How to Recover Deleted or Unsaved Notepad File

Last Updated on August 10, 2021 by Ian McEwan

Notepad is a very simple editor and does not offer many features like other advanced word processors do. Especially when you need to recover an unsaved, lost or deleted Notepad file with important data, will you realize “Why Notepad doesn’t save changes automatically as MS office do?” No worry. This article will help you out with all the possible ways to recover Notepad file.


Incidents in which you may need to recover Notepad file.

  • Force Majeure: Many people look for information on how to recover unsaved Notepad file that is caused by system crash, automatic restart or power outage.
  • Quit without saving: Although it is very hard to avoid saving your notepad file since the program will prompt you to save whenever you try to close your notes, however, sometime you will click the Don’t Save button with instant regret.
  • Delete Accidentally: Sometimes the files accidentally get deleted but they might be important for some application to run properly.
  • Overwritten: At times people also overwrite .txt files that contain information like passwords and they need to recover those files urgently.


Using Temporary Files Folder to Recover Unsaved Notepad File

notepad.exe in Standard Windows OS doesn’t create recovery files of any kind automatically. But sometimes the contents of Notepad files are temporarily stored in the temp folder before you turn off the pc with all temp files get permanently deleted from the system. So, you can try to use this method to recover unsaved Notepad file by following these steps:

– Press the “Start” button and type %AppData%.

– Go to C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming

– Type the name of the .txt file you’re looking for and search in the list for your desired file. Or you can download the free desktop search program Everything to quickly search the file you want.

Note: When you notepad file is unsaved due to Power off, reboot after updates or system Crash, your file is gone and cannot be recovered. Since every keystroke you made is save temporary until you save it manually and a restart will irretrievably erase everything in Temporary Files Folder. However, you can fix the notepad file unsaved here.


Using Data Recovery Tools to Recover Notepad File

The above method is useful only if you want to recover notepad files that were closed without saving. If you accidentally delete some of the saved .txt files from your system, you won’t be able to find them in the temporary folder. To recover deleted or lost files, you will need the help of a data recovery software application.

There are data recovery tools that you can use to recover almost any kind of file in Windows as well as Mac. The best thing about using such a tool is that it will assist in recovering files not just for Notepad but for all its alternatives, such as PSPad, Gedit, Vim, and Atom.

Here are some of the tools that help in the recovery of .txt files:

Aiseesoft for Win
Aiseesoft for Mac
data recovery
Wondershare for Win
Wondershare for Mac
Stellar for Win
Stellar for Mac
EaseUS for Win
EaseUS for Mac
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard


  1. All you have to do is download one of these wizards or tools and run them.
  2. Select the location where the file was originally saved. It can be your HDD or an external hard disk or even a USB.
  3. The tool will scan the drive to retrieve files that were deleted from their locations.
  4. To find your file quickly, you can specify the type of file as “document” from a drop-down menu.
  5. You will have to be a little patient while using this method because the scan process takes a long time to recover deleted files.


These tools more or less work in the same manner. If you want to recover small text files, a free version of such a data recovery tool will work fine. However, if you need to recover large amounts of data you might need a paid version of the tool. For instance, a free version of Wondershare allows recovery of up to 500MB of data. Since text documents are taking very little space on the disk, it is highly likely to recover your desired files without having to spend money on the recovery tools.

Once you are able to recover your files, it is recommended to save them to a secure location instantly to prevent losing important information in the future.


To Recap

Losing .txt files that look useless but contain important data is commonplace. Some people are also in the habit of using keyboard shortcuts and they accidentally delete .txt files by pressing Shift+del. A reassuring fact for Notepad users is, plain text files are relatively simple and easy to recover than other file extensions possibly because of their small size and less metadata.

Since Notepad does not come with an auto-save option, you will have to use either an external data recovery tool or by searching in the temp files of Windows to find your lost files.

The first method is useful when you close the application accidentally before saving your file and the second one is effective when you want to recover deleted files. There is no need to panic even if you lose very important data files in with .txt extension. These methods are surely going to work and are safe and reliable.

You may also like:

How to Recover Deleted Text Files Including .txt File or .docx File


*Tips to protect your notepad files

For some reason, you can’t get your notepad file back, but it will stop it happening again as long as you follow these tips.

#1. Save often

Save every keystroke you make, so you can recover all the content you jot down from the last minute you had saved when your computer is down.

#2. Change Windows update settings of your computer

To avoid “Install Updates Automatically” which will make your PC reboot without your knowing and saving those open files. You can go to the “Computer Configuration” > “Administrative Templates” > “Windows Components” > “Windows Update”. Then select “Disabled” and click Apply and “OK” to control over Windows automatic update feature on Windows 10.

To change update settings on other windows editions, Click here.

#3. Use Alternative to Notepad

Notepad++ is a more powerful and functional free editor. You can open and edit multiple files at the same time. And navigate between files quickly. The free editor will automatically save changes when you close the program without saving. When you launch it again, those files(tab) will be the same as before, so you can’t lose anything.