How to Recover Corrupted Word Files Mac?

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2023-03-23 14:59:09 to Mac Problems
Question:How to Recover corrupted word files?

“Recently I have been digging for old Word (2013) files and I have found that some of them are corrupted. How this happened is a mystery to me, and if someone could comment I would appreciate it.”

-A user from r/word community in Reddit

Nothing is more frustrating than working on a Word file only to find out it has been corrupted. What can get to your nerve is the inability to open the file and make necessary changes. If this is your dilemma, know that there are ways about how to open a corrupt word file mac.

There are a lot of reasons why Word documents get corrupted, especially on Mac. In addition to power interruption, the program can also crash while you are on it, program affected by a virus, or when there are problems with the headers in the file. Most of the time, data can be recovered by using software or built-in features. If you need help with opening corrupted files and repairing these on Mac, read on.

recover corrupt word files on mac

Video tutorial: How to Repair Corrupted Word File?

Part 1. Why Word Files Get Corrupted on Mac?

Corrupted files can be a headache, especially if you badly need to access the Word document. Data loss by mistake can be retrieved using Microsoft Word’s built-in features and some software.

  • One of the reasons for the data loss and file corruption is a hardware failure, which comes from installing fake Microsoft Office software. This will lead to file suddenly crashing out of nowhere, not saving the document. In addition, upgrading the MacOS can also be the culprit of how the program encounter hardware failures.
  • Human error is another reason for the corrupted document situation. Not saving the document and emptying the trash accidentally make up for the data loss. In addition, power interruption can also corrupt the Word document. If this is the case, you can always search for the restored file on the MS Word.
  • Finally, a virus attack also corrupts your Mac and tamper all the existing files. Using software like 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery to retrieve the documents is necessary.

Part 2. How to Open Corrupted Word Files on Mac?

Corrupted Word files can be opened by using built-in features of the Mac. Since the system is completely different from Windows, being familiar with recovery steps is needed to open the file. Most of the time, the problem is with the program itself as it won’t respond to commands. Force quitting helps to exit the program, but you still need to open the file once again.

Solution 1: How to Open Corrupt Word Files Mac with Recover Text

One of the best things to do is to use Recover Text. Follow these basic steps to learn how to open a corrupt word file on Mac:

  • Step 1: Force quitting Microsoft Word, the next thing to do is to select the file then click on the File menu on the upper left part of the screen and tap Open.
  • Step 2: Next is to click on On My Mac, then tap on Recover Text from the drop-down box beside Open.
  • Step 3: The next step is to locate the folder with the deleted file. Select the Word file that was corrupted.
  • Step 4: After locating the file, you can now tap on Open then wait for the program to respond.
recover text

Solution 2: How to Open Corrupt Word Documents on Mac with Word

Still can’t access the file? The other option for the built-in feature is inserting the corrupted file into a Word document.

  • Step 1: Open Microsoft Word and create a New File.
  • Step 2: Click on Insert tab then tap on Object on the right side of the panel.
  • Step 3: Choose the corrupted file from the list and see if you can insert it to the new document.
insert object feature

On some occasions, the Word program responds with a message stating the error. However, it is still worth giving a shot and see if you can open the file.

Part 3. How to Repair Corrupted Word Files on Mac?

Fixing corrupted files is possible with built-in features of the program. To repair the corrupted document, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the corrupted file then hover to File on the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Step 2: Click on Save As on the option then click Format.
  • Step 3: Select Rich Text Format from the list.
  • Step 4: Rename the document and click on Save.
rich text document

Note: If the damage still exists, you can try to save the document to a different format like .txt.

Part 4. How to Recover Corrupted Word Files on Mac?

Recovering the corrupted file requires patience, as you need to download software. Word files on Mac, whether deleted or corrupted, can be repaired with 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery software. It is available for data recovery from iPhone devices and Mac.

  • The software offers full control over formatted, corrupted, or lost data on Mac, and supports 550+ file types.
  • It supports recently lost data on Mac’s hard drive and other connected external storage devices.
  • Whether you need to recover a Word document due to software failure or a virus attack, the 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery can retrieve documents.
  • Aside from Word documents, the software also retrieves lost photos, videos, audios, emails, web files and others.
  • The software is also 100% secure and supports several devices like cameras, iPod, Memory cards, SD/CF cards, music player and more.

Steps to Recover a Corrupt Word Document Mac with 4DDIG

  • Step 1: Download the 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery software. Tenorshare offers a free trial to get familiar with the features of the software.
  • Free Download

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    Secure Download

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  • Step 2: Launch 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery then select a location to start document recovery.
  • select location
  • Step 3: Tap on Scan button to start looking at all lost files.
  • Step 4: After scanning, you can choose from the list of corrupted and deleted files.
  • preview restored corrupted files
  • Step 5: Click the Recover button and select the location to save the found files.
  • save recovered files

Note: When choosing the location to save retrieved files, it is not recommended to save files in the location where you lost them.

How to Recover Unsaved Deleted Word Document on Mac?

Part 5. How to Prevent Word File Corruption on Mac?

Actually, you can find a plenty of approaches to protect your Word files from being corrupted, and here we'll list some useful of them.

  • Install antivirus software: Those sophisticated and advanced viruses can easily damage file system. With reliable antivirus software on your Mac to scan your drives at regular intervals, your files can be well protected to a large extent.
  • Shut down System Properly: File system can get corrupted for improper shutdown of computer system. To avoid file corruption, you have to always close down your system in standard way.
  • Don’t Delete System Files Readily: Sometimes, we'll free up our space by deleting large and useless files. You should keep cautious, preventing deleting necessary system files mistakenly. Otherwise, drive file system may be corrupt.
  • Check Hard Drive Regularly: Bad sectors are common problems on hard drive. On Mac, you can use Disk Utility to regularly check your hard drive to repair the bad sectors on it.


It’s normal to experience glitch when it comes to Word documents and other files. If you encounter a problem in opening or retrieving the file, you can always use the built-in features to troubleshoot the problem. If this won’t do anything, downloading a software is the answer.

To prevent these problems in the future, make sure to enable autosave features of the Microsoft Word program to recover files. If the document needs fixing, download the 4DDIG Mac Data Recovery software. Get the support you need to get rid of worries.

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