How-To Geek

Save and Restore Your Microsoft Office Settings

How many times have you migrated to a new computer and lost all the little settings in Word or Excel that you had finally tweaked perfectly?

The good news is that you can easily save and restore your Microsoft Office settings and even transfer them to another computer.

To open the wizard, go to Start \ Programs \ Microsoft Office \ Microsoft Office Tools \ Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard.


Check Save the settings from this machine and click next.

In this window decide where you want to store the settings by typing in the direct path or Browsing to the location.  Windows will save all of your settings to a single file.  Remember where you save this file for when you want to recover your settings.  Click on Finish.

While Windows gathers all of your Office settings the progress bar will pop up.

Once the backup is completed you will get the following verification screen.  If everything looks correct click Exit.

If you are migrating to a new machine, it would be a good idea to save the file onto a flash drive, or somewhere easily accessible from the new computer.

To restore the settings you will go to your new computer (which should already have Office installed), open the same wizard and select “Restore previously saved settings to this machine”.  This is why it is a good idea to write down where you saved the settings if on a network.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 05/6/07

Comments (53)

  1. Neut

    That’s the beauty of this site. It also reminds me of the tweaks I used to know, but forgot about. Thanks HTG!

  2. Scott Hansen

    Is there a way to do this in the new Office 2007.

  3. AMDZen

    Can anyone tell me the path for the actual executable? Maybe I deleted the shortcut but its not in my Office Tools folder, and its tough to find it in program folders

  4. The Geek


    [edit] I have not used the wizard in 2007, but I read that it was removed? Here’s some alternatives if that’s the case:

    Windows User State Migration Tool

    You could also use Vista Easy Transfer, but I don’t think that’s an actual backup.

  5. The Geek


    The shortcut isn’t a normal shortcut, so you can’t just run the executable version. Your best bet is to repair the office install and make sure to put the shortcut back.

    I made a copy of my shortcut… not sure if it will work for you.

  6. USC Trojan

    What does it save, especially for Outlook – does it save email accounts and their settings (reply-to, remove from server, etc.) and what about outlook mail filter rules?

  7. Megumi

    Does this work for Office 2007?

  8. mysticgeek


    To my knowledge there is no Office 2007 Save My Settings Wizard. If your running 2007 on Vista you can use

    Vista’s Easy transfer wizard or the User State Migration Tool 3.0

    I am searching for a work around if 2007 is installed on XP. Perhaps one of our readers has a suggestion?

  9. jebus

    is there a way to bring back the office 2003 look and feel? everything has been changed around in 2007.

  10. mysticgeek


    There is a way to do this via third party software. I just saw some this week on Digg I think.

    I have not found a way to do it within Office native settings.

    I would imagine with some more time there will be some open source tweaking software …

  11. prakash

    good site

  12. marc handler

    I just tried to use the method above to save my settings for MSWord 2003, but it did not work. I customized the tool bars, then ran the wizard, but the wizard requires you to turn off MS Word. As soon as you turn it off, the customization is lost . When I re-open word, the customization is gone and the toolbars have returned to their default settings. When I try to restore from the wizard, the same thing happens: customization gone, default settings returned.

    In the past, when I customized MSWord, it remembered the customization automatically, so the next time I opened the program, my custom toolbars were still there, but now it will not remember. Each time I open word, it has returned to its default settings.

    Any advice or fixes?


  13. mysticgeek


    The “Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard” is meant to be used for transferring your settings if you were to change computers or replace your Hard Drive.

    As for the problem your experiencing, there could be several factors involved. You might want to try a repair install. Pop in your Office 2003 disc and select Repair Installation as an option.

  14. Lindsey

    Has anyone ever had troubles with this feature before? I have been using it to back up my autocorrect settings and macros for the past year and have been extremely happy with it, as my work depends on having these autocorrect settings at my fingertips. However I just tried to do a restore with my backup of my saved settings (OPS) file and I get the following error message: “The OPS file cannot be read by the wizard. For more information, see the proflwiz.hlp file.” I checked this file out and can’t figure out why it’s not working, and am getting pretty desperate at this point because my work really depends on these settings which I thought I had done a great job of backing up! I even tried an earlier version of the file and still the same problem.

