Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Finding Where Templates Are Stored.

Finding Where Templates Are Stored

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2015)


It is unfortunate that Microsoft does not make it easier to modify templates. The first step in modifying templates is to load one, and that means you need to know where they are stored on disk. Regrettably, the average user hasn't a clue where they are stored on disk. The problem is that even Word Help cannot say exactly where the templates folder is on any particular computer.

If you want to know where your templates are stored, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the available options and click the File Locations button. Word displays the File Locations dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The File Locations dialog box.

  5. In the File Types list, choose User Templates. If the path for the templates is short enough, you may be able to see it in the dialog box right now. If so, you can skip steps 5 and 6.
  6. Click the Modify button (even though you won't be modifying anything.). Word displays the Modify Location dialog box.
  7. The Look In drop-down list, at the top of the dialog box, contains the current path name used for templates.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6072) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Finding Where Templates Are Stored.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Dissecting a String

Want to pull a string apart in a macro? It's easy using the string functions introduced in this tip.

Discover More

Adjusting Times for Time Zones

Collect a series of times in a worksheet, and you might need to adjust those times for various time zones. This involves a ...

Discover More

Modifying the General Startup Process

Having problems getting Windows to start properly? You can try to track down what is causing the problem by using the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!


Examining Styles and Macros in a Template

Templates are very powerful with the ability to contain both styles and macros. If you want to see what styles and macros are ...

Discover More

Best Way to Create a Document Template

Templates are the basis of creating consistent documents that permit fast and easy formatting. What is the best way to create ...

Discover More

Opening a Template

If you have a template stored on disk, you can open it and make changes to it just as you do other documents. This tip ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 7?

2016-11-11 02:37:28

Thanasis Hadzilacos

Worked fine, thank you very much. - Θ.Χ.

2016-09-19 08:50:40


This didn't work. I tried to follow the path, but there is no "App Data" folder, typical Microsoft BS.

2016-05-20 14:26:22


Does not work on my PC. Just goes to my user account on my PC and then Documents. There are no templates in the folder.

2016-04-11 12:54:18

David Thomas

Hi Allen

I'm so grateful for your sanity-saving Tip on where to find the wretched templates in Office 2010!

I've been a subscriber to Excel Tips for a long time and really appreciate your excellent source of clear and supportive advice.


David Thomas

2016-01-31 06:08:53


No help whatsoever for Word2016, no link to later versions.

2015-12-14 23:09:04


My interpretation of what many seem to be after.
Open Word
File > Open
At top (of mine) Microsoft Word & Templates folder
Templates - This to me seems to provide the path.
Open > Normal.dotm
Make it your required template settings

2015-10-29 13:46:35


Yes BUT:
I need to know how to place my own TEMPLATE into the WORD startup routine, so that the blank document which shows up every time I open WORD will be MY TEMPLATE, NOT Microsoft's template.

I already use the USER directory, BUT I want to have the default template as MINE, not Microsoft's.

All of these articles show the USER directory, which is not as important as the default.
Thank you

2015-10-06 09:32:19

John McMullen


When Word starts, it opens a file using the (well, now Normal.dotx or Normal.dotm) template. If you delete that template away, Word creates a new one...though without anything that has been added.

If you really want to start Word without a template or with a different template, there are command line switches to do it.

2015-07-08 11:33:24

Stephen Gray

As a long-time Word user, I still find templates confusing. Now that I know where they are, I still don't know which subfolders do what. I also don't know what range of documents use the same template. Other users seem to be equally confused. I think we need a document that explains templates completely.

2015-07-08 07:51:37


Thanks, Thomas.

2015-07-08 07:46:55

Thomas Redd

Thank you, Allen, for all your wonderful tips and helps. I am constantly turning to this site as the location of great information and solutions to my challenges. I am very grateful for your efforts and I am sorry to see comments like the one posted by guardineer. Please remember that tons of us appreciate all your work and your articles help solve hundreds of problems for us.

Gratefully submitted.

2015-07-07 10:47:22


Does NOT give me the correct location for the opening template used by WORD, so like most articles, it is useless.

2015-07-06 06:16:14


Thanks, it's just what I was looking for

2015-05-17 01:38:49

An Zul

Thanks for posting this article was able to find the lost templates I downloaded :)

2015-02-22 17:40:38


No, it does NOT tell me where the "new file" template is stored by WORD, only where my own templates are saved.
SO I have to CLOSE the new file that opens when I start WORD, then go to my template folder to find the template that I created.
What I need is the location where WORD stores it's "new file" template, so that I can save my new template there and don't need to do all that other stuff.

2014-12-18 16:46:19


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am dumbfounded that I can't find this information in MS Word Help...Isn't that what "Help" is all about??

2012-07-06 12:31:05

Debbie Flathers

I have followed the instructions of the article, but when I get there, the folder is empty. That may be the reason I can not download any templates from Microsoft?

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing