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: Making Backup Copies.

Making Backup Copies

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 25, 2017)

By default, Word does not make backup copies of your files. Instead, the old file is deleted after the new file is written to disk. Other word processors typically provide backup files by default. If you want Word to provide backup files, 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 Always Create Backup Copy, so there is a check mark in the check box.
  5. Click on OK.

Backup files are saved with a filename extension of WBK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1250) 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: Making Backup Copies.

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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