Notepad is the simple text editor comes with Microsoft Windows systems by default. This tool makes it very convenient and fast for you to jot down the important information in a simple text format. Well, accidents happen now and then; you may lose your notepad file all out of sudden.

Do You Need to Recover Notepad File

To be specific, Notepad is a basic text-editing program included in every Windows system to help you create text documents easily. Yet, it has an obvious disadvantage: unlike Word/Excel/PowerPoint, it cannot save the content you write in automatically. That is to say, if any accidents happen to you, you’ll lose the information saved in it.

Here’s how to recover unsaved Word document if you need:

How To Recover Unsaved Word Document - Ultimate Guide
How To Recover Unsaved Word Document - Ultimate Guide

Please don’t be bothered by how to recover unsaved Word document; there are wonderful solutions to solving it.

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With this in mind, I decide to summarize four practical methods in the next part in order to help you recover notepad file (the steps are easy to master). After reading them, you’ll know how to recover unsaved/corrupted/lost/deleted notepad files. (MiniTool provides you with the solutions for disk storage,  file backup, as well as data recovery.)

recover notepad file

Specific Cases: Need to Restore Notepad File

Case 1: recover unsaved notepad file.

Hello, Windows did an automatic system update while I was away from the keyboard while I had an open unsaved notepad file on the desktop, and it had disappeared after the update had rebooted to install itself. Is there ANY way to recover the contents?- said walterh26 in Tom’s Hardware Forums

Case 2: recover overwritten notepad file.

Hi, I have a text file which I accidentally delete the contents and save it. Is there any way to recover what I have overwritten? I was using notepad when I overwrite my text file.- from Simon Kwek in PC Review Forums

Case 3: recover deleted notepad file.

Hello everyone. I have a Samsung galaxy y duos gts6102. My sister accidentally deleted very important notes in notepad. What can I do to recover them??? My android version is 2.3.6.- asked Android Central Question in Android Central Forums

Recover Text File in Different Cases

Notepad is a common text-only editor, which means it is able to edit text without formats. The file created by it is called notepad file, also known as text file. The text file is actually a kind of computer file which is composed of a sequence of lines of electronic text. You can save important information in a notepad file and it won’t take up much of your disk space.

As you can see from previous cases, there are a lot of reasons could lead to the loss of a notepad file: accidental deletion, system update, software crash, overwriting, and so on. It is no need thinking too much of the causes of text file loss, the more important thing is how to recover it. Now, I’ll show you how to recover notepad file Windows 10 in different situations.

How to Recover Notepad Files Unsaved

The Notepad app is not provided with the advanced functions like files backup or auto-save, which is included in Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint. Therefore, all the unsaved content in Notepad is easy to get lost when:

How can you recover unsaved notepad file?

The unsaved content of a notepad file will be kept in the computer RAM: Windows will make a temporary backup of the unsaved Notepad files and reopen them after a forced reboot. As a result, there’s still hope for you to get back the missing content - restore the unsaved files from local temporary & backup files and recover the deleted notepad files by using third-party recovery tool.

Warning: You can’t turn off or restart your computer for any reasons; otherwise, the unsaved content in your text files will be lost forever.

Where are notepad files saved? They are usually kept in: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming.

  1. Open File Explorer (also called Windows Explorer).
  2. Double click on your system drive (usually C:).
  3. Expand the Users folder.
  4. Specify your Username and expand the corresponding folder.
  5. Find AppData subfolder and expand it.
  6. Double click on the Roaming folder to open it.
  7. Type the certain filename into the search textbox in the upper right corner.
  8. Wait for the searching process to proceed.
  9. Click the file from search result to recover unsaved text file notepad.

search notepad file in Roaming

Windows Explorer Needs To Be Restarted: Problem Solved.

How to fix when you can’t find AppData folder?

In fact, this folder is hidden by default in Windows, but you can follow this to show it:

  1. Click on the View tab in File Explorer.
  2. Select Options from the upper right corner.
  3. Choose Change folder and search options from the drop-down list.
  4. Shift to View tab in the Folder Options window.
  5. Check Show hidden files, folders, and drives under Hidden files and folders section.
  6. Click on the OK button located at the bottom of the window to confirm the change of settings.

Show hidden files, folders, and drives

My suggestions:

  • One: it is highly recommended that you hit the Ctrl+S buttons every few minutes to save the content in an opening notepad file manually; this will maximize the security of your important information.
  • Two: apart from this, you can get a Notepad AutoSave app to help you save the notepad contents at fixed intervals.
  • Three: you may as well use the MiniTool Shadow Maker to back up the drive and achieve files and folders sync in easy steps.
  • Four: use Notepad++ instead of the original notepad since it will create backup files during the editing process; this helps a lot to enhance data security. How to recover notepad++ files unsaved? As long as you turn on the backup feature, you can resort to the notepad backup files directly to restore the unsaved content. Besides, it can ensure a higher execution speed and smaller program size. So it’s a better choice than Notepad.

save the content manually

How to replace Notepad with Notepad++?

If you are using the version 7.5.9 or above, you can finish the replacement conveniently by following steps (take Win 10 as an example).

  1. Click on the Cortana search box on the taskbar (what if Win 10 taskbar is not working?).
  2. Type cmd into the textbox.
  3. Right click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  4. Choose Run as administrator.
  5. Type this command into Command Prompt and hit Enter: reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe" /v "Debugger" /t REG_SZ /d "\"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Notepad++\notepad++.exe\" -notepadStyleCmdline -z" /f.

Please be advised that you can undo the change by typing this command and press Enter:

reg delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe" /v "Debugger" /f

Warning: If you have installed the 64-bit Notepad++ or if the application is not installed in a non-default location, you should replace “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Notepad++\” with “%ProgramFiles%\Notepad++\” in the command.

That’s all about how to recover unsaved notepad file on a Windows PC.

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How to Recover Deleted Notepad Text

The temporary files are only useful for recovering unsaved content; it won’t work if you’d like to recover the lost or deleted notepad files. Under such circumstance, I advise you to get MiniTool Power Data Recovery to help you restore permanently deleted text files.

Steps to recover lost notepad file:

Step 1: get the setup application of MiniTool Power Data Recovery and save it to the drive which contains no file to recover.

Free Download

Step 2: double click on the setup application to run it so as to finish the software installation process.

  • You can choose to launch the data recovery software immediately at the last step of the installation.
  • You can also double click on the software icon to run it manually.

Step 3: take a look at the drives listed in the software window and locate the one from which you need to recover text file. Then, you should scan it for needed files by the following ways:

  • Navigate to the target drive and press the Scan button appeared.
  • Double click on the target drive directly to start the scan.

Step 4: browse the files the file recovery software has found for you during the scan.

  • If you can find the notepad file easily from the scan results, you can check it and Pause/Stop the scan.
  • If there are too many files found by the software, you may as well use Find and Filter function to locate and select the notepad file you need quickly.
  • If the lost/deleted notepad file is not found yet, please wait until the scan finishes in order to get the best recovery result.

scanning the drive

Attention please:

You can click on the Preview button to see the content in the selected notepad file; this helps a lot to determine whether this is the file you want or not when you can’t remember the exact file name. Please click Yes if you see the Question prompt window asking you to download package of file previewer.

Preview notepad file

Step 6: click on the Save button at the bottom right corner to open the directory setting window.

  1. Select a drive from the list to restore the recovered notepad file (you can’t select the drive which contains this file before it gets lost in order to prevent data overwriting).
  2. Confirm your selection and press OK button to start the recovering process.
  3. Wait for the notepad file recovery to finish (a prompt window will appear at the end of recovery).
  4. Close the software if you don’t need to recover other data.

That’s all about how to recover lost or deleted files on PC.

