Has this ever happened? You’re working in Word, really involved in what you’re writing, and suddenly it freezes. You realize you haven’t been saving as you go. Fortunately, Word is set to autosave every so often by default, so you won’t necessarily lose everything you’ve written. You will still be at risk of losing what you’ve written since the previous autosave. If you’ve turned off autosave, you are at risk of losing everything, That’s why it’s a good idea to manually save your document as often as possible. Get in the habit of saving. Always think about saving. Remember, save, save, save.
But what if you haven’t been saving and you are faced with a situation where your Word app has frozen and you want to unfreeze it without losing any work. There’s good news and bad news. You may lose work. It might just be unavoidable. You may, however, get lucky and be able to unfreeze Word without losing any work. Here’s how to unfreeze Word on Mac without losing work (maybe).
Sometimes other programs on your Mac can cause Word to freeze. This is best case scenario for you. If Word freezes, check to see if any other programs are causing it to freeze. To do this, press Option, Command, and Esc. You can also choose Force Quit from the Applemenu in the upper-left corner of your screen. A list of running apps will pop up. You’ll see Word in the list. Leave it alone and close any of the other apps. Hopefully one of those apps is the cause of the freeze and closing them will unfreeze Word. If this happens, immediately save your work. You got lucky.
Now what if Word is the program that’s actually frozen? Can you unfreeze Word on Mac without losing work? This is not a straightforward answer. There’s a good chance you will lose something. The only way to close Word when it becomes totally unresponsive is to follow the same Force Quit procedure described above. If it has been a while since you saved, odds are you will lose the work you’ve done since your last save. There’s no way around that. The good news, however, is that Word has an auto recovery system built in that may allow you to restore the document as it was at the time of the freeze. This isn’t always exact, but loss is typically minimal. The bottom line is this; save frequently. Your best bet is to keep autosave on and let it save frequently, so in the event of a freeze, your losses will be minimal. It’s not a foolproof system, but today’s Word is designed to prevent you from losing work. Take advantage of all the built in safeguards and you should be okay.