Microsoft Project Files Recovery | Recover Deleted or Lost Project Files from Windows and External Devices

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This comprehensive article answers all your questions regarding recovering deleted, lost, and even missing Project files from all versions of Windows OS and Windows Server OS, as well as external storage devices.
However, if your Project files are saved locally, you can utilize Remo File Recovery Software – a powerful File Recovery software to help you recover Microsoft Project Files with absolute ease.

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Microsoft Project Files is a project management software developed by Microsoft.  

Microsoft Project is a widely used application to plan, manage, and track projects of various sizes and complexities. These files contain all the necessary data and vital information. Such as resources, tasks, schedules, calendars, durations, costs, dependencies, and more related to a particular project.

The tool allows project managers to create a complete project plan, assign resources, establish deadlines, establish dependencies between various tasks, and monitor and evaluate the project's progress. 

Microsoft Project Files is one of the world's most used Project Management Software, used by millions of individuals and businesses of all complexities, sizes, and nature. 

No matter how useful the Microsoft Project utility is, most users, at some point or the other, encounter the panic-striking issue of losing Project files, commonly known as mpp files. 

Table of Contents

  1. How to Recover Saved Microsoft Project Files
  2. How to Recover Unsaved Microsoft Project Files
  3. Common Reasons Behind Loss of Microsoft Project Files
  4. Conclusion

How to Recover Deleted Microsoft Project Files That Were Saved Earlier?

Recovering deleted or lost Microsoft Project Files can be quite stressful, especially if you have no idea how to bring back those files. The next section talks about MS Project file recovery. I have explained various ways of recovering Project files that were saved and retrieving unsaved MS Project files from any version of Windows and various storage devices.

This section talks about recovering files that were saved locally.

  1. Recover Deleted Microsoft Project Files from the Recycle Bin
  2. Recover Lost Microsoft Project Files Using Previous Versions
  3. Restore Copies of Deleted Microsoft Project Files from the Backup
  4. Recover Deleted MS Project Files Using Remo File Recovery Software

Method 1: Recover Microsoft Project Files From the Recycle Bin

If you have deleted your Project files from your system. Then, the Bin folder is the first place you should look at and search for.

1: Go to the Bin folder and use the search bar to find the Project or the .mpp files.

open recycle bin folder

2: Once you have located the files. Select all the necessary Project files you want to recover from the Bin folder.

3: From the drop-down menu, click on the Restore option. 

click on the restore button to restore files from the recycle bin

4: The recovered Project files will be restored to their original location.

Suppose you have deleted files using the Shift Delete option or deleted files from the Recycle Bin. Then, try the following solutions to retrieve Microsoft Project documents. 

Many Microsoft Project users wonder how to recover a Microsoft Project file after a crash that was saved. If you are one of those, follow the next solution to recover lost .mpp files.

Method 2: Recover Lost Microsoft Project Files Using the Previous Version Option

The Previous Versions option on Windows is a utility that allows Windows users to access and restore earlier versions of various files and folders that were deleted or lost. The tool, when enabled, creates snapshots of files and folders on your computer, which can be used in case of data loss.

Follow the steps below to recover deleted, lost, or missing Microsoft Project files using the “Previous Version” option.

1: Navigate to the folder where the lost Microsoft Project files were previously saved.

2: Right-click on the folder and click the “Properties” option from the menu.

3: In the Properties Windows, navigate to the “Previous Versions” tab. 

4: A list of all available versions of the folder or the files within them.

5: Select the folder's Previous Version containing the lost Microsoft Project files.

6: Upon selecting the Previous Version. Click on the Restore option, the process of restoring the earlier version of the folder before deleting the Project files.

7: Once the Project file is restored. Go to the restored folder and check if the lost Microsoft Project file exists.  

If this solution was unhelpful in recovering .mpp files, or if you have taken a backup of the missing files. I recommend you try the next solution that talks about restoring backup copies of the missing Project files.

Method 3: Restore Copies of Deleted Microsoft Project Files from the Backup

If you have saved your files on any external drive or the cloud, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. You can restore the backup copies of the deleted Microsoft Project files.

Restore Backup Copies of Deleted Microsoft Project Files from External Devices:

1: Connect the drive where you saved the Project files to your Windows computer or laptop.

