Kim Barloso

MS Word editor does not respond - how to save the document?


Hanging Microsoft Word: how to save a document

When working with important documents, any loss of information may significantly deprive the time spent on the task. Besides the loss of typed or copied data, this technical malfunction is very destructive to the user's mood and takes effort to retype.

This problem is much easier to prevent than to solve, saving the document as often as possible while working on it. Simply pressing the "Ctrl+S" hotkey once every few minutes will save a lot of nerve cells. But what should you do if Microsoft Word editor hangs up and you did not have time to save the typed file?

First of all, do not panic. Unfortunately MS Word is not a perfect program, and from time to time it tends to freeze for no particular reason. This problem is especially common on slow computers with little RAM. In most cases, it is sufficient to wait for 10-20 seconds after the word "Does not respond" appears in the program panel, and the editor will automatically return to normal operation. Do not feverishly click mouse or keyboard keys, do not minimize document window, this only reduces the possibility for Word to recover automatically.

If more than one minute has passed since the hang-up, try to press keys combination "Ctrl + S". The editor may succeed to save the document, but Microsoft Word will still have to be closed forcibly. Before you do this, it is advisable to take a screenshot by clicking on the "Print screen" button. This would help you save a visible part of the document, even if not in text format, but in image format.

Coercively closing the editor Word

We have done all we can to resume work on the document and, after trying to save it, it would be advisable to force the editor to close. This should be done after five minutes since the program hangs up: by default, the auto-save feature is executed after this time interval. However, you may close MS Word at any moment using the task manager. Right-click the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

In the window that opens, locate the "Microsoft Word" tab. Click on it and click on the "Undo Task" button. Sometimes you need to wait a few seconds before the window closes. You will now be able to reopen the editor and check which part of the data has been saved.

The next launch will offer you the last autosaved version of the document to open. If this corresponds perfectly to the file you had at the moment of loss, congratulations - your recovery has succeeded.

Word document not saved - Step by step solution and prevention

If the last saved version of your document does not correspond to the one you had at the moment of freezing, you should seek other means to recover data. Even if you type fast, the probability is high that the missing text is rather small and can be recovered from memory or from a screenshot, which we recommended in the previous section.

To avoid retyping text from a screenshot manually, it is better to use the special application ABBYY FineReader. ABBYY website offers a free trial version which allows you to recognize text in a screenshot, copy and paste it into a Word document. It will take you no more than a few minutes to install and launch it.

In order to prevent such situations, we recommend that you configure the automatic saving feature to make you forget about data loss forever:

  • In a Word document, click the "File" tab at the top left on the page;

  • Go to the "Settings" section at the end of the menu;

  • In the "Document saving" item, check the "Autosave every" option and set the desired time period. We recommend the minimum recommended one minute;

  • Confirm the changes by clicking on "Ok".

Now if MS Word freezes or if your PC or notebook is accidentally shut down, your data will remain in memory.

Where to store temporary Word /files

Besides the way to solve the problem of a lost document, it is important to know where to find the last saved versions of /files, that are created if the program has been stopped incorrectly, are stored in a special directory. To know its exact name, follow this simple instruction:

  1. In the "File" tab of MS Word, locate the "Options" section;

  2. Go to the "Document saving" tab;

  3. Indicate the path to the directory where you back up your document. You may change it to any other folder if you wish.

The path indicated next to the inscription you can copy to the system explorer and quickly navigate to the indicated folder. At any moment you will be able to run a backup file there.

Read also : Recovering an overwritten Word document


“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso