How To Save Office Documents to Local Computer by Default

By default, if you’re logged in to your Office apps with your Microsoft account, your apps save your documents in OneDrive storage. This encourages you to store your files on the cloud so that you can access those files on other synced devices.

However, there are times when you may like to save the office files to your computer instead. Luckily, Office apps allow you to switch the default save location from OneDrive to your computer. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Office 365 to save files locally.

Save Microsoft Office Files to Local Computer By Default

The process to change the default save location is the same for all Office apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Also, if you make one Office app save files to your local computer, all other apps automatically start saving files locally on your machine as well.

Here’s how you make that change in Word (which will auto-apply to all other Office apps):

  1. Launch Microsoft Word on your computer.
  2. Select Options from the left sidebar. If you’re on Word’s editing screen, select File > More > Options instead.
  1. Select Save in the sidebar on the left of the Word Options window.
  2. Enable the Save to Computer by default option in the Save documents section on the right.
  1. Save your changes by selecting OK at the bottom of the window.

Your Office apps will now save files to your computer instead of OneDrive.

To make the apps save files to OneDrive again, deselect the Save to Computer by default option on the Word Options window.

Change the Default Save Location in Microsoft Office

Once you choose your computer as the default save location for your Office documents, you’ll want to change the default folder where the files are saved. This way, you ensure your documents are saved exactly in the folder you want.

Unlike the above method, you’ll have to specify the default save folder for each Office app manually.

  1. Open the Office app where you want to change the default local save folder. We’ll open Word.
  2. Select Options from the sidebar on the left.
  1. Choose Save from the left sidebar on the Word Options window.
  2. Select Browse next to Default local file location on the right pane.
  1. Navigate to the folder that you want to make the default save folder and select that folder.
  2. Choose OK at the bottom of the Word Options window to save your settings.

From now on, your Office app will save your documents in your specified folder by default. You can change the default folder as many times as you want.

Only Save Individual Office 365 Documents to Local Computer

If you only want to save certain documents to your local computer while the rest go to the cloud, Office apps have an option to do that. This way, you can choose the save location for individual documents in your apps.

To do so in Word:

  1. Open your document with Microsoft Word on your computer.
  2. Select the File tab at the top.
  1. Choose Save As from the sidebar on the left.
  1. Select Browse from the Other locations section on the right.
  2. You can now choose a local folder on your computer to store your document in.

Suppose you save certain documents locally on your computer too frequently, but not frequently enough to make your computer the default save location. In that case, you can pin the Save As button to your Quick Access Toolbar to quickly save individual documents on your local storage.

That way, you just have to click a single button in the Quick Access Toolbar to save a file on your machine. Here’s how to pin Save As to the toolbar in Word:

  1. Select the down-arrow icon at the top of the Word interface and choose More Commands.
  1. Select Save As from the options list on the left. Then, select Add.
  1. Save your changes by choosing OK at the bottom of the window.
  2. The Save As option is now pinned to your Quick Access Toolbar. Select this option each time you want to save a document locally.

Use the Traditional “Save As” Window to Save Office Documents Locally

Newer versions of Microsoft Office show a modern “Save As” window. If you’re missing the traditional File Explorer-like “Save As” window, and you’d like it back in your Office apps, you can do so with an option.

  1. Launch an Office app on your computer. We’ll use Word.
  2. Select Options from the sidebar on the left.
  1. Choose Save from the sidebar on the left of the Word Options window.
  2. Enable the Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files with keyboard shortcuts option.
  1. Select OK at the bottom of the window to save your changes.

Try saving a document, and you’ll now see the traditional “Save As” window allowing you to choose a folder to save your file in.

Get Office 365 To Save Files Locally on Your Computer

Microsoft’s move to make OneDrive the default storage for Office documents is great, but not everyone may want to use it. If you’d rather save your documents locally on your machine, there’s an option to do that in each Office app, as shown above.

We hope this guide helps you keep your “offline” documents offline.

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