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: Setting Your Default Document Directory.

Setting Your Default Document Directory

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 9, 2021)

1

Normally, Word starts looking for documents in the directory in which you started the program. If you want to change the default directory path, you can do so 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. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down towards the bottom of the available options and locate the File Locations button. Click on it. Word displays the File Locations dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The File Locations dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Documents option is selected from the list of file types. (This is the first choice in the list and is typically selected by default.)
  6. Click on the Modify button. Word displays the Modify Location dialog box.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate the directory you want used as the default document directory.
  8. Click on OK. The directory you selected in step 6 should now appear in the Options dialog box.
  9. Click on OK to close the File Locations dialog box.
  10. Click on OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

Note that this setting affects only the beginning directory used by Word to look for documents, before you do any opening and saving of documents. There are other actions you can take in Word that will affect the default directory proposed by the program. For instance, if you open a Word document that is in a folder different than the default one you set in step 6, and then you use Save As to save the document under a different name, the proposed directory will not match the one set in step 6. Instead, Word proposes to save the file in the same directory that the original document was stored in.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9591) 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: Setting Your Default Document Directory.

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

Deleting a Bookmark

Create a bookmark and you may, at some future point, need to delete that bookmark. It's easy to do, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Changing Headers and Footers

Editing what is in your page header or footer is fairly easy, and you can use the same editing techniques you already ...

Discover More

Flipping a Drawing Object

Don't like the way a drawing object looks? Perhaps flipping the object could help appearances. Excel allows you to flip ...

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)

Importing a Text File and Inserting after a Bookmark

Word macros are a great way to automate some of the ways in which you create documents. If you have a need to insert the ...

Discover More

Inserting a File

Need to combine several files into a single document? You can do it by inserting one file into another, as outlined in ...

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}] (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 five more than 2?

2021-10-11 13:33:40

Miles Motture

Hi, love your site!

How do you do this for Word 365 for Mac?


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.