A File Error Has Occurred While Saving Word Document

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Jean updated on Mar 09, 2022 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 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 open, edit, or save 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. Tool Fix Download and install Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. From the software's main screen, select...Full steps
Fix 2. Temporary Fix Create a new blank Word > Copy all contents > Save the new blank files...Full steps
Fix 3. 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 of 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 the "Always Create Backup Copy" option.
  • Word document has been 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.

Tool Fix: Run Word Repair Software to Fix It

When you are faced with this error - "a file error has occurred", you can turn to Stellar Toolkit for File Repair first. This word repairs software corrupt Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with simple clicks. Follow the steps below to repair Word files with ease.

Step 1. Select the file type.

Download and install Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. From the software's main screen, select "Repair Document" to repair the MS Office document which you wish to repair.

Select the file type

Step 2. Scan the corrupted documents.

From the next screen, select the corrupted files to be repaired. You may choose the "Select File" or "Select Folder" option to find corrupt office files on your system. Once the corrupted files have been selected, click "Scan" to initiate the scan.

Scan the corrupted documents

Step 3. Repair and save documents.

When the scan finishes all recoverable information will be displayed in the software's left-hand panel. Click on any item to preview it before repair. To save repaired data, click "Save" from the file menu, enter a destination of choice, and hit "OK"

Repair and save word documents

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 the '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 the "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 getting data loss, you should take action to recover unsaved Word documents 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 to 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

Note: To guarantee a high data recovery chance, install EaseUS data recovery software on another disk instead of the original disk where you lost files. 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7 computer. Select the disk partition or storage location where you lost data and click "Scan".

select the disk on Windows  to scan

Step 2. This recovery software will start scanning the disk to find all lost and deleted files. When the scan process completes, click "Filter" > "Type" to specify lost file types.

choose the recovered data type

Step 3. Preview and restore lost Windows files. You can double-click to preview the scanned files. Then, select the target data and click the "Recover" button to save them to another safe spot in the PC or an external storage device.

recover windows 10 lost data

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