How to Save as doc Instead of docx by Default in Word 2010

Do you remember the good old days when Word documents were saved with the .doc extension? Well, if you’re using Word 2010, you might have noticed that the default saving format is now .docx. But what if you want to save your documents in the classic .doc format by default? Don’t worry; it’s an easy fix. Let’s dive in and learn how to change the default save format in Word 2010 to .doc instead of .docx.

How to Save as doc Instead of docx in Word 2010 By Default Tutorial

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Setting Word 2010 to save in the .doc format by default means that every time you hit save, it’ll use the older format instead of the newer .docx. This can be handy if you’re sharing documents with users who have older versions of Word or other word processors that might not support the .docx format.

Step 1: Open Word Options

Open the Word Options dialog by clicking on the ‘File’ tab and then selecting ‘Options’ at the bottom of the menu.

In this step, we’re getting into the settings area of Word 2010 where we can tweak how the program behaves, including how it saves documents.

Step 2: Go to the Save tab

In the Word Options dialog, click on the ‘Save’ tab on the left-hand side menu.

This tab contains all settings related to saving documents, which is exactly where we need to be to change the default save format.

Step 3: Change the Save files in this format dropdown

Under the Save documents section, look for the ‘Save files in this format’ dropdown menu and change it from ‘Word Document (.docx)’ to ‘Word 97-2003 Document (.doc)’.

By selecting ‘Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)’, you’re telling Word to use the older .doc format whenever you save a new document.

Step 4: Click OK to save the changes

After you’ve selected the .doc format, click ‘OK’ at the bottom of the Word Options dialog to save your changes.

Congratulations! You’ve now set Word 2010 to save your documents in the .doc format by default.

After completing these steps, whenever you create a new document and save it, Word 2010 will automatically use the .doc format. This means you won’t have to manually select the format each time you save, making your workflow a bit smoother.

Tips for Saving as doc Instead of docx in Word 2010 By Default

  • Always remember to double-check the format you’re saving in if you’re collaborating with others who might not be able to open .doc files.
  • If you need to save a single document in .docx format, you can still do so manually by choosing the format in the Save As dialog.
  • Keep in mind that some newer Word features might not be fully compatible with the .doc format.
  • If you’re sharing documents online or via email, consider using the .doc format for better compatibility across different platforms.
  • Be aware that changing the default save format to .doc will only affect new documents, not ones that were already created in .docx format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will changing the default save format to .doc affect my existing documents?

No, changing the default save format will not affect existing documents. It only changes the format for new documents that you create moving forward.

Can I still save documents in .docx format if I need to?

Yes, you can always choose to save a document in the .docx format using the Save As dialog, even after changing the default format to .doc.

Will I lose any features by saving in the .doc format?

Some of the newer features in Word 2010 may not be fully supported in the .doc format, so you might lose certain elements or formatting if you save in .doc.

Is the .doc format compatible with other word processors?

The .doc format is widely compatible with many word processors, including older versions of Microsoft Word and alternative programs like Google Docs and OpenOffice.

Can I change the default save format back to .docx if I change my mind?

Absolutely! You can follow the same steps and select ‘Word Document (*.docx)’ from the dropdown menu to revert to the default .docx format.


  1. Open Word Options from the File tab.
  2. Click on the Save tab.
  3. Change the Save files in this format dropdown to ‘Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)’.
  4. Click OK to save changes.


There you have it – a simple guide on how to save as .doc by default in Word 2010. Whether you’re looking to ensure compatibility with older software or just prefer the classic .doc format, these steps will help you make the switch quickly and effortlessly. Remember that while .doc is a more universally compatible format, it may not support all the latest and greatest features of Word 2010. So, consider the needs of your audience and the requirements of your project before making the change. Happy writing, and may your documents be ever compatible and easy to share!

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