On Thursday I tried to help someone recover a document that she was sure she had saved, but could not find. I checked all the usual things (recent documents, unsaved files, etc.) but couldn’t find it. I knew she had gotten the original document in email, so I checked in there, but still no luck, and then we were out of time for me to look.
Today, I ran into the same problem myself. In this instance I knew exactly what I had done. I KNEW I had saved it, I knew what I had saved it as, but I couldn’t find it. I tried re-opening the original file, making a change, and saving it, but it only gave me the expected default save directory. Google failed me. Windows Search F-ing sucks (did a search for *.doc on a directory that has hundreds of .doc files and it found none) and I was extra handicapped by retarded Windows 8. Finally, it occurred to me, the document was originally from email, same as the other person, even though I had saved it locally at some point before, I couldn’t remember if I had opened it from email or from disk (I hadn’t done any editing the first time I read the file). So I opened it in email, edited, and went to save, and voila, found the location. I had to copy the file location from the save prompt since I couldn’t easily find how to show hidden files in the root folder (every day I hate Windows 8 more). Gary suggested I should post the solution so maybe Google can find it for the next poor soul, so here we are.
The answer is: C:\Users\$your_user_name\AppData\Local\Temp
AppData and everything under it are hidden.