Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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 September 29, 2018)

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.

Understand that background saving isn't a protection against losing information if you forget to save or if Word crashes or you lose power. All it does is to make your normal saving process faster by allowing the saving to happen in the background after you click on the Save tool.

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, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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

Turning Off Insert Options

When you insert rows, columns, or cells in a worksheet, does the resulting Insert Options icon bother you? Here's how to ...

Discover More

Moving Cell Borders when Sorting

Sort your data and you may be surprised at what Excel does to your formatting. (Some formatting may be moved in the sort ...

Discover More

Adding Quoted Words to an Index

It is not unusual to need to convert one notation in a document into another entirely different notation. For instance, ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inserting Only Part of a File

You can easily insert one document within another document. What you may not know is that you can limit which part of a ...

Discover More

Converting Many DOC Files to DOCX

Need to convert a bunch of old DOC files to the newer DOCX format? Word doesn't provide the capability to convert a bunch ...

Discover More

Understanding MRU Files

Don't you love all the acronyms used in computer terminology? One such acronym--"pertinent to Word users--"is MRU. This ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 3 - 3?

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.

Videos
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.