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:
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.
The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!
Some versions of Word allow you to resize your Preview Pane, others do not. Here is how to make your view larger.Discover More
At some point you may want to insert one Word document inside another Word document. An easy way to do this is to use the ...Discover More
Each day of using Word is filled with opening documents, editing them, and then saving those changes to disk. So it can be ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.