2: Go to the drive and search for the .mpp files.

3: Once you have found those files. Copy and paste them into any location on your Windows system.

If you have saved it on Google Drive, then follow these steps:

Restore Backup Copies of Deleted Project Data from Google Drive:

1: Log into Google Drive using your Google account credentials.

2: A list of all files and folders saved in Google Drive will be displayed on your screen.

3: Search for the Project files.

4: Once you find those files, select the Project files you want to restore.

5: Locate the three vertical dots, known as More actions options. From the menu, click on the Download option. 

6: The selected Project files will be downloaded as .zip files in the Downloads folder. 

7: To access those files, you must unzip them and select a location where you want to save them. 

You want to know how to recover the Microsoft Project file without a backup? Or suppose you have permanently deleted your .mpp files. Then follow the next solution, where I have explained in-depth about a reliable Microsoft Project file recovery tool - Remo Recover.

trustpilot review on recovering deleted project files

Source: Trustpilot

Method 4: Recover Deleted MS Project File Using Remo File Recovery Software

Remo File Recovery Software is a powerful data recovery software designed to help you recover MS Project files from various Windows OS, Windows Server OS, and numerous internal and external storage devices.

Remo is built with our most advanced scanning algorithms that thoroughly scan the drive to recover not only .mpp files but numerous other Microsoft Office files such as Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook PST, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word with just a few simple clicks.

Download the Microsoft Project file recovery software now and recover the deleted or lost Project files from any Windows OS system or external storage device.

How to Recover Deleted Microsoft Project Files Using Remo File Recovery Software?

1: Download, install, and set up the Remo File Recovery Software on your Windows system.

2: Launch the Microsoft Project file recovery tool, and from the main screen, select the drive or the folder from where you want to recover the Project documents and click on the Scan button. 

select a location to recover deleted microsoft project files

3: The tool starts scanning the selected location to recover data. Upon completing the Quick Scan, the tool lets you view the data recovery process using the Dynamic Recovery View option.

click on the dynamic recovery view to recover microsoft project file recovery process

4: A list of the files the tool has recovered will be displayed on your screen. Use the Intelligent Search bar or the Advanced Filter option to filter and find the recovered Project files quickly.

find the recovered Microsoft project files using the advanced filter option

5: Remo also lets you quickly look at the recovered files; double-click on any recovered .mpp files to preview them.

6: Select the Project files and all others you want to recover. 

Select the Project files and all other files that you want to recover

7: Once completely satisfied with the Microsoft Project file recovery process, Click the Recover button, and select a location to save the MS Project recovered files.

select a location where you want to restore deleted Microsoft Project files

I am sure that by now, you have been able to recover deleted, lost, or missing Project files from all Windows OS and Windows Server OS versions. 

The following section talks about recovering unsaved Microsoft Project files.

user query on reddit asking how to recover unsaved project file

Source: Reddit

How to Recover Unsaved Microsoft Project Files on Windows?

If you are looking to recover Project files lost due to unexpected system shutdown, sudden Microsoft Project application crash or shutdown, or were never saved. This section discusses the two most common ways to recover unsaved MS Project files.

  1. Recover Microsoft Project Unsaved Files from the Temp Files Folder
  2. Restore Unsaved .mpp files using the Microsoft Project Autosave feature

Method 1: Recover Microsoft Project Unsaved Files from the Temp Files Folder

The Temp file folder or the Temporary files folder is a directory on a Windows system where temporary files are stored for a short period of time.

If you have lost some of your Unsaved Project files, you can try recovering them from the Temp folder.

How to Recover Unsaved Microsoft Project Files from the Temporary Files Folder?

1: Launch the Microsoft Project application on your Windows system.

2: Click on the File tab in the top-left corner of the Project windows and click on Options.

3: In the Options dialog box, click on the Save option.

4: Locate the Autosave section and note the path listed in the “Default file location for AutoRecover” field.

Note: This path specifies the folder where temporary and autosaved files are saved.

5: Close the Project Options dialog box.

6: Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer on your Windows System.

7: Paste the path you have noted in step 4 and hit Enter.

8: You will be taken to the Microsoft Project Temporary files folder

9: Look for files with the .mpp extension and find the most recent and relevant files based on the time and date stamps.

10: Once you have found the desired temporary Project files, copy those files to a safe location on your computer.

11: Change the file name from .tmp to .mpp to restore the temporary files as Microsoft Project files.

12: Double-click on the recovered files to open them in Microsoft Project.

13: Save the files with the correct or desired name and select the location to save the recovered Microsoft Project files. 

In case the Temp folder solution didn’t work out well for you. Or if you have earlier enabled the Autosave feature. Then, try the next solution, which involves recovering unsaved .mpp files using the Autosave feature. 

Method 2: Restore Unsaved .mpp files using the Microsoft Project Autosave feature

Microsoft Project application comes with an in-built tool called Autosave option that lets you automatically save the changes to the cloud and the local drive as you work in order to minimize the risk of losing unsaved project data. 

If you have enabled the Autosave feature, follow the steps below to recover autosaved Microsoft Project files.

Recover Unsaved Microsoft Project Files from the Autosave Folder

  1. Launch the Microsoft Project application on your system.
  2. Click on the File tab in the top-left corner of the Project application window.
  3. In the dialog box, go to the location where autosaved files reside.

By default, autosaved files are typically located in the “Autosave” folder in the user profile directory. 

Windows 11 and Windows 10 - C:\Users[YourUsername]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Project\Autosave
Windows 7 and other earlier versions - C:\Users[YourUsername]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Project\Autosave 

Note: Do replace [YourUsername] with your actual username.

  1. In the Autosave folder, find the files with names starting with Autosave_Projectname.mpp or other similar file extensions.
  2. Find the most recent or relevant autosave .mpp file based on the time and date stamps.
  3. Once you have located the required autosaved Project files, double-click on them to open them in the Microsoft Project application.
  4. You must save the file with a proper name and at the desired location on your computer to preserve the recovered Project files.

Note: If you accidentally or intentionally deleted any files or folders from the C Drive, you can refer to this article to find out how to recover deleted files from the C Drive.

Now that you have safely recovered your missing or deleted Microsoft Project files. Let’s quickly understand why thousands of Project application users lose their files and what you can do to ensure you don’t lose your Project files again.

Why Do Project File User Lose Their Microsoft Project Files?

Project files can become inaccessible or lost due to many reasons. Mentioned here are a few of the most common scenarios where Microsoft users might encounter data loss or file issues with the Microsoft Project application.

  1. Accidental Deletion of the Project Files: Many users may intentionally or accidentally delete the project file or delete the folder where the Project files are saved.
  1. Human Issues and Errors: Mistakes such as improper file transfer, accidentally overwriting the files, incorrect or incomplete file saving process, and even accidentally deleting project files can lead to loss of Microsoft Project data.
  1. File System Errors: Disk errors or accumulation of bad sectors on the storage device leads to corruption of the stored data, thereby making the files inaccessible.
  1. Software/ Hardware Failure: Unexpected system shutdown due to power failure, conflict among various applications, and storage device failure. If you have saved your Project files locally, these issues might result in permanent loss of .mpp files.
  1. Sync and Backup Issues: Microsoft Project Files are stored in the Cloud. Any issues the user might encounter during file syncing, and backup might also lead to file conflict and ultimately data loss.
  1. Virus and Malware: Virus attacks or Malware infections can corrupt your Microsoft Project files and other data saved on your local device or computer.  

Tips To Protect Your Microsoft Project Files:

  • Save periodic backups on multiple locations such as external drives or Cloud.
  • Occasionally check the health of your system using in-built tools like CHKDSK.
  • Run Antivirus scans routinely to ensure your system and other storage devices are free from viruses and malware.

Also Read: How to Mirror Windows 10 Screen with Another Windows Device?


Here, we end our long discussion of Microsoft Project File recovery. I have explained various in-depth ways to help you recover saved and unsaved Project files from all versions of Windows OS and Windows Server OS, as well as other storage devices. 

The solutions include a Recycle Bin folder, a Previous Versions option, external backups, a powerful Microsoft Project Files recovery software, a Roaming Folder, and a Temporary folder. I am sure by now you have safely recovered your MPP files.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…