Making Save As Display the Save As Dialog Box

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 8, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


David notes that in earlier versions of Word, when you selected "Save As" you immediately got the Save As dialog box, which defaulted to the current folder, but allowed you to select a folder and a file type before clicking Save. In the latest versions of Word, after clicking "Save A Copy," you have to click on the "More Options" link after the file type selector (or on the path name above the document name) to get to this dialog box. David wonders if there is any way to have "Save As," once again, directly display the Save As dialog box.

There are a few ways you can go about this. First, you can change how you initiate "Save As." The quickest way to do so is to simply press F12, which fortunately still brings up the classic Save As dialog box. (This is my preferred method of saving the current document under a new name or in a new location.)

You might also try these steps to implement a configuration change:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click Options at the bottom-left side of the screen. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  3. At the left side of the dialog box click Save. Word changes the settings available in the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Save options in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Don't Show the Backstage when Open or Saving Files option.
  6. Select the Save to Computer by Default option.
  7. Click OK.

This should instruct Word to not show any of the areas that David finds problematic, opting instead to show the traditional Save As dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13685) applies to Microsoft Word 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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 1 + 1?

2024-04-10 09:38:16


Whichever combination of the three options I check (all, none, 2 of 3) I still always get the Backstage view NOT the Save as dialog!!!
Guess I just need to remember the shortcut F12

2024-04-08 07:34:51

HS Noble

Adding the Save As (F12) command to the Ribbon is another solution.

2023-12-03 12:21:03


In the latest version of Word (as of Dec. 2023), I had to check "Don't Show the Backstage" and uncheck "Show Additional Places for Saving," which took care of both of the unnecessary additional steps that were bothering me. Hope this helps somebody!

2022-09-23 08:21:19


I think 4. should be "Check the Don't show the Backstage...".

I got further frustrated when this page didn't provide the solution - then I decided to try checking that box also, since it wasn't already checked and sounded like what I wanted. I have both "Don't show..." and "Save to Computer..." checked now and, OMG, my sanity won't be taking such constant hits anymore.

2022-09-14 11:37:00


F12, clutch. Thanks

2022-04-19 04:10:15


@Ed Nelson: Why not save the templates in DOTX/DOTM format, that way whenever you open the document template, you'll have to save it with a new name in the preferred location. Alternatively, if you are forced to use DOCX formats, mark the file as Read-Only and then you won't be able to save any changes to the template and will have to save it with a new name in a preferred location.

2022-04-18 18:20:55

Ed Nelson

The third time I used "F12" to bring up "Save As" dialog, Windows saved my changes to the 3rd version to my original file.

I've read elsewhere Windows Autosave changes the behavior of "Save As" and "Save a Copy" to overwrite the original file.

Many years ago I used "Save As" to use documents as DeFacto templates. "Save As" and autosave did not modify your original file.

I am so confused. I have lost > 10 hours of work by unintentionally overwriting files with "Save a Copy" and/or Windows autosave.

Can you point me to a Youtube video that explains and demonstrates how to use "Save a Copy" in Word 2016 to:
1) Ooen an existing file,
2) Save a copy of the file to a new name or location WITHOUT modifying the original file?


2022-03-28 14:10:49


This tip didn't help me, also my F12 button on my home keyboard is not functioning, so I resorted to setting up the shortcut key Alt+F, A to the SaveAs dialog box and it works perfectly.

2021-12-08 11:10:20


Thank you so much - this irritating feature (which I hadn't asked for) was driving me mad!

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