Weird Document Numbers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 30, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Each time Ray starts Word, he gets a blank document that, in the title bar, shows a document name of "Document1." Lately, though, he's been seeing document names such as "Document986," "Document554," and "Document1281." Ray is not sure what is causing this weird numbering in the document names and he wonders how he can get Word back to the traditional document naming.

The document names such as "Document1," "Document2," etc. are placeholder names. Every time you restart Word, numbering of the documents should again start at 1. Theoretically, if you leave Word running on your system and create a lot of new documents, then eventually you'll get to very large numbers, such as "Document1281." What you should never get, however, is numbers out of sequence, and the sequence always restarts when you restart Word.

If the numbers have no rhyme or reason, then there are a couple of things you can try. First, get out of Word completely and use the search capabilities of Windows to search for ~*.* (that's a tilde followed by asterisk dot asterisk). Take a look at what is returned by Windows, and you can probably safely delete whatever was located.

If you restart Word and find that this did not fix the issue, then you will probably want to repair your installation of Office. You can do so by following the instructions on this page:

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12943) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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What is four more than 4?

2022-07-31 09:13:29

Tony Nixon

This does not work for me at all: it seems to return every file and directory on my PC
even if I enter

"~*.* name:" without the quotes in the search box.

Have I misunderstood something?

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