Microsoft Word – How to ALWAYS create a backup copy…

There is a little known feature in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007, that by changing a simple default setting, Microsoft Word can automatically create a backup file of your work.

It can be very frustrating when you are working on a document of importance and you lose all your work as a result of a power failure or computer glitch.  This setting change could be your saving grace and prevent a lot of heartache.  When Microsoft Word is set to “Always create backup copy”, a backup copy of a document is created each time you save the document. Each backup copy replaces the previous backup copy. Word adds the phrase “Backup of” to the file name and applies the file extension .wbk to all backup copies. The backup copies are saved in the same folder as your original document.  Note: If you delete the original document without saving it, the backup copy will not include any changes you made since you last saved the document.

Word 2003

To change the setting to “Always create backup copy”

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.
  2. Select the Always create backup copy check box.

To Open a backup copy of a document

To be able to recover the previous version of your document after a power failure or similar problem, you must have the Always create backup copy check box selected on the Save tab in the Options dialog box (Tools menu) before the problem occurs, and you must have saved the document more than once.

  1. Click Open Button image.
  2. In the Files of type box, click All Files.
  3. If you want to open a backup copy that was saved in a different folder, locate and open the folder.
  4. Click the arrow next to Views Button image, and then click Details.In the Name column, the backup copy name appears as “Backup of document name“; in the Type column, the file type for the backup copy appears as “Microsoft Word Backup Document.”
  5. Locate and then double-click the backup copy to open it.

Note: The backup copies do not carry the typical *.doc file extension, but carries the file extension *.wbk

Word 2007

To change the setting to “Always create backup copy”

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Scroll to the Save section, and then select the Always create backup copy check box.

To Open a backup copy of a document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Open.
  2. In the box next to the File name box on a computer that is running Windows Vista, or in the Files of type box on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP, click All Files.
  3. If you want to open a backup copy that was saved in a different folder, locate and open the folder.
  4. Click the arrow next to Views , and then click Details.In the Name column, the backup copy name appears as Backup of document name. In the Type column, the file type for the backup copy appears as Microsoft Word Backup Document.
  5. Locate and double-click the backup copy to open it.
  6. If you want to work with the backup copy as a regular Word document, click the Microsoft Office Button , click Save As, and then type a name for the file in the File Name box.

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