Microsoft Word logo with an arrow pointing at OneDrive logo

Some of our most painful Microsoft Word memories involve losing hours of work because we forgot to save our documents. You no longer need to worry about that because Word lets you automatically save documents to Microsoft OneDrive.

If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you get 1TB of free OneDrive storage along with the Microsoft Office suite of apps. You can put that storage to good use by storing your Word documents there, allowing you to enable autosave for all of your documents, too. We’re going to show you how to stop worrying about losing Word documents once and for all.

RELATED: How to Create, Edit, and View Microsoft Word Documents for Free

AutoSave Word Documents to OneDrive

Before we go ahead with this method, you need to ensure that a couple of basic things are in place. This method only works if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription. It works with both the individual and family plans, but not if you have purchased a single-use license for Office.

RELATED: What Is Microsoft 365?

You also need to open both the Word and OneDrive apps on your computer and make sure that you’re logged in with your Microsoft account. When you log in to OneDrive, the app will walk you through a quick setup process. Be aware that you need to have an active internet connection to set up OneDrive and ensure that documents are being saved and synced automatically.

Once you’ve done this, open Microsoft Word and create a new document by clicking the “File” button.

Next, select “New” in the left pane.

Now, choose “Blank Document,” or any template from the list that shows up on the right-hand side. This will open a new document in Word.

You’ll see a button called “AutoSave” at the top of the Word window. Click the toggle next to “AutoSave” and make sure that it’s set to “On.”

Word will prompt you to select the folder where your files are saved automatically. Choose “OneDrive.”

Name your document, and Word will save the file in the Documents folder in OneDrive.

You have to manually save the document just once at the beginning, and Microsoft Word will take care of the rest. This method also allows you to pick up your work on other devices, so if you want to start writing on your desktop computer and then switch to your smartphone or laptop, you can easily do that as long as Office and OneDrive are set up on the other devices.

RELATED: How to Change Microsoft Office's Default Save Location on Windows 10

Save Word Documents to a Different OneDrive Folder

If you want to organize your Microsoft Word files thoroughly, you can create different folders in OneDrive and save these files there. Here’s what you need to do.

Open any Word document and then click “File.”

Select “Save a Copy.”

Choose the “OneDrive” option in the Save a Copy section.

You will see the location of your document at the top. This will be something like OneDrive > Documents. To change this, click “New Folder” and name the folder.

Select the folder that you just created.

Click the “Save” button.

If you wish to go back to the previous folder, select the up arrow icon at the top.

This is when Microsoft Word will automatically start saving your document every few seconds, so the risk of losing your work will be minimized. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you don’t have anything to worry about.

To check where your document is being saved, open up the file and click its name in the top bar.

You’ll now see the file name and its location listed there.

The location of your saved Word file

If you’d rather save Microsoft Word documents locally, we have you covered.

RELATED: How to Save Office Documents to This PC by Default

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Pranay Parab has been a technology journalist for over 10 years, during which time he's written well over 500 tutorials, and covered everything from social media apps to enterprise software. Beyond How-To Geek, he's also written for Lifehacker and spearheaded the tutorials section at Gadgets 360, India's most popular technology blog.
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