A File Error Has Occurred While Saving Word Document

Jean updated on Dec 11, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

If you meet 'A file error has occurred' issue when you are trying to save a Word document, you can use some effective methods to troubleshoot temporarily or permanently. What’s more, a