How to fix almost any MS Word

Believe it or not, shit tool. If you search for “The page cannot be found” or “Missing file” or something in a different language like “Fout ! Bladwijzer niet gedefineerd”. You will find a lot of Microsoft help-pages that contains no fix.

First of all, if you work with MS Word YOU BETTER BACKUP. You will not be the first and not the last where the document just completely disappears or you see that the document is still there but empty or errors that it fails to do something.

BEFORE GOING FURTHER, DID YOU OPEN IT WITH WORDPAD!, If you find your old structure, stress less please!

For the geeks

Add a git to your docs zip/folder/thing, and commit + push each new thing to a git server!


I have a solution to get most of the stuff back, like pictures and text but there can be sooo many things wrong. That you can still get the data back that you have written, like tables, figures/images, text.

First things first

Check your file size. See the following image in general word files are bigger than 22 kB. If this is true for you then you probably have all the data. If 22 or less, sorry the next will not work but please try!

beun design

MS Word is just a compressed ZIP folder

Yeah, MS Word is just a .zip containing .xml files. For geeks, use 7zip or any archive program

To read this file you need to enable under ‘view’, File name Extensions, its shows for example the .docx. Google something like: how to show file name extensions in Google. Change the filename like example.docx -> If you are asked are you sure about it, press yes!

You can now open this file or unzip the folder to a specific location you prefer.

Get the data

I prefer vscode or just opening the files using notepad.

beun design The figure above shows you a general structure, maybe your version filesystem or directory structure is a bit different.

Use an editor like VSCode to find in all files the stuff you have made. One of the main directories is word. In this document is the most important file document.xml. In general, most of your typing is saved here. In the word/media, your images.

Tables drawings and other stuff are also there. Find it using the editor. _rels directory is I thought in generals your references. Hopefully wordpad already shows you this!