What to if you’re unable to save Word document

7 minute read
unable to save word document

Home » Fix » What to if you’re unable to save Word document

Microsoft Word is probably one of the best-known text editors on the market, but many users reported that they are unable to save Word document on their PC. This can be a big problem, but today we’ll show you how to fix it properly.

Sometimes you might not be able to save a Word document. This can be a problem, and speaking of Word issues, here are some similar problems that users reported:

  • Can’t save Word document 2016, 2013, 2010 – This issue can occur in almost any version of Word. The problem can be caused by your template file, so be sure to recreate it and check if that solves the issue.
  • Microsoft Word 2016 won’t save documents – This issue can occur due to your add-ins. To fix the problem, be sure to start Word in Safe Mode and disable all add-ins.
  • Unable to save Word document read only, permission error – This issue can occur due to your registry, and in order to fix the problem, you just have to remove certain keys and check if that solves the issue.
  • Not able to save Word document to Desktop – Sometimes you might encounter permission problems while saving Word documents. This is usually caused by your antivirus, so be sure to check its settings or disable it.

Word cannot complete the save due to a file permission issue [FIX]


  1. Start Word in Safe Mode
  2. Rename Normal.dotm template
  3. Disable autocapitalization feature
  4. Check your antivirus software
  5. Disable Controlled Folder Access
  6. Check the save location
  7. Remove the Word Data registry key
  8. Recreate the document

Solution 1 – Start Word in Safe Mode

If you’re unable to save Word document, perhaps the issue is related to one of the add-ins. Word comes with various add-ins by default, and sometimes these add-ins can cause issues to appear. To fix the problem, users are suggesting to start Word in Safe Mode. This is pretty simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Make sure that Word is completely closed.
  2. Locate Word shortcut, press and hold the CTRL key and start Word.
  3. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to start Word in Safe Mode.

After doing that, Word should start in the Safe Mode without any add-ins enabled. Once Word starts, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear in Safe Mode, the problem is most likely related to your add-ins.

You can fix that by finding and disabling the problematic add-ins. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Go to File > Options in Word.
    options can't save word document
  2. Now select Add-ins in the left pane. In the right pane, click the Go button next to Manage COM Add-ins.
    add-ins word can't save word document
  3. Now locate the problematic add-ins and disable them. Usually the problem is related to the Send to Bluetooth Add-in, but others can cause the problem as well.

After you disable the problematic add-ins, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 2 – Rename Normal.dotm template

According to users, sometimes the problem can be caused by your template file. If the default template file is damaged or corrupted, you’ll be unable to save Word document on your PC. However, you can easily recreate the template file on your own. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter %appdata%. Now press Enter or click OK.
    appdate unable to save word document
  2. Navigate to the MicrosoftTemplates In there you should see Normal.dotm file. Rename the file to OldNormal.dotm.
    normal template can't save word document

After doing that, you’ll force Word to recreate the new default template file. Once you recreate the template file, the issue should be resolved completely. Many users reported that this method worked for them, so we encourage you to try it out.


Solution 3 – Disable autocapitalization feature

Sometimes built-in features of Microsoft Word can cause this issue to appear. Apparently, autocapitalization feature can cause this problem in Microsoft Word. If you’re unable to save Word document on your PC, perhaps you should try disabling the autocapitalization feature altogether.

After doing that, check if the problem is resolved. This is just a workaround, but it might work for you, so feel free to try it out.


Solution 4 – Check your antivirus software

bitdefender can't save word document

Sometimes your antivirus software can prevent you from making changes to certain files. To fix the problem, it’s advised that you check your antivirus settings and disable certain features, especially features such as Folder Access or Folder Security.

If disabling these features doesn’t solve the problem, perhaps you can try disabling your antivirus altogether. In case that doesn’t work, try removing your antivirus and check if that helps. If you’re on Windows 10, you should remain protected by Windows Defender even if you remove your third-party antivirus, so there’s no need to worry about your safety. Many users reported issues with Trusteer Rapport and Endpoint Protection software, but bear in mind that other antivirus tools can cause this problem to appear.

