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Windows 7: Prevent Word from saving docs in temp folders?

28 Aug 2014   #1

Win7 Home Premium x64
Prevent Word from saving docs in temp folders?

This always frustrates me to no end. Typically this happens when I open a Word document that is an attachment to an Outlook email. I then edit the document, save it, and shut down Word. Then when I go to my Documents folder, the file isn't there. Why isn't it there?! I know I just saved it! Oh, now I remember...Word loves to save my mission critical files to HIDDEN TEMP FOLDERS instead of, you know, a logical place like the DOCUMENTS library (which, BTW, is set as my default Word save location).

Even if this is caused by user error, careless operation, whatever you want to call it; shouldn't Word "know" that there is almost no conceivable reason why a user would ever intentionally choose to save an edited document in a hidden temp folder? Maybe it would be nice to prompt the user that "This document will be saved to a temporary folder, are you sure you want to use this location Y/N?"

So my question is: how do I FORCE Word to NEVER EVER SAVE MY FILES TO A TEMP DIRECTORY, but to always and without fail or question, save to my documents folder? No matter from what source (email attachment, floppy disc, paper punchcards) the file was opened.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

To set your saved Word Document location in office 2013, Open a Word document, select File, then Options & then Save & follow the directions on the screen shot. As far as I know Word 2010 should be the same.
You need to select or type in your preferred location for saving Word Documents & Templates.
Hope this fixes it for you.

Prevent Word from saving docs in temp folders?-word_saving_file_-_template_location.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #3

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM

The behavior you posted is exactly correct based on how Windows computers work.

What you are doing:
  • You are working in Outlook
  • You view an email with a Word attachment
  • You open the attachment from within Outlook
  • Word launches and displays the attached file
What the computer is doing:
  • Outlook is running
  • Outlook finds the selected email and attachment in the selected PST file (basicly a compressed db file)
  • Outlook decompresses the attachment into a TEMP directory - think unzipping a ZIP file to view, then "deleting" it when done viewing (thus the TEMP directory)
  • Word opens the attachment file in the TEMP directory (where Outlook placed it during decompression)

Now you edit the file from it's default Outlook location so when you SAVE the edited file it will default to saving the file in the location where it resides, the TEMP directory. This is exactly as it should behave.

The core issue is user work flow. Outlook does not expect a user to edit an attachment without first saving (detaching) it to another location, then edit the detached copy and save.

The appropriate user action is one of two:
  • Edit the file as opened from Outlook but SAVE AS to a different location, or
  • Detach the attachment to a different location and edit that detached file

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Jul 2015   #4

8.1 64

This is the only post I can find on the problem. Unfortunately the problem still exists with NO settings fix available. The OP is exactly right and the question is still there. How to I chage settings (User Preferences) so this action NEVER HAPPENS? It is anther example of Windows not being user friendly. Word Documents are lost EVERY DAY due to this ridiculous Microsoft devotion to the arcane and the obscure. I don't like Apple but with Apple OS this would have been fixed decades ago, and probably would never have found its way into an program release. Congratulations to those who have the time to research the issue and find self help fixes on their own. You should not have had to waste your time. But the vast majority do not have that time and just tolerate a clunky system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2015   #5

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

As long as people do not download the attachment then edit the doc and resend I'm not sure what else can be done
Except try office 365

I suppose it would be more straight forward if when viewing a doc in an email it should not be possible to do anything with it beside viewing it then people will stop being disappointed when the edit is lost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Prevent Word from saving docs in temp folders?

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