If you accidentally deleted your LibreOffice document or closed your work without saving, this is the article for you. Depending on how your computer is set up, there are different methods you can use to recover a file. However, you’ll waste a lot of time if you don’t know the right conditions.

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ProblemSolution
I closed LibreOffice without saving and/or I need to recover files from a crashed computer.How to Recover Unsaved LibreOffice Documents
I deleted my LibreOffice document.Method #1: Restore Deleted LibreOffice Documents from the Recycle Bin
I deleted my LibreOffice document and emptied the recycle bin.Method #2: Recover Deleted LibreOffice Documents Using Data Recovery Software
I deteled my LibreOffice document and I have OneDrive enabled.Method #3: Restore Deleted LibreOffice Document From Cloud Backup
I deleted my LibreOffice document and I have File History enabled.Method #4: Restore a Previous Version of Your Folder

How to Recover Unsaved LibreOffice Documents

Depending on your settings, you may be able to recover unsaved LibreOffice documents using the app’s built-in recovery tools and backup files.

Method #1: Allow LibreOffice Document Recovery

Upon launch, the app will automatically attempt to restore unsaved LibreOffice documents and any other unfinished work it can find. If the Document Recovery window pops up, select your document in the left column and click “Start.”

LibreOffice AutoRecovery dialogue box

Method #2: Check LibreOffice Backup and Temporary Files

LibreOffice automatically creates backup files and temporary files in order to properly execute certain functions and to help users protect their work. This has worked for many users who closed a LibreOffice document without saving. You can find the LibreOffice “autosave” location by doing the following:

  1. In LibreOffice’s toolbar, click “Tools” > “Options…”
    LibreOffice Tools menu
  2. In the new window’s left sidebar, expand “LibreOffice” and click “Paths.” In the main window, take note of the listed “Path” for “Backups.”
    LibreOffice Backup Path
Pro tip: Some files may be hidden. To unhide them in File Explorer, click View on the menu bar > Show/Hide, and tick the box beside “Hidden items.”

How to Recover Deleted LibreOffice Documents

Depending on how you set up your computer (and what you did after deleting the file), there are 4 different methods to recover deleted files in LibreOffice:

Method #1: Restore Deleted LibreOffice Documents from the Recycle Bin

Deleted LibreOffice Documents get sent to the recycle bin, and they stay there until you manually empty it. Files sent to the recycle bin can easily be restored. Here’s how:

Tip: You can still recover your recycle bin even after emptying it using data recovery software.
  1. Open your recycle bin folder (it’s usually on your desktop).
    Recycle Bin in the Desktop
  2. Right-click your LibreOffice Document and click “Restore.”
    Restore LibreOffice document from the Recycle Bin

Method #2: Recover Deleted LibreOffice Documents Using Data Recovery Software

If you emptied your recycle bin (and if your LibreOffice recovery failed), there’s no way for you to retrieve your file without a special tool called data recovery software. Fortunately, the best data recovery software are available for download on the internet.

Many of them are easy enough to use that even beginners should be able to restore their files on the first try. We’ll use 2 of our favorites to demonstrate restoring a LibreOffice document:

Option A: Disk Drill

Disk Drill logoDisk Drill is a popular and reliable data recovery software that we’ve featured many times on Handy Recovery. It’s very effective at restoring almost every file type that exists from almost any device. If your LibreOffice file disappeared, Disk Drill will find (and restore) it.

It’s a powerful app that is super user-friendly, AND you can recover up to 500 MB worth of data for free. That should be more than enough for a LibreOffice document, so we can’t recommend enough that you give it a try for this task.

If you want to know more about Disk Drill’s performance and its many features (most of which are free!), read our full Disk Drill review.
  1. Download and install Disk Drill, then launch it.
  2. Select the drive that contained your LibreOffice document (if you didn’t delete it from an external drive, it’s most likely in your system drive), then click “Search for lost data.”
    Disk Drill drive selection screen
  3. You can wait for Disk Drill to complete its scan or you can immediately click “Review found items.” It will continue to populate scan results as it finds anything.
    Disk Drill scanning progress screen
  4. You can click “Documents” in the left sidebar to filter your results or type .ODT in the search bar to display only LibreOffice OpenDocument files.
    Disk Drill search bar and file type sidebar
  5. Select the LibreOffice files you want to restore by ticking the boxes in the left-most column. Then, click “Recover.”
    Disk Drill file selection column
  6. Use the folder button to select a destination folder for the recovered files. Remember to choose a location that is different from where you are restoring data from to avoid overwriting it. Then, click “OK.”
    Disk Drill save file dialogue box

Option B: Recuva

Recuva logoRecuva is another well-known data recovery software that has a free version. Like Disk Drill, Recuva’s vast database catalogued the majority of common file types, including those used by LibreOffice.  We’ll show you how to enable certain settings to maximize your chances to recover your deleted LibreOffice file.

To read about our experience recovering data with Recuva, read our full Recuva Data Recovery review.
  1. Download and install Recuva, then launch it.
  2. Click “Next” to start the wizard.
    Recuva wizard initial window
  3. Select “Documents”, then click “Next.”
    Recuva wizard file type selection screen
  4. Click “Browse” to select the location where you want to recover your LibreOffice document from, then click “Next.”
    Recuva wizard recovery location selection screen
  5. Select “Enable Deep Scan”, then click “Start.”
    Recuva deep scan settings
  6. Wait for Recuva to complete its scan, then click “Switch to advanced mode.”
  7. Click “Options…”
    Recuva options button
  8. Navigate to the “Actions” tab and select “Scan for non-deleted files” if you accidentally formatted your drive or your document was deleted due to a virus infection or corruption. Then, click “OK.”
    Recuva Actions tab in the Options window
  9. Use the checkboxes in the left-most column to select the files you want to recover, then click “Recover…”
    Recuva file selection functions
  10. Select a destination for the recovered files. Choose a location that is different from where you are restoring data from to avoid overwriting it. Then, click “OK.”
    Recuva save location dialogue box

Method #3: Restore Deleted LibreOffice Document From Cloud Backup

Microsoft OneDrive usually comes preinstalled with Windows 10. It helps users save space by saving files in the cloud while providing access to them from any device. If you have your local folders synced with OneDrive and accidentally deleted a file, you may find it in OneDrive’s Recycle bin folder.

To do this, log into https://onedrive.live.com/ and click “Recycle bin” in the left sidebar. Then, select the file you want to recover and click “Restore.”

Recycle bin in the Microsoft OneDrive website

Method #4: Restore a Previous Version of Your Folder

“File History” is a Windows backup and restore feature that incrementally saves previous versions of both files and folders. It can also be used to recover deleted files in Windows 10. In our case, we’ll restore a previous version of the folder that contained the LibreOffice document (from before the file had been deleted).

To restore File History data, you will need to have enabled it before you deleted your file. If you did not have File History enabled before deleting it, try using data recovery software. Click here to jump to that section of the article.

Restore previous versions option on a LibreOffice document

Is it Possible to Recover an Overwritten LibreOffice Document?

Unfortunately, overwritten data can’t be restored by data recovery software anymore. In this case, the only option is to check if you have a copy of the document anywhere else – such as in the cloud or in your File History. Click the links below to quickly jump to these sections:

FAQ