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

Last updated: March 13, 2017

Microsoft introduced a new default file type with Office 2007 that changed the standard Word document type from .doc to .docx. It added some new features to the document and improved the types of edits that you could make. Unfortunately it also made it much harder to collaborate on documents with people that were still using earlier versions of Word. While they did release a compatibility pack that addressed this issue, not everyone was able to download it, or was even aware that it existed. But one way to ensure that users of the older versions of Word will still be able to read your documents is by learning how to save as .doc instead of .docx by default in Word 2010. This is a change that you can apply to the program that will automatically save your documents in the .doc format.

While this is less of a concern now that it was during the initial transition period, you might be interested in reducing any possible complications that might arise when you have a varied audience that is trying to read your work. So continue reading below to see how to change the default file type in Word 2010.


Save as .doc By Default in Word 2010

Like many of the other interesting settings that exist in Office 2010, this one is found on the Options menu that you can access from the File tab. And you are not only limited to .doc or .docx as the default file type, either. You can also choose to save to any of the other compatible Word 2010 file types as well, such as .txt or .html. But continue reading to learn how to start using .doc as your default file type in Word 2010.


Step 1: Launch Microsoft Word 2010.

Step 2: Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.

word 2010 file tab


Step 3: Click the Options item at the bottom of the column on the left side of the window.

word 2010 options menu


Step 4: Click Save in the column on the left side of the Word Options window.

save options on word options menu


Step 5: Click the drop-down menu to the right of Save files in this format, then choose Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc).

save as doc by desault in word 2010


Step 6: Click the OK button at the bottom of the window to apply your changes.


The changes in the section above will affect all of the future new documents that you create in Word 2010. This is the best option if you create a lot of documents and need to have all of them in the .doc file format. But what if this is an isolated incident, and you would prefer to only save one file with the .doc file type, or even change docx to doc?


How to Convert from .docx to .doc in Word 2010

This section assumes that you already have an existing .docx file that you would like to save to the .doc file type, or that you have a new document and you would like to only save this document to .doc instead of .docx.

Step 1: Open the document in Word 2010.


Step 2: Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.

how to save in the old format in word 2010



Step 3: Click Save As in the left column.

how to save as .doc in word 2010



Step 4: Click the dropdown menu to the right of Save as type, then click the Word 97-2003 Document option.

how to convert .docx to .doc in word 2010



Step 5: Click the Save button.

saving as .doc in word 2010



If you were working with an original file in the .docx file type, then this is going to create a new copy of the file with the .doc file type. It will not overwrite or replace the original file.


Is there a type of document that you create a lot in Word, and you are looking for a way to make the process a little quicker? Learn how to create a document template in Word 2010 and save yourself the hassle of constantly re-applying settings and formatting options every time you create one one of these types of documents. newsletter

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