Microsoft Office Software

How do I stop Word saving to OneDrive?

Microsoft. Big stompy Microsoft. It’s better behaved than it used to be when Bill Gates sat sneering through court depositions, but it still has its moments. Like its continued efforts to make you use OneDrive. Not fussed about OneDrive? Me neither. So here’s how to stop Word saving to OneDrive by default.

How to stop Word saving to OneDrive

Time needed: 2 minutes.

This is how to stop recent versions of Word (we’ve tested this back to Word 2016) on the PC defaulting to OneDrive every time you hit the Save button.

  1. Open Word’s settings

    Open Word, and create a new document. Click on the File menu in the top left-hand corner and then click on Options in the bottom-left corner of the window.

  2. Choose Save To Computer

    Click Save from the sidebar on the left-hand side of the window that appears. Then, in the right-hand pane, tick the option that says “Save to Computer by default”.

  3. Choose a new destination folder

    You now need to tell Word which folder you’d like to save documents in by default. Hit the Browse button next to “Default local file location” and navigate to the folder that you wish to use. I’ve chosen a folder in my Dropbox, which I find far more reliable and flexible as a cloud service than OneDrive. Your screen should look something like this now:

  4. Finish and test

    Now click OK at the bottom of the screen and test whether it’s working by typing a few random words and hitting Save. Hopefully, it should default to your new location.

NOW READ THIS: What’s the best way to convert Word to PDF?

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


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  • It is not working. When I try to save another document, The default option shows the onedrive again

  • There is no “Save”. In fact, there’s a “Where’s the save button?” comment: There’s no Save button because we’re automatically saving your document. “Save As” takes you to One Drive. Which I already supposedly removed from my computer…. I just bought this Office product! A really helpful tutorial now would be “how to get your money back from Microsoft.”

    • As these instructions are from 2019, I am assuming Microsoft has done away with the option to remove the OneDrive default to force your hand even further. I for one am very upset by this. Thank you for the earlier attempt Barry but what were you saying about Microsoft is now ‘better behaved’ than in Bill Gates day? I couldn’t disagree with that more. Forced updates, forced obnoxious apps that you don’t need but you can’t remove from starting services anyway (Your Phone to name one specifically)

      Heck, I worked for Microsoft and got to see Bill Gates farewell presentation to a packed audience of probably 50,000 workers in an auditorium. No praise towards Gates from me these days but it has steadily gone down hill with it’s abusive, forced behavior and heavy handed updates that trash our systems weekly. They have removed all control from us unless you are an Enterprise customer and manage your own update processes. Even then I will bet its a struggle for that group as well. Very happy to not have to answer to that anymore.

      If I wasn’t FORCED to use this OS or Apple OS to use a few specific apps (Non Microsoft) that is my source of income, I would have been long gone from either years ago. Which in part is our largest concern. If that isn’t a monopoly I don’t know what is. Especially when both OS’s and companies behave exactly the same when it comes to user control and privacy.

      No matter if it is a complete timewaster for our customer, we get to store their data for mining and forced additional revenue streams – or – they can suffer additional steps to use our products and we WON’T allow them to change the defaults….

      Dear Microsoft – Bye. I am ashamed I have you on my resume.

      • Well, I created a lame hack to the problem. For example: I created “blank.xlsx” file in the documents directory. I click on it and then immediately Save AS the file I want to create in the folder I want to keep it in. Hmmm. A better idea is to create an Office folder on the desktop for just this type of thing. That way it’s easy to find.



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