14.5.3 Recovering Data from Auto-Saves
If you want to use the contents of an auto-save file to recover from a
loss of data, use the command `M-x recover-file <RET> FILE <RET>'.
Emacs visits FILE and then (after your confirmation) restores the
contents from the auto-save file `#FILE#'. You can then save the file
with `C-x C-s' to put the recovered text into FILE itself. For
example, to recover file `foo.c' from its auto-save file `#foo.c#', do:
M-x recover-file <RET> foo.c <RET>
Before asking for confirmation, `M-x recover-file' displays a
directory listing describing the specified file and the auto-save file,
so you can compare their sizes and dates. If the auto-save file is
older, `M-x recover-file' does not offer to read it.
Auto-saving is disabled by `M-x recover-file' because using this
command implies that the auto-save file contains valuable data from a
past session. If you save the data in the visited file and then go on
to make new changes, turn auto-saving back on with `M-x auto-save-mode'.
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