A File Error Has Occurred While Saving Word Document

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Jean updated on Mar 25, 2021 to Computer Instruction | How-to Articles

Applies to Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019

A file error has occurred: cannot save Word document.

"What's causing 'a file error has occurred' while saving a Microsoft Word to a .doc or .docx format? I've been working on this document for all day, and everything's almost done so far, I dont want to lose any data. What should I do?"  

a file error has occurred Word

Microsoft Word is one of the best popular text processors used by most users. However, high usage rates also lead to higher error rates. Many issues are occurring when users opening, editing or saving a Word document, such as 'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents', 'Word 2016 crashes on opening the old document in Windows 10', 'Word not responding', and more. Here, on this page, we will focus on one such usual Word file error - 'A file error has occurred'. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Temporary Fix Create a new blank Word > Copy all contents > Save the new blank files... Full steps
Fix 2. Permanent Fix Show hidden files and folders > Delete all files whose name contains 'normal'... Full steps

Possible Causes of Word 'A File Error Has Occurred' Error

Although we can't make sure the specific cause of the Word problem, the following possible reasons can help us find a way to solve the problem.

  • The Word document is password protected.
  • Word file is available on Network Server and opened in two different PC at the same time.
  • Users have enabled "Always Create Backup Copy" option.
  • Word document has corrupted.

How to Fix Word Error 'A File Error Has Occurred'

When the problem appears, you can try to solve it with several solutions as listed below.

Temporary Fix: Creating a New Word File

  • Create a new blank Word file.
  • Copy and paste all the contents from the old Word file into a new blank file.
  • Save the new blank file with another new file name.

Remember to disable the  "Always create a backup copy" option, and make sure that there is no space in the file name while editing the Word document.

Permanent Fixes for Word 'A File Error Has Occurred' 

The above method can fix the issue temporarily. If you want to solve  'A file error has occurred' problem permanently, follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 1. Show hidden files and folders

  • Open Control Panel and go to "File Explorer Options".
  • Click on the "View" tab
  • Under Advanced settings, tick the option in front of "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".

show hidden files and folders to fix a file error has occurred for Word

Step 2. Delete all files of which the name contains 'normal'

  • Open Windows Explorer and search the following path:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

  • In the Templates folder, delete all the files of which the name contains "Normal" character, such as ~$Normal.dot. Pay attention, don't delete the Templates folder by wrong.

If you are still stuck on the issue after using all the ways and get data loss, you should take actions to recover unsaved Word document as soon as possible. 

How to Recover Deleted/Lost Word Document

As you see, there is a chance to get back lost unsaved Word document. But if the Word document is missing by accidental deletion, emptying recycle bin, hard drive/flash drive formatting, virus attack, there is no way but use a third-party file recovery tool. And EaseUS data recovery software enables you to recover lost Word files (DOC/DOCX), as well as XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX, PDF, HTML/HTM, CWK, and more

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the location(hard drive partition, external HDD, Card devices) where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files.

Wait until the scanning completes. If you need to double-click the item to preview the file, then select the data you attempt to recover.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover", choose a location to save the recovered data, then click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost data

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