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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 9, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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

Using AutoText

AutoText is a timesaving feature that allows you to assign a word, phrase, paragraph, or graphic to a mnemonic name. Type ...

Discover More

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

When creating a table, you can turn the orientation of the text, within a cell, by ninety degrees in either direction ...

Discover More

Setting the Active Printer in VBA

Your macros can control where printed output is directed, but sometimes it can be difficult to get the settings correct. ...

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)

Appending to a Non-Document Text File

Your macros can easily add information to the end of an existing text file. This is done by opening the target file 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

Formatting Text in Custom Document Properties

Word allows you to create custom document properties that stay with a document and can be inserted through the use of ...

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 one more than 0?

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.