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How to Change the Default Save Location in Office 2013

Posted by Jim Tanous on April 19, 2015

Microsoft encourages users to save their work in OneDrive by making it the default save location in Office 2013. This is handy if you regularly use OneDrive to backup and sync your files, but for those who use other online services, or those who prefer to save their files locally, it’s annoying and inefficient to have to deselect OneDrive each time you try to save a file, and instead manually navigate to your save location of choice. Thankfully, this problem can be easily solved by setting a new default save location in Office 2013 settings.
Note that the steps described here are unique to each major Office app, so you’ll need to repeat these steps in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint if you want all three apps to save to the same new default location. However, by maintaining separate settings for each app, it makes it easy to set different default save locations depending on your workflow; for example, saving all Word documents to your local user documents folder, and saving all Excel files to a network location shared with the Accounting department. For our screenshots, we’re using Word 2013, but the steps are the same for Excel and PowerPoint.
First, launch your Office 2013 app and open an existing document, or create a new document. With the document open and viewable, find and click File in the top-left portion of the window.
microsoft word file menu
This will launch what Microsoft calls the Office “Backstage“, which lets you open existing documents, create new documents, and access important feature such as print and export settings. Locate the Options button at the bottom of the list on the left.
microsoft word options
In the Options window, select Save from the list of options on the left. This reveals a number of save-related settings and preferences. To remove OneDrive as the default save location, find and check the box labeled Save to Computer by Default. This will tell Word, Excel, or PowerPoint that you want your documents to be saved to your computer, or a network-attached volume, instead of an online service like OneDrive. The default save location is your user Documents folder.
microsoft office change default save location
If the user Documents folder works for you, then you’re all set. If, however, you’d prefer to set a custom save location, click the Browse button next to the Default Local File Location box and navigate to the desired location on your PC. When you’ve made your selection, click OK to save it, and OK again to close the Options window. You’ll now need to quit and restart Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in order for the change to take effect, so manually save any open documents and close your Office apps.
After reopening Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, any new save commands will select the location on your PC that you identified in the Options window by default. Of course, you can still save to OneDrive or any other location on your PC, but you’ll need to manually navigate to these locations in the Office Save window. Therefore, to maximize efficiency, make sure you set your most-used save location in Office 2013 settings, ensuring that, most of the time, all you have to do is click “Save” to place your document in its intended location.

5 thoughts on “How to Change the Default Save Location in Office 2013”

Nan says:
My SAVE location default is a folder on my desktop, and this is what shows in my doc properties for SAVE, yet all my backup copies are being saved in the same folder as the document itself.
What I’d really love is to set a save location by folder. For example, all Word backups to be saved to my desktop when the original document is in THIS folder, but save backups to Dropbox when the originals are in ANOTHER folder.
In any case, I can’t even get the simple case to work. It always saves the backup in the same folder as the original. If the original folder location crashes, there go all my backups as well.
:<
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Mallikarjuna Kaveti says:
I couldnt find much help online and I ran out of time searching.
So, in the Save As dialog window you can find the folder browsing pane on the left. Right click on the Favorite folder (Dont left click first) and choose the option “Add current locations to Favorites”. Doing so will add a shortcut of the location you are in. So first browse to the location and then try the steps above.
Hope this helps
-Malli
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Eric Johnson says:
Any way just to have Excel go straight to Browse? I have multiple folder locations for saving data and this new Save As dialog just makes it harder by not defaulting straight to Browse like all past Office applications.
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Caleb says:
Thanks!!!
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willow mouse says:
Is there a way to set the default Sharepoint address when saving? We have O365 and ours opens this by default when saving a document in Office:
>> https:// contoso.sharepoint.com/
However I want it to open:
>> https:// contoso.sharepoint.com/ sites/rdd/NewProductDevelopment
Given the way it’s set up (not by me and I don’t know how normal this is with limited experience with Sharepoint) there’s no way to navigate where I want to go from the root, so you have to manually type “/sites/rdd/NewProductDevelopment” to get there.
Is this possible? I exclusively use this area of Sharepoint:
>> https:// contoso.sharepoint.com/ sites/rdd/NewProductDevelopment
so have zero need to ever go any further up the tree.
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John Nash says:
Wouldn’t mind doing this myself. Ever hear back from them?
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