messages: If you receive error messages when trying to open or save the Word file, such as "Word found unreadable content in 'filename.docx'," it's a clear sign that the file is damaged.
  • Missing or corrupted content: If parts of the document are missing or appear garbled, it could indicate file corruption.
  • Crashing or freezing: If Word crashes or freezes consistently when trying to open or work with a particular document, the file is likely corrupted.
  • Inability to open the file: If Word simply refuses to open the file or displays an error message stating that the file is corrupt or unreadable, it's a clear indication of a damaged Word document.

Part 2: How to Repair Damaged Word File?

Once you've identified that your Word document is damaged, it's time to explore various methods to repair damaged Word files or recover damaged Word documents. Here are a few simple methods you can try to get rid of damaged word documents.

#1 Use Wondershare Repairit to Repair Damaged Word File

Wondershare Repairit is a handy AI-powered tool designed specifically to fix Word files that are damaged or corrupted. With its advanced AI technology, this versatile tool effortlessly restores your valuable data, whether it's stored online or on your PC.

  • Repair damaged files with all levels of corruption, including blank files, files not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, files layout changed, etc.

  • Perfectly repair corrupted word .docx files without modifying the original file.

  • Provide an easy fix option for text, images, font, hyperlinks, header, footer, etc.

  • Support Office 365, MS Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and earlier versions.

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and macOS 10.10~macOS 14.

  • Except Word, Repairit also supports all formats of PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, ZIP, and Adobe files.

Wondershare Repairit offers a user-friendly interface and supports various versions of Word documents, including DOC, DOCX, and DOCM formats. Additionally, it can repair multiple files simultaneously, making it a convenient option for batch file recovery.

Here's how you can use Wondershare Repairit:

Step 1: Download and install Wondershare Repairit on your computer. Launch the program and select “File Repair" from the available options.

wondershare repairit file repair

Step 2: Now, click the "Add” button to select the damaged Word document(s) you want to repair. You can even drag and drop the corrupt files to import them to Repairit’s interface.

add files to repairit

Step 3: Once the file(s) are added, click "Repair" to initiate the repair process.

repair corrupt word files

Step 4: After the repair process is complete, you can preview the recovered content. If satisfied, hit the “Save” button to save the repaired file(s) to a desired location on your device.

preview and save repaired files

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#2 Use the Open and Repair Feature

Microsoft Word includes a built-in feature called "Open and Repair" that can help you repair a damaged Word document. This feature attempts to locate and repair any errors or corruptions within the file.

Here's how to use it:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word, click "File," select "Open," and choose the damaged document to repair.

Step 2: Click the small arrow next to the "Open" button, then choose "Open and Repair" from the menu.

open and repair feature

Step 3: Word will attempt to repair the damaged file and open it in a new window.

Step 4: If the repair is successful, save the repaired document with a new Image name to prevent overwriting the original damaged file.

#3 Change Document Format & Save to Word Later

Another approach to repair damaged Word file is to change the document format and then convert it back to a Word file. This process can sometimes resolve corruption issues and allow you to access the content.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Open the damaged Word document in Microsoft Word (if possible). Click on "File" and select "Save As" from the left-hand menu.

Step 2: In the "Save As" dialog box, locate the "Save as type" drop-down menu. Choose a different file format, such as Rich Text Format (RTF) or Plain Text (TXT). Save the file with a new name and in the selected format.

change file format

Step 3: Close Microsoft Word and reopen it. Click on "File" and select "Open". Locate and open the file you just saved in a different format.

Step 4: Once the file is open, click on "File" again and select "Save As". In the "Save As" dialog box, choose "Word Document" from the "Save as Type" drop-down menu.

save file as word doc

Step 5: Save the file with a new name, ensuring that the extension is .docx or .doc.

By converting the damaged Word document to a different format and then back to Word, you may be able to recover the content and repair any corruption issues.

#4 Use Recover Text from Any File Utility

If the previous methods fail to repair damaged Word files, you can try using the "Recover Text from Any File" utility built into Microsoft Word. This tool can extract readable text from various file formats, including damaged Word documents.

Here's how to use it:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word on your computer. Click on "File" and select "Open".

Step 2: In the "Open" dialog box, click on the "All Word Documents" button and then click on the “Recover text from file” option from the dropdown menu.

recover text from any file

Step 3: Word will attempt to extract readable text from the damaged file and display it in a new document window.

While this method may not preserve the original formatting or layout of the document, it can help you recover the text content from a severely damaged Word file.

#5 Utilize the System Restore Feature on Windows

If your Word document became damaged due to a recent system change or software update, you can try using the System Restore feature on Windows to revert your computer to a previous state. This can potentially undo the changes that caused the file corruption. Here's how to use System Restore:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the "Run" dialog box. Type "rstrui" and press Enter to open the System Restore utility.

Step 2: In the System Restore window, select "Choose a different restore point" and click "Next".

system restore feature windows

Step 3: Select a restore point from the list that predates the issue with your Word document. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the System Restore process.

After the System Restore is complete, try opening the damaged Word document again. If the file corruption was caused by a system change or update, reverting to a previous restore point may resolve the issue and allow you to access the document.

Part 3: Tips to Prevent Damaged Word Files

While it's not always possible to completely avoid file corruption, there are several best practices you can follow to minimize the risk of encountering a damaged Word file:

  1. Enable AutoRecover: Word's AutoRecover feature periodically creates backup copies of your document as you work. Enable this feature and set it to save backups at shorter intervals to reduce the risk of data loss.
  2. Use reliable storage devices: Store your Word documents on reliable storage devices, such as solid-state drives (SSDs) or external hard drives with good reputations for data integrity.
  3. Perform regular backups: Regularly back up your important Word documents to an external storage device or cloud storage service. This way, you have a fallback option if your primary file becomes damaged or corrupted.
  4. Keep software up-to-date: Ensure that you have the latest version of Microsoft Word and operating system updates installed. Software updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can help prevent file corruption.
  5. Avoid abruptly closing Word: When possible, avoid abruptly closing Microsoft Word by properly exiting the application. Unexpected shutdowns can increase the risk of file corruption.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering a damaged word file issue and minimize the potential for data loss.

  • In some cases, it may be possible to repair a severely damaged Word document even if it won't open. You can try using third-party tools like Wondershare Repairit or the Recover Text from Any File utility in Word to extract the content from the damaged file.

  • The effectiveness of preserving formatting and layout during the repair process depends on the specific method used and the extent of the damage. Some methods, like using the Open and Repair feature or changing document formats, may better preserve formatting, while others, like Recover Text from Any File, may only recover the text content.

  • Unfortunately, recovering an unsaved and damaged Word document can be extremely challenging, if not impossible. Word's AutoRecover feature may have created backup copies, but if the damage occurred before the last backup, you may not be able to recover the unsaved content.