Microsoft Word logo.

Microsoft Office wants you to save your documents to online locations like OneDrive or SharePoint. That’s the default in applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Here’s how to change the default save location back Documents or another folder on “This PC.”

These instructions apply to the latest versions of Microsoft Office on Windows 10, whether you have an Office 365 subscription or you purchased a package like Office 2019.

To get started, open an Office application like Microsoft Word if it isn’t already open. Click the “File” menu at the top-left corner of the application’s window.

Opening the File menu in Microsoft Word.

Click the “Options” link at the bottom-left corner of the window. (If you’ve just opened an application like Word and you’re prompted to start a new document from a template or open an existing document, you can just click “Options” immediately without clicking “File” First.)

Opening the Options window in Microsoft Word.

Select the “Save” category on the left side of the window. Under Save documents, enable the “Save to Computer by default” option.

Saving documents to the local computer by default in Microsoft Word.

Office will save your documents to your user account’s Documents folder by default. This is generally C:\Users\NAME\Documents\.

If you’d like to change the default folder, you can select a new location by clicking “Browse” to the right of “Default File Location.”

Choosing a default save folder for documents in Microsoft Word.

When you’re done, click “OK” to save your changes.

Clicking the OK button to save your changes in Word's options window.

With this option enabled, Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will save documents to “This PC” by default.

Office's save dialog with your documents folder selected by default.

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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