    Any ideas, or has anyone encountered this before??

    Thanks so much in advance,

  15. dorita baddams

    I have accidently removed my microsoft windows word and excel, I have microsoft xp how do I restore

  16. Brady

    Yeah, Lindsey I got the same message and am wandering how to fix it. I was using Microsoft Office 2003 and am now using Microsoft Office XP so that may be the problem, are you using the same version of Office?

  17. Amber

    I am having problem with my MS Office 2003. I had MS 2003 professional for the last year and had prbelms so I thought I could just install the Student/Teacher version of MS Office 2003 onto my computer. I did everything that I was supposed to do and it did install. the problem is that I did not realize that I probably should have deleted the other version before installing the student version. So I went back in and deleted the Professional version. Now none of my Shortcuts are working. The Start button Shortcuts do not work wither. I have to go into my Programs Files and open Office and then select one of the programs to run.

    I have tried to repair the 2003 student Office and checked enable shortcuts, but this does not work. I have tried to send the shortcuts to the Desk Top and this does not work. I am at a loss here. Does anyone know how to get my shortcuts to worka again???

  18. Amber

    Sorry for all the spelling errors. I should have proof read before I sent it… :(

  19. mysticgeek


    Have you tried starting out fresh? Meaning… Do a complete uninstall of 2003 student Office. Make sure there are no lingering after files from the install too… by going into C:\program files and making sure there are no office files or folders. Then do a search of your C:\ drive type in Office and search… making sure there are no lurking office files anywhere….
    Now install Student Edition …
    2003 Pro to student edition is a downgrade so I am thinking you have kind of a mess going on with the files on the hard drive. In fact you might want to do a disk defrag before re installing student edition…

  20. Phani Raj

    I just upgraded from Offiece 2000 to Office 2003 and (stupid of me) did not store any of my email files in the personal folder. (I know I should have exported it to a .pst file). Is there any way of restoring or copying the information from the previous version (I did not delete any of the “resotre” files when the machine said it was storing it in a 270 MB disk space — I donot know where).

    Can you please help in resuurecting these files. In the SEARCH for a *.pst file, it came out and said there was no file with that name anywhere in my C drive.

  21. BinkieB

    Before running a search for *.pst files, make sure you can see hidden files:
    Open My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View
    Put a checkmark next to Show Hidden Files and Folders > OK
    Click on Search
    Type: *.pst in the name box, Look In the C: drive, and make sure under “More Advanced” options you check “Search Hidden Files & Folders”
    Now click on SEARCH

  22. Kenny

    Can the “Save my settings wizard” be used by an admin to restore other users Office Settings? In other word, does this only save the settings for the user who is currently logged in?

  23. xrayon

    Will this wizard work for transferring autocomeplete data from MS Office on a windows machine to MS Office on a mac?

  24. mike

    so when i delete in the middle of a sentance it totally deletes everything.. like the last time i used it.. it worked fine. but today i was doing some work and i was doing some editing and i couldnt edit because every time i tried to add a word in the middle of a sentance it took the whole next word and just added this word on top of it.. im so lost..


  25. SJ

    I recently migrated to a new computer (Dell to Lenovo). I have a legit copy of Office 2003, but can not find the original disk (education copy bought from Walmart 1 year ago). I have all the info on my Dell, (product code, etc). Called Microsoft, and they said that they could send a replacement copy to me ($29.00 total including shipping). I ordered the copy, and they accepted. Is there a way to get the copy off my old computer? I am sure that once MS sends the disc, I will find my old copy. There must be some way to retrieve off my old computer…..can anyone help?

  26. Nicole

    My Vista OS has been corrupted for the third or fourth time in less than a year, and I’m really sick of having to manually re-enter my Office 2007 options.
    Can anyone tell me what directory the options are stored in so I can retrieve the settings through linux?

  27. Ryan

    I’ve created an OSP file from Office 07 – but I want to find a way for Office to automatically restore the settings from there when it’s installed, perhaps by creating an MSP file from it and putting it in the Updates folder.

