How to Change Default Save Location in Word

Want to save new Word documents in the favorite folder of your choice? Here is how to change the default save location in Word.

Like any application, Word lets you save a document with just a few clicks. In fact, I’ve written a detailed guide on saving Word documents in two different ways. i.e., locally and in OneDrive. In general, saving Word files is a pretty painless process.

While saving a Word document, it automatically selects a folder as the default save location. Generally, the default save folder for Word is either the Documents folder in the Windows user’s home folder or a folder in OneDrive online. You can easily browse and select any folder to save the document when needed. For example, if you want to save the Word document in D drive, you can choose it from the Save window.

Though the Word application chooses a default folder for you, either locally or online, not everyone uses it. After all, we all have our preferred locations and folders to save files. In that case, changing the default save location in Word is pretty helpful. After all, doing so will eliminate the need to select a folder every time you are saving a Word file.

Why change the default save folder in Word?

Changing the default save location in Word to your preferred folder not only improves your workflow but can also be a considerable time saver depending on how extensively you use Word. For example, you don’t have to manually browse and select a folder.

So, without further ado, let us see how to change the default save location to your favorite folder in Word in simple and easy steps.

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Pin preferred folder as the default save location in Word

While saving a Word document, you can pin your preferred folder as the default save location in the “Save the file” dialog box. It is one of the easiest ways to change the default save folder in Word. Here is how to do it in simple and easy steps.

  1. Open the Word app and create a document.
  2. Press the “Ctrl + S” to open the Save dialog.
  3. Click on the “Choose a location” dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the preferred folder.
  5. Select the “Set as default location” option.
  6. Click the “Save” button at the bottom.
  7. With that, you have successfully changed the default save location in Word.

Detailed steps with screenshots and additional information:

First, open the Word application and create a new document. You can do that by selecting the “Blank document” option in the main Word screen. After creating the document, press the “Ctrl + S” shortcut to open the Save dialog box.

Click on the “Choose a location” dropdown menu in the Save dialog box. It shows a list of previously used folders. See if you can find your preferred folder in this dropdown if. If you can, ignore the next couple of steps.

If you cannot find your preferred folder, we need to add it to the list. For that, scroll down the dropdown menu and click on the “More Locations” button.

Now, select “This PC” or “OneDrive,” select a folder of your choice and click the “Save” button in the Save As window. After that, create a new file in Word and press the “Ctrl + S” shortcut again to open the Save dialog box.

Here, right-click on the folder of your choice in the list and click the “Set as default location” option. In my case, I’m pinning Desktop as the default save location.

pin preferred folder to change save location in word

As soon as you do that, the selected folder will be the preferred save location in Word. From now, when saving a document in Word, it will automatically select the pinned folder as the default save location. Of course, you can choose another folder as and when needed.

default save folder changed in word

Change default save folder in Word settings

As I said earlier, Word sets the user’s Documents folder as the default save folder. You can change the default save location in Word directly from its Settings when needed. Here is how to do it in simple and easy steps.

  1. Create a new document in Word.
  2. Click the “File” option on the top bar.
  3. Click “Options” on the sidebar.
  4. Go to the “Save” tab on the Settings sidebar.
  5. Click “Browse” next to the “Default save location” field.
  6. Select the folder of your choice.
  7. Click the “Ok” button to confirm the new folder.
  8. Press the “Ok” button in the main settings window.
  9. (Optional) Select the “Save to computer by default” checkbox.
  10. With that, you’ve changed the default local save folder.

Exact steps with screenshots and additional information:

First, create a new Word document. Next, click the “File” option on the Ribbon bar. This action opens the File options page. Here, click on the “Options” option on the sidebar. Depending on your screen size, you might have to select “More > Options.”

click the file option
click options

The above action will open the Word settings window. As you can guess, you can change and configure Word functionality from the Settings window. Click the “Save” tab on the sidebar.

Click the “Browse” button next to the “Default save location” field.

click browse to select a default save folder in word

Choose a folder of your choice and click the “Ok” button to confirm the selection.

select a folder of your choice

(Optional) Select the “Save to computer by default” checkbox. It will make sure the documents are always saved on your computer. i.e., offline and not in OneDrive.

Finally, click the “Ok” button to save changes.

change default save folder in word

That is it. From now on, Word will save files to the new default location.

Remember that the pinned save location in the “Save this file” dialog will override the default save location selected in the Word settings. Word will only use the location when the pinned save folder is unavailable or not using OneDrive to save files.

That is all. It is that simple to change the save location in Word in Windows.

Word Save Location FAQ

Can I change the save location in Word?

Yes, you can it from the Word Settings window. Open the Word Options, go to the Save tab, and type the new folder location in the “Default local file location” field. Once you do that, you might have to restart the Word application to apply changes.

Can I use OneDrive as the save location in Word?

Yes, you can use OneDrive as the save location. Just set the default save location to your OneDrive folder and you are good to go. There is no need for any special steps.

Are old files automatically moved to the new location?

No, you have to manually move them to the new location. Since they are just Word documents, it should be that hard. Keep in mind that when you move files, you might no longer see them in the Recent Documents section until you open them in Word the next time.

I hope this simple and easy Word how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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