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: Understanding Background Saving.

Understanding Background Saving

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 11, 2018)

2

You already know that it is important to periodically save your documents. This helps protect your work in case of catastrophic power failure or inadvertent massive edits (such as those imposed by an errant macro). When your document is small, saving to disk can be done very quickly. As your document grows, or as you start saving your document to storage devices that aren't that speedy, saving can take quite a bit longer to do.

To overcome the delay normally associated with saving a document, Word uses what is known as "background saving." This simply means that Word allows you to continue working as it actually writes your document to disk. The benefit is that you can keep right on working as Word does its housekeeping. You can tell when a background save is taking place because an animated disk appears on the status bar. When the disk disappears, the save is complete.

You can control whether the program utilizes background saving in the following manner:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the available options until you see the Save section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Save section of the Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. If the Allow Background Saves check box is selected, Word will use the background saving feature.
  6. Click on OK to dismiss the Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6106) 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: Understanding Background Saving.

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

Following a Number with Different Characters

When creating numbered lists, the normal characters that follow the number are a period and a tab. Here's how to force ...

Discover More

Word Terrific Tables (Special Offer)

Word allows you to create and format tabular information using a powerful table editor. This can improve the appearance ...

Discover More

Using the INT Worksheet Function

The INT function allows you to convert a value to an integer. The effect the function has depends on the characteristics ...

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Modifying the Backup Copy File Name

Backup files, created automatically by Word, have the filename extension WBK and start with the words "Backup of." If you ...

Discover More

Saving Information in a Non-Document Text File

Need to store some information in a plain text file? It's easy to do when you use a macro.

Discover More

Searching for a Document

When switching from one version of Word to another it can be confusing to figure out where all the commands and features ...

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 five more than 8?

2014-01-23 19:59:05

Peter

"Understanding" OK so you told me how to switch it on but HOW do I use it? Can I recover work that I did not save?


2013-03-05 20:55:33

Vlykarye

Guess what. For my computer, turning 'background saves' OFF makes saving 100 times faster. :)
So glad I found the problem causing me to have to wait for word to save.


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.