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?

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 barry@bigtechquestion.com.

11 Comments

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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.

  • Brilliant. Before I had to change from OneDrive to my Documents file eachytime. Now it displays My Document every time I want to save my Word document. I have Windows 10. Thank you so much.

  • I’ve used MS products since DOS 2.0 and could not agree with you more. I will likely bite the bullet, go to LINUX soon, and pass on future MS failures–like Windows 11, etc. After 35 years, I can vouch that MS OS is just bigger so it is as buggy, expensive, and disappointing in other ways. I’m convinced XEROX would have done a better job with GEO-World (Windows) but were too successful when Mr. Gates visited and procured their source code for free. What a world!

  • At least in my copy of Word, when you go into the File view, there are a bunch of menu items in the upper left-hand side, beginning with Home (whatever that means), New, and Open. Then there’s a horizontal line (not sure why), then Info, Save etc. But w a a a a y down at the bottom, separate from all the other menu items, is Account and Options. Unclear why the File view arranges menu items vertically on the left-hand side of the window, while in other views the menu items are arranged horizontally across the top.

    BTW, this seems to be the new UI look: scatter things you can do all over the place, apparently so you can make it harder for users to find things. The dreaded Ribbon (in place of the logical menu) is up near the top of the window; that’s ok, it’s been that way for a long time. But then there are two buttons to the right of the ribbon labeled Comment and Share (why are these so important that they need to have separate buttons from the ones in the ribbon?). Above that in the title bar there’s a Search box, and several indecipherable icons having to do with saving things, plus my name with a triangle with an exclamation mark inside (why, is something wrong with me?). And several more buttons down on the Status bar, including a zoom. And then when you click on the File tab in the ribbon, instead of showing a ribbon of (admittedly indecipherable) icons like all the other things in the ribbon, it takes you to the “back stage” view–why, I have no idea, I guess so it can tell me “Good afternoon” (seriously, why???). Oh, and while Help shows up in the normal view as a tab labeled “Help” in the ribbon (dating back to the Help menu item), when you’re in the Back Stage view, help is a question mark up on the title bar. Why is Help in one place in one view, and an entirely different place in another view?

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