Since the files I wanted to Restore were listed as Word files, I assumed they'd be sent back to Word. Not so.
Correct. Word is only a program that edits
files that reside in various locations on your disk. Word isn't really for managing where the files are located, so they wouldn't be sent "back to Word". They'd just be sent back to the directory where they had been previously. Word and the files are independent. Word is the program. Your documents are just data files, which could be scattered in locations all over the disk.
Also, Restoring the file from the Recycle Bin won't cause the name to reappear in the Most Recently Used list in Word's File menu.
And they are not in My Documents, either.
Examine all the various options in Windows Explorer that appear after you click the Search button.
You might have to click some little arrow buttons to expand all the sections.
One option you're looking for is Search Subfolders. That should be checked, or else it will only search My Documents and quit.
The procedure will be:
All files and folders (I always use this one regardless of what I'm really searching for)
Enter the file name
Look in: My Documents
Expand: When was it modified? Make sure it says, "Don't remember"
The same for: What size is it?
Expand: More advanced options
I usually check: System Folders, Hidden Folders, and Subfolders
(the important one).
I usually uncheck: Case Sensitive and Tape Backup.
The system seems to remember these settings, so you don't have to specify every one every time you search.
If it still doesn't find the file, you can revise the search so it searches your whole C: drive, which will take several minutes.
And then the last resort is to go to My Documents in Windows Explorer and then search manually each one of its subfolders, expanding each one as you go to make sure you also see all the sub-sub-folders. I did say it was unfortunate
you aren't told where the file was Restored to!
This doesn't help in this situation, but I just realized that in the Recycle Bin, one of the columns (far right?) is labeled "Original Location", and that will tell you where the file is going to go when you Restore it.