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Change the default files save format from .docx to .doc in word 2007



Microsoft word is the mostly used out of all the Microsoft office 2007 applications, but I have seen people some times in a situation when they were cursing Microsoft Word 2007.

It happens when you have saved some important document while using microsoft word 2007 with .docx extension and taken that file some where else where office 2003 or any version later than office 2007 is installed and you cannot open .docx files. 

As .docx is the new file format recognised only by office 2007, and office 2003 or later versions of office cannot open .docx word document files.

What is .docx?

It is the default file extension for saving documents in word 2007. These docx documents are essentially a bunch of zipped XML documents  

Let’s see how can you change the default file save format to .doc which is widely supported in the backward version of office 2007.

1. Open Microsoft Word, click office icon at the top left.


2. Now, Click the Word Options


3. Select Save in the left pane, then select Word 97-2003 Documents from the drop down.


4. Click OK

We hope you like this small tweak, but if still you have a .docx files which you want to open in office 2003 or later version of office, try using some free web services like or that can convert .docx files to .doc

30 replies on “Change the default files save format from .docx to .doc in word 2007”

^oops, ignore that comment
it should say:

“As .docx is the new file format recognised only by office 2007, and office 2003 or earlier versions of office cannot open .docx word document files.”

I have found in the past that this will default back to .docx files for no apparent reason. perhaps this has been fixed in a service pack as I have not seen the action in the last few weeks but it was bad earlier this year where it would default back to .docx and I would have to do these steps to have it default back to .doc.

Also I have setup the compatability pack on most other machines that I use that still have Office 2003 on them to make sure that everything will still open, compatability pack should be pushed through the enterprise as well if you have that option but are not upgrading to 2007 anytime soon

my explorer started to save files in xls format. when i receive any document, lets say in .doc format in a mail and try to open or save (download) it on my pc, it saves in xls format….. any help? thanks.

My Question is how do I chang the save format when I go to this one web site, to download a file it opens by its self it won’t ask me to save it to my Pc but when I go to any music site it says do you want to save is there any way to get my pc to ask this all the time?

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I sent something to a magzin for publishing and they lady said the DocX was all greek! I had just gotten a new laptop with Vista and had no idea this existed. I’m resetting it to word.


All of the default save format settings are profile-dependent, and can find no help on this issue, for multi-user computers. Each user that signs on must make these changes for themselves unless you want to initiate a GPO at the domain level. Any other ideas would be most welcome!!!

Thanks. I have a problem in this. After 3 or 4 days, the default save format changes back to *.docx. What could be the problem?

The latest version suite of office applications will happily open the dreaded M$ xml docs. And it has an incredibly accurate, fast .pdf writer built into it. It is a 100% free office suite that allows you to open and save to the old Microsoft Office formats. Give it a try.

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