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, perhaps this is a perfect time to consider using a different antivirus. There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but if you’re looking for a reliable antivirus that won’t interfere with your system in any way, you should try out Bitdefender.


Solution 5 – Disable Controlled Folder Access

As we previously mentioned, your antivirus can sometimes cause issues with Word. If you’re unable to save Word document on your PC, perhaps the problem is related to Windows Defender. Windows Defender has a built-in folder protection feature, and if this feature is enabled, you won’t be able to save files into certain directories.

To fix this problem, it’s advised that you disable this feature altogether. This is actually quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + I. When Settings app opens, navigate to Update & Security section.
  2. Select Windows Security from the menu on the left. Now choose Open Windows Defender Security Center from the right pane.
    open windows defender word document won't save
  3. Navigate to Virus & threat protection.
    virus and threat protection word document can't save
  4. Now select Virus & threat protection settings.
    protection settings word documents won't save
  5. Scroll down until you reach Controlled folder access section. Click on Manage Controlled folder access option.
    manage folder access word document
  6. Make sure that Controlled folder access feature is disabled.
    folder access disable word document not saving

After making this change, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 6 – Check the save location

According to users, sometimes this problem can occur due to your save location. According to users, Microsoft Word doesn’t work well with long file paths, and if you’re saving your document in a path that is between 180 and 255 characters long, you might encounter this issue.

To fix the problem, it’s advised that you try saving in a different path, closer to the root directory and check if that solves your problem. In addition, be sure to remove any special characters from the file path.

It seems that Word has some issues with special characters such as apostrophes and similar, so be sure not to have them in the file path or in the file name. After making these changes, the problem should be completely resolved.


Solution 7 – Remove the Word Data registry key

According to users, if you’re unable to save Word document on your PC, perhaps the problem is related to your registry. Your registry can cause this issue, and in order to fix it, you just need to remove a single key from it. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. Enter regedit and press Enter or click OK.
    regedit word document won't save
  2. When Registry Editor opens, in the left pane navigate to the following key:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice16.0WordData
      Bear in mind that this key might be slightly different depending on the version of Office you’re using.
  3. Right-click the Data key and choose Export from the menu.
    export registry word document can't save
  4. Select the desired location, enter backup as the File name and click the Save button.
    export window can't save word document
  5. Right-click the Data key and choose Delete from the menu. When the confirmation menu appears, click the Yes button.
    delete registry word document can't save

After doing that, start Word again and check if the problem is still there. If the issue is still present, run the backup.reg file that you created in Step 4 to restore the registry to its original state.


Solution 8 – Recreate the document

If you’re unable to save Word document on your PC, the issue might be related to certain formulas. Many users tend to use various formulas in Word, and sometimes these formulas can cause various issues to occur.

To fix the problem, be sure to select all text in your document and copy it to the clipboard. Now restart Word and open a new document. Paste the contents of the clipboard to the new document and you should be able to save it without issues.

As you can see, there are many issues that can prevent you from saving Word documents, but we hope that you managed to solve this problem after using one of our solutions.

READ ALSO:

Discussions

Next up

Windows 10 deleted Microsoft Office [TECHNICIAN FIX]

Tashreef Shareef avatar. By: Tashreef Shareef
3 minute read

The recent Microsoft Windows updates have been more of a miss than a hit and that has cost several users their personal data files and […]

Continue Reading

Convert colors to a destination document Photoshop error [FIX]

Alexandra Miu avatar. By: Alexandra Miu
2 minute read

Have you ever received this message Are you sure you want to convert colors to a destination document with a color profile that does not […]

Continue Reading

Computer not finding my Cricut [QUICK FIX]

Vladimir Popescu avatar. By: Vladimir Popescu
3 minute read

If you’ve found yourself wondering Why is my computer not finding my Cricut you came to the right place. A good number of users have […]

Continue Reading