Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Making Backup Copies.

Making Backup Copies

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 23, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


By default, Word does not make backup copies of your files. Instead, the old file is deleted after the new file is written to disk. Other word processors typically provide backup files by default. If you want Word to provide backup files, 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, click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Save options. (Don't confuse this with clicking Save at the left side of the dialog box; they are not the same.) (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Click on Always Create Backup Copy, so there is a check mark in the check box.
  6. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9768) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Making Backup Copies.

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. ...

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