Library Tech Pages

Where are my files?

Some simple quick place to look for you file.

  • Windows list of recently open files - Click the Start Menu and if the program is pinned to the start menu, hover you mouse over the program icon and you may see your file in the list that displays to the right.
  • The Recent files list in the program you were using - In Microsoft Office, recent files show when you click the File Tab in the left corner. Then Click on "Recent" to see all files opened recently. Other programs have a similar Recent or open recent feature.

PROBLEM: I lost a file I opened from my email or a web page
The Fix: "Find Lost Docs Utility"

When you open a document file from the web or your email, it is placed in a hidden temp folder on the system. If you don't save it somewhere you know, all your work on it may be lost.

Save every file you open from the web with Save As and choose a safe location like the desktop before you edit it. Never just trust that the save box has defaulted to a location you know, be sure.

If you didn't and now you can't find the file, we put a shortcut on the desktop of all public PCs that will open the hidden temp folders so you can search for it. Click the Icon on the Desktop named "Find Lost Docs From Web"

The Find Files Icon

Two folders will open

The search box
  • In each folder click on the search button
  • If it offers you search options choose "All files and folders"
  • Type part of the name in the search box
  • Click search
  • If a copy of you file is in that folder it should show in the list
  • You may also find files with seemingly random names, but if they came up when you searched they may be the file.
  • There may be several copies of files with similar names, these are different versions of your file saved at different times
  • Select and copy the files that might be yours to the desktop before you try to open them
  • Open each one, if it is close to what you are looking for save it with a name you'll recognize
  • If you have multiple versions, open each to find the most complete one and save any that are close until you have found the best version.

Recover a lost file even if the PC has been rebooted

If you have lost a file while working on a library PC, ask for help at the research desk and we may be able to recover the file for you from the PC where it was lost. We don't guarantee we will be able to recover a file in these cases but we now have tools that help in some cases.