How to Recover Overwritten Notepad File

Some users complained that they had written over a text file on their PC (accidentally saved over the notepad file). Any file recovery program can’t help them recover the file on this occasion. How can they restore overwritten text file? In fact, the information from the previous versions of a notepad file is saved in a file in the Windows system; but it is "hidden" by default.

How to use the hidden files to recover overwritten text file:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder that contains the overwritten notepad file.
  3. Select View from the menu bar.
  4. Click Options from its submenu.
  5. Choose Change folder and search options from the drop-down list.
  6. Select View tab.
  7. Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives to display hidden files and directories.
  8. Click Apply and OK button to confirm changes.
  9. Open the hidden files in the same directory; one of them is the exact copy of the previous version of your overwritten file.

Text files created on Notepad are likely to corrupt due to a system crash or freeze. A lot of users have encountered the situation when the notepad files are corrupted and displayed with Null characters after a system crash. Therefore, I’d like to share 3 useful ways to help you recover notepad file after crash.

Method 1: make use of Restore previous version.

  1. Navigate to the location where the target notepad file is stored.
  2. Right click on the corrupted file.
  3. Select Restore previous version from the context menu.
  4. Choose the correct previous version and click on Restore.
  5. Open the corrupted notepad file to see if it is repaired.

Method 2: run chkdsk command.

  1. Type cmd into the search box on the taskbar.
  2. Right click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  3. Choose Run as administrator.
  4. Type chkdsk C: /f and hit Enter.
  5. You’ll see the prompt message: Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Now, type Y to check C: drive the next time the system restarts.
  6. Reboot your system and the check process will be started; you should wait for it to complete.
  7. Go to see if the text has been recovered when your PC has been restarted.


CHKDSK Deletes Your Data? Now Recover Them In Two Ways.

Method 3: use Microsoft Word.

  1. Open a Word document (please be sure that the content in Word has been saved or backed up).
  2. Click File and select Options.
  3. Shift to Advanced tab.
  4. Navigate to the General section.
  5. Check Confirm file format conversion on open.
  6. Click OK to save changes.
  7. Click File and select Open.
  8. Hit the Browse button.
  9. Choose All Files and select Recover Text from Any File (*.*).
  10. Select the corrupted notepad file from the list.
  11. Hit Open.
  12. Check whether it helps to repair the text file.

That’s all about how to recover text file under different situations.

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Have you ever thought of this: how can you recover the lost files if your computer is broken? This post tells more details on this topic:

The Best Way To Recover Files From Broken Computer | Quick & Easy
The Best Way To Recover Files From Broken Computer | Quick & Easy

If you need to recover files from broken computer, you shouldn’t miss this powerful program for computer data recovery.

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Last Words

A notepad file tends to get lost or damaged due to lots of reasons, such as accidental deletion and system crash. Whenever you find your needed content is missing, you should try the solutions given in this article to recover notepad file without any delay.

Recover Notepad File FAQ

? Does Notepad have AutoSave?
Unfortunately, no. Unlike the Word program, the Notepad app doesn’t include an AutoSave feature. So, I advise you to press Ctrl + S regularly while working on important content. Besides, you can get a Notepad AutoSave app to help you save the information at fixed intervals.
? Can you recover an unsaved Notepad file?
Though there is no AutoSave in Notepad application, it’s still possible to recover an unsaved Notepad file since the content is kept in computer memory temporarily. Please open Windows search, type %AppData% and press Enter to open temporary files folder and find the unsaved Notepad documents.
? Where is the Notepad.exe?
The default location of the Notepad.exe is C:\Windows\System32 folder. You can also find the executable program by these steps: click the Start button -> scroll down in the all programs list -> find and expand the Windows Accessories folder. Now, you can see the Notepad app.
?️ What is the shortcut key to open Notepad?

The easiest way to open Notepad is pressing Windows key (or Ctrl-Esc) and N. If this didn’t work, please create a shortcut key for Notepad.

Open Windows search -> type notepad -> right click on Notepad App & select Open file location -> right click on Notepad in File Explorer & choose Properties -> set a shortcut key & click OK.

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