Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 May 20, 2017)

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 and later versions 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; it contains the current path name used for templates.

Note that this tells you where your user templates are stored. It may not tell you where your Normal template is stored. (The Normal template is where Word stores default settings for brand new, blank documents it creates.) I say "may not" because some versions of Word seem to store this special template in a different directory all together. If you suspect this is the case with your version of Word, just get out of the program and use Windows' search capabilities to look for "normal.do*" (without the quote marks). Note the use of the wildcard asterisk at the end of what you are searching for; this should help you find any template (or even document) that starts with "normal."

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, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Transposing Two Characters

If you have two characters in the wrong order, you might be interested in a shortcut you can use to switch their order. There ...

Discover More

Going to the Corners of a Selected Range

When you select a range of cells (particularly if it is a large range of cells), you may not be quite sure if you've selected ...

Discover More

Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates

Sometimes the format in which you receive data is not the same format that would be optimal for Excel. For instance, you ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Creating a Document Based on a Template

Double-click a Word template file in Windows, and Word should create a brand new document based on that template. If this ...

Discover More

Understanding Templates

Templates are used to store a pattern for how a document should look. As such, they can be a very powerful tool for creating ...

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
Subscribe

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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
Subscribe

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.