Finding Where Templates Are Stored

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 28, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


It is unfortunate that Microsoft does not make it easier to modify templates. The first step in modifying templates is to load one, and that means you need to know where they are stored on disk. Regrettably, the average user hasn't a clue where they are stored on disk. The problem is that even Word Help cannot say exactly where the templates folder is on any particular computer.

If you want to know where your templates are stored, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Choose the File Locations tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The File Locations tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. In the File Types list, choose User Templates. If the path for the templates is short enough, you may be able to see it in the dialog box right now. If so, you can skip steps 4 and 5.
  5. Click the Modify button (even though you won't be modifying anything.). Word displays the Modify Location dialog box.
  6. The Look In drop-down list, at the top of the dialog box, contains the current path name used for templates.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (862) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is two more than 7?

2022-06-06 08:19:11



If you say "no idea which version of MS-Word your using," you obviously haven't read the tip. At the very beginning, in the gray box before the title, it says that this tip is for users of Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. A similar notice appears at the very end end of the tip. A notice appears at the top of the right sidebar that informs visitors this is for old versions. In a couple of places there is a link for a version of this tip that applies to newer versions.

So, to fault this for being out of date is to not understand what is being presented and not to understand, even though clearly stated multiple times, that instructions for newer versions are available.

I agree with you that I "really needs to say something" about the version. However, I can't help it if I DO put that information in several places and people don't notice it or don't read it.


2022-06-06 04:57:57


Hey buddy ... no idea which version of MS-Word you're using, but the steps I take to find the location of the templates is nothing like what you've described, and your instructions would only upset a novice.

While the article say update April 2022 ... it looks like a very old version of Word. And that's my concern.

The only similarity I had to the steps I took as compared with your instructions is that I did need to choose "Options" at some point.

You really need to say something like "this little tip works for Word version XX. (Obviously where "XX" is whatever version of Office you're running.)

In Office 365 (and possibly more recent versions, you need to:
- Click "File"
- Click "Options" ... down at the bottom LHS
- Click "Advanced"
- Scroll down quite a bit to "General", and you'll see a button in that section for "File Locations".
Clicking the "File Locations" button shows the one tab that is displayed in your picture above., And yes, you can click on the line "User Templates", and then click "Modify" to see the location.

I'm unsure of whether you're suggesting in your instructions that you can modify the location - that's not clear ... but I certainly can, so anyone trying to find the location might need to take care not to mess it up once they work out where it is.

I hope this helps some poor soul who's lost in MS-Office's ever changing feats of a User Experience.

2018-07-06 06:02:10


I don't know if you noticed this, but "Finding where templates are stored" has a very nice rhythm to it. I'm sorely tempted to caper around our office singing, "Finding where templates are stored, oh my." I didn't want that promotion anyway.

2018-05-02 15:52:26


Choose Options from the Tools menu

Where is the Tools menu? I don't see it in the ribbon at the top. Can't find it when I click File.

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