You’ve probably noticed that Microsoft Office automatically saves your files to your Documents folder/library (unless you’ve already changed this). But many people prefer to save their files somewhere else. A word of caution: if you save files to your desktop, Windows will run more slowly. 

Changing the file location every time you save a file can get annoying. Here’s how you can change the default file location for files saved in each program. This needs to be set for each program.

Change the Default Save Location in Microsoft Word

Word 2010

  1. In Word, go to the File tab.
  2. In the left column, click on Options.
  3. In the left column of the Word Options window, click Save.
  4. Your default location will show in the Default file location box. To change it, click the Browse button to the right of it.
  5. Navigate to the folder you would like to make your default location and click OK.
  6. Click OK again.

Word 2007

  1. In Word, click the Office button in the top left corner.
  2. At the bottom of the menu, click Word Options.
  3. In the left column of the Word Options window, click Save.
  4. Your default location will show in the Default file location box. To change it, click the Browse button to the right of it.
  5. Navigate to the folder you would like to make your default location and click OK.
  6. Click OK again.

Change the Default Save Location in other Microsoft Office Programs

The process to the change the default file location for programs like PowerPoint and Excel is exactly the same, except for some reason, these programs are missing the Browse button in step 4 (at least they are in 2010).

Here’s how to get around it:

  1. Open Windows Explorer, which is the same as the Computer or Documents folder in Windows 7. The keyboard shortcut is the Windows button + E.
  2. Navigate to the folder you would like to set as the default.
  3. Right click in the address bar across the top of the window and select Copy address as text.
  4. Follow the instructions above, but instead of steps 4 & 5, paste the address you copied (Ctrl + V) into the Default file location box.