Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Saving Your Work Automatically.

Saving Your Work Automatically

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


We've all done it. You're working along for several hours on a document, when suddenly the power goes out. Or you kick the reset button on your computer, or your three-year-old pulls the power cord out of the wall. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that you lost the past couple of hours of work. Many things spring to mind at a time like this. Most of them can't be printed in a nice, family-oriented newsletter like this. But hopefully you learned a lesson when this happened to you.

Word allows you to protect yourself by automatically saving your work for you. To set the automatic saving feature, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Save tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Click on the Save AutoRecover Info Every check box. The number 10 appears in the Minutes box.
  5. Adjust the Minutes box to reflect how often you want Word to save your document. You can select values between 1 minute and 120 minutes.
  6. Click on OK.

When designating an AutoSave frequency, you should probably not select a time under 10 minutes. More frequent saves can waste time and become counterproductive.

You should also note that AutoSave does not really save your file. What it does is to save information that Word can use to try to recover your file if Word stops unexpectedly.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1009) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Saving Your Work Automatically.

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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