by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 27, 2022)
Jack often takes his Word documents home so that he can work on them there. He uses Word 2007 at work and Word 2016 at home. When he opens one of the work documents at home, it is shown as read-only and in compatibility mode. (It is a DOC file, not a DOCX file.) When he makes changes, he then needs to save the document under a different name because of the read-only status. Jack doesn't understand why the document is opening as read-only; he wants to save the document without changing the name.
There are a number of reasons why this could be happening, so you'll need to engage in a bit of trial-and-error to figure out what the problem is in your particular case.
It is possible that your home copy of Word 2016 (or a later version) is a bit suspicious about files on temporary storage devices, such as a USB drive. Copy the file from your USB drive to your desktop and see if that makes a difference in how Word opens the file. If it does, then you should check in Word's Trust Center to set up your USB drive as a "Trusted Location." You can get to the proper place in the Trust Center by following these steps:
At this point you can use the controls in the dialog box to set up the USB drive as a trusted location.
If you are transferring your files to home by using a CD-ROM, then the problem is that they are marked as read-only when they are written to the medium. The only solution is to copy them to your computer (off of the CD-ROM) and then use Windows to change the file properties so they aren't read-only. Word should then recognize the new file status and allow you to save using the same file name.
A similar problem may occur if you get the files to your home computer via e-mail. Some e-mail programs mark attachments (like the Word document you are editing) as read-only. Or, it could be possible that your security settings in Windows are trying to protect you against suspicious "downloaded" files and ends up marking them as read-only.
Another thing to check is your virus checker program. If you have one on your system—particularly one that was recently updated—it may be possible that the problem is caused by the virus checker examining the document file as you are working on it. To check this out you'll need to get out of Word completely, turn off virus protection, and then restart Word.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10601) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.
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