Can't Use AutoRecover with a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 9, 2013)

Rusty has a file saved on the local hard drive and has Word set up to save AutoRecover files periodically. He can open the document and modify it, but when the time comes for Word to automatically save an AutoRecover file, the program displays an error message stating the file couldn't be saved because it is in use by another user or process. Rusty has killed all the processes he can, there is no network connection, there are no other users, and nothing is running on the computer except Word.

There are a few things you can check out, which means it is time to do some trial-and-error testing. First, you may want to go grab a utility that can tell you what process or program has your document locked. This is one (Process Explorer) recommended by our readers:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Chances are good, of course, that you'll only discover what you already know—Word has the file locked. If that is the case, then Word is obviously confused. It could be that there is something "funky" with the internal format of the Word document, meaning that it is on the edge of full-blown corruption. Try saving the document under a different name and then using the newly saved document for future editing.

If the problem persists, it may be that the file path used by AutoRecover has become corrupted in some way. Run your Windows diagnostics, outside of Word, to check the hard drive for any errors. Then, within Word, change the file location settings so that AutoRecover uses a different path in which to store its files.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6687) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Drop-Shadows to Paragraphs

Drop shadows are a style of paragraph border used to enhance the visual impact of a paragraph. They are also a great way to ...

Discover More

Making Revisions

You've turned on Highlight Changes, but how do you know what has been changed? This tip explains how Excel displays those ...

Discover More

Only Showing the Maximum of Multiple Iterations

When you recalculate a worksheet, you can determine the maximum of a range of values. Over time, as those values change, you ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Saving Information in a Non-Document Text File

Need to store some information in a plain text file? It's easy to do when you use a macro.

Discover More

Opening a Document as Read-Only in Windows Explorer

Here's a little trick to help you open a Word document as read-only from within Explorer.

Discover More

Problems Opening Documents from Explorer

Windows Explorer is a great way to browse through the files available on your system. If you see a document file you want to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.