    Any ideas how?

  28. Ryan

    Ok I actually used the 2003 wizard (upgraded to 07 so it was still there).

    From the Office11 folder there is an INI file that tells the 2003 wizard what to backup. You could change the INI file to backup Office 2007 settings instead – or you could just export the HKLM\Software\Mircosoft\Office\12 area and try that – I will be experimenting with these ideas now.

  29. Chalawah

    @ Ryan


    I experimented with using the 2003 Save Settings Wizzard on Office 2007 installed on XP Home.

    I installed Office 2007.

    I then used the Office 2003 cd to custom install the 2003 Save Settings Wizzard.

    I could run the 2003 Save Settings Wizzard and save settings from Office 2007.

    ——-these needs further testing and I am sorry to say I am unable to test further due to some other projects I am working on.

    One thing I did note was that with 2003 Save Settings Wizzard installed with Office 2007 I was additionallly offered Office 2003 updates [all of them] in addition to Office 2007 updates…..I chose to manually accept just the Office 2007 updates and this seemed to work.

    Like I said, it would be great if somone could test this method further…unfortunately I haven’t the time and had to uninstall Office 2007 and reinstall Office 2003 due to work constraints.

    It would be great to hear from any one testing this further.

    Go well,


  30. Ryan

    Yes – I have been getting a stack of Office 03 updates being pushed down from our WSUS server which is a tad annoying.

    I’ll be uninstall and reinstalling Office a few times making sure that my custom made MSP file applies all the right settings without leaving anything.

    I also extracted all the msp files from the SP1.exe file for O-2007 – which is causing BSODs for my profile when I restart (only when connected to our network). All other profiles login fine on the network – and mine logs in when offline. So I’m trying to find the lause of that since it’s happened on 2 PCs now.

  31. radegonda

    Hi all,

    why not TEST Office 03-07 on a virtual machine ?
    I installed 07 with success on the VM ! Testing puropose. using office 03 on main PC ! just copy the HDD of the VM and make another computer (if test fails). Our servers work virtually (7 virtual on 2 physical Machines).

    I just leave this message, because I needed to know why in my Office 2007 there is no restore my settings wizzard/prog. I wanted to test mutiple pop-accounts on 1 Outlook-account (which works fine in 2003).

    The test concerns the messages when sending only 1 mail, it says in the status-bar: “1 of 3 messages sent” then “2 of 3” and then “3 of 3” !
    while it’s only checking 1 of 3 accounts , then 2 of 3 and 3 of 3 accounts (not mails). My manager was concerned about security that when he sends 1 message office 2007 sends 3 !!!

    I’ll be glad to hear others having same problem.

    Cheers, R.

  32. Parker

    I think this is what you are all looking for.

    Office 2007 Settings Backup Wizard for XP and Vista by Computer Network Consultants, LLC.

    Free and Easy: Choose save location, click Backup or Restore. Done.
    Saves Macros, Stationary, Templates, AddIns, Signatures, Dictionaries and more.

    Best Regards,

  33. Vince

    How do I restore windows word settings? Somehow the margins have been changed perminently and I cannot get them back to the standard 8.5 X 11 format.

  34. Simon

    Parker- great man. This is what we need. It sometimes baffles me as to why MS delete some of the most useful aspects of their softwarem that aid so many of us, when the “upgrade”.
    Cheers again


  35. Simon

    I had to change my Motherboard and thus had to do a clean install. I do have a backup of the old installation that I can acess though Ghost. Is there a folder for the office 2007 setting that I can just go and copy the settings?

  36. Taylor

    Ok, here’s one. Using Word 2003. Changed the default file location for my clipart…so that it went to a particular folder instead of the last folder I was accessing. Is there anyway to restore it to point to the last folder I was accessing? It seems my options are limited…I can delete or reset to original settings.

  37. Chyval

    I accidentally delected microsoft office 2007 from my laptop. Am vista ultimate. Can someone please help. I will be grateful.


