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: Setting the AutoRecover Directory.

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 11, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word has a feature that causes automatic saving of temporary files, in case there is a problem with your computer. (You know the routine—power goes out, whatever.) This feature is called AutoRecover. When an AutoRecover file is saved to disk, it is normally placed in a directory that is related to your Windows profile. If you want Word to place the AutoRecover files in a different directory, you can specify the directory by following 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 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Save. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Browse button to the right of the AutoRecover File Location field. Word displays the Modify Location dialog box.
  5. Browse through your drives until you locate the directory you want to use.
  6. Click on OK. The path to the directory you specified is shown in the AutoRecover File Location field.
  7. 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 (10420) 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: Setting the AutoRecover 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. ...

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