How to Get Out of Compatibility Mode in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting stuck in compatibility mode in Word can be frustrating, but fear not, there’s a way out! Essentially, you’ll need to convert the document to the current version of Word. And don’t worry, this is a quick process that requires only a few clicks. Here’s how you can do it.

Step by Step Tutorial to Get Out of Compatibility Mode in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. Compatibility mode in Word is activated when you open a document that was created in an older version of Word. This mode restricts certain features to ensure the document remains stable. By following these steps, you’ll convert the document to the current Word format, thus disabling compatibility mode.

Step 1: Open the Document in Word

Open the document that is in compatibility mode.

When you open the document, you’ll likely see "Compatibility Mode" next to the file name at the top of the Word window. This indicates that the document is not in the current Word file format.

Step 2: Click on ‘File’

Click on the ‘File’ tab in the upper left corner of the screen.

The ‘File’ tab is part of what Microsoft calls the Ribbon. It’s where you’ll find all the behind-the-scenes options and settings for your Word document.

Step 3: Select ‘Info’

Once in the ‘File’ menu, select the ‘Info’ option from the list on the left side.

The ‘Info’ section is where you can find details about the current document, including its properties and any issues it might have.

Step 4: Choose ‘Convert’

In the ‘Info’ section, you’ll see an option to ‘Convert’. Click it.

When you click ‘Convert’, Word will prompt you to confirm that you want to upgrade the document to the latest version. This will get you out of compatibility mode.

Step 5: Save the Document

After conversion, save the document to apply the changes.

You can either save over the existing document or save as a new file. Either way, your document will no longer be in compatibility mode.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your Word document will be in the current file format, and you’ll have access to all the latest features. The compatibility mode message will also disappear from the top of the document window.

Tips to Get Out of Compatibility Mode in Word

  • Ensure that your version of Word is up to date to avoid compatibility issues with newer document formats.
  • Always back up your document before converting it to avoid any potential loss of data.
  • If you’re collaborating on a document, inform your colleagues before converting to the new format to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • After converting, check the formatting and layout of your document to make sure everything is still in place.
  • Remember that converting to the latest version may make the document incompatible with older versions of Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is compatibility mode in Word?

Compatibility mode is a setting in Word that allows you to view and edit documents created in earlier versions of Word without losing any of the original formatting.

Will I lose any data when converting out of compatibility mode?

Typically, no data is lost during the conversion process. However, it’s always good practice to back up your document just in case.

Can I still share my document with someone using an older version of Word after converting it?

Yes, you can. However, some of the newer features may not be supported in the older version, which could affect how the document appears.

What if ‘Convert’ is grayed out or not available?

If ‘Convert’ is not available, it could mean that the document is already in the latest format, or you might not have permission to edit the document. Check the document’s properties or contact the document’s owner for more info.

Can I convert multiple documents at once?

No, you have to convert each document individually. There’s no current feature in Word that allows for batch conversions out of compatibility mode.


  1. Open the document in Word.
  2. Click on ‘File’.
  3. Select ‘Info’.
  4. Choose ‘Convert’.
  5. Save the document.


Getting out of compatibility mode in Word is as easy as pie – just a few clicks and you’re there! Remember, compatibility mode is just Word’s way of playing it safe with older documents, but once you convert them, you’ll have all the modern amenities of Word at your fingertips. Don’t let the fear of change hold you back; embrace the new and give your documents the update they deserve. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, freeing yourself from the chains of compatibility mode is a small yet significant step toward a smoother, more efficient Word experience. So go ahead, give it a try, and you’ll see how seamless it is to get out of compatibility mode in Word.

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