  38. sum1

    After alot of trial and error, I figured out how Office 2007 saves the customized Quick Access Toolbar in Windows XP. Note that I’m only talking about the TOOLBAR menu settings in excel, word and powerpoint, and NOT the internal options settings in those programs. So the toolbars for Excel, Word, PowerPoint 2007 are each saved in a separate “.QAT” file (stands for Quick Access Toolbar), in the following directory on Windows XP:

    C:\Documents and Settings\(User Name)\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office

    The files you need are: Excel.qat, PowerPoint.qat, Word.qat.

    FYI, the Local Settings folder is hidden by default on WinXP.
    To backup your toolbar settings, just save a copy of these files. I tested the Excel.qat by copying it from one computer to another (same directory), and I got my custom toolbar.

    On Vista I’m not sure where those files are stored, but you can just search for .QAT files on C drive. Make sure you include “hidden” files in your search.

  39. roraima5

    Hi sum1:

    You are the only person who has definitively answered a simple question I had:

    Where does Microsoft store the Quick Access Toolbars?

    Thanks for specifically listing the exact path. It is a pity that your answer does not come up at the top of the search for this topic.

    Once again, thanks a million!!!

  40. Prashanth

    You made my day! The Issue got resolved.

  41. Priya

    I was trying to convert files and i acciedntally changed microsoft office 2003 to the 2007 version, but i never bought that version so it was completley useless. So i uninstalled the 2007 version but now I canot access microsoft office. I need to get the 2003 Microsoft Office version back!!! What do I do? PLEASE HELP

  42. cly

    how to restore the file i save in a Microsoft word if the computer is restart, & all the file is gone?

  43. Chad

    I recently installed Microsoft Office 2007. When I save the files as 2007 documents my computer does not recognize them but it can still open the files as 2007 documents. what can I do to correct this problem?

  44. Chad

    Please someone email me with a solution to the previolsy mentioned comment

  45. Ken G.

    I recently deleted all the stuff in my recycle bin. Somehow it took
    Lookout 2007 e-mail with it. I really need to recover 2007 Office
    Lookout since it has many important e-mail address in it and e-mails.

    Any suggestions how to get it back and working again.

    Thanks, Ken

  46. Erik

    Hi All,

    I installed Office 2007 and want to use the settings of 2003.

    I Did it by copying “PROFLWIZ.EXE” from the 2003 and running it on the 2007 machine. I pointed it to the settings file (.ops) and all my email accounts and outlook rules where there!

  47. סדרן

    חברה יש לי בעיה בEXCEL שלי אני לוחץ אחד עובר ל 00.1 אני צריך 1 שיופיע אחד
    בעיה שניה שאם אני ארצה לעבור ממרובע למרובע במקלדת לא מצליח מקודם עבד לי עכשיו רק באמצעות עכבר
    מישהו מבין בזה?

  48. Heinz

    Is there a way to save settings in Office 2010. I can’t find a “Save my Settings Wizard” in 2010, as you’ve described for 2003.

  49. tjb1959

    How about moving from my old pc with Office 2003 to my new Laptop with Office 2010? Can I still use the “Save my settings” wizard in MSO2003 and import them into 2010 without any adverse effects on my Outlook 2010?

  50. Mary

    How do I restore windows word settings? Somehow the margins have been changed perminently and I cannot get them back to the standard 8.5 X 11 format.
    Did you ever get an answer to this question? I have the same problem and really need to get my margins back to normal. Please let me know. Thanks.

  51. Teresa

    My computer is on the fritz, it will start and stop without notice. If i try to shut down the computer, within minutes it will start flashing both green lights. I do not have a hard copy of my Microsoft Ulitmate 2007, stupid me for not buying that, but…Is there a way to copy/backup my program to transfer to new computer when I get it? Also same for Microsoft Money Plus?

  52. Little-Matt

    I have been looking for just such a solution for several years now. I don;t believe there is a native way to do it.
    Attempting to use the proflwiz.exe to restore under 2010 killed Outlook.
    Not a satisfactory result.

  53. prem

    my system excell.2003 was not working condition, how to rectify it?

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