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Recover Unsaved Notepad Text Files


If you're planning to work with text files on the Windows platform without the need for any type of  special formatting, the first thing that comes to mind, Is the built-In text editor named Notepad. In terms of simply entering and saving plain text, It serves It's purpose well. That's provided the data Is saved. If you've forgotten to save an Important Notepad (or any) text file, In this tutorial, I will show you how to try and recover It.


Let's assume that you're In the middle of working with Notepad, by typing some Important details and all of a sudden, your computer freezes before you had the chance to save It. Or perhaps you've copied & pasted text, and you've accidentally closed the file without saving It. Either way, all data Is lost due to not being written on the hard disk, correct? Well, not necessarily.

Although It's not very likely, there's still a chance to recover unsaved data. How? Well, when In the process of working with a file, It's contents are temporarily saved to the computer's memory (Ram). As a result, you may be able to recover unsaved Notepad text files from the Window's temporary files- which act as temporary storage whilst files are In the process of being created.

I will demonstrate how to do this, natively within Windows without the aid of third-party recovery tools. I'd like to reiterate, that the chance of recovery (In this case) Is slim, but the possibility Is certainly there. So without further ado, let's get this tutorial started.

Step One:
Firstly, open the Search bar, enter %AppData%, and click on the search result at the top as arrowed below.



Step Two:
Now navigate to the following directory, where %USERNAME% Is your user account name. 
C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming

If you see something similar to my example below, you're In the right place.



Step Three:
In the Search box at the top right, enter *.txt, and .txt one at a time and view the results (If any). For the purpose of this tutorial, I've used .txt. As you can see, quite a few Notepad files have been returned. I know for sure, that my file named License.txt was not saved, hence It's been recovered. Let's double-click It to make sure the data Is Intact.



Last Step:
Sure enough, my file's contents are there, to the point of where I prematurely closed the file without saving It. You can see where I stopped working with It, right until the Software, A sentence does not end with a comma!



Final Thoughts:
As mentioned In the beginning of this article, the chance of recovering unsaved data using this methodology, Is no where near as successful compared to data that's been written to disk. In my case, I was lucky enough to recover my file, but I can't say the same for future attempts.

Do note that In some cases, temporary files are removed after you reboot your PC, so when using this method, be sure to keep your computer active In It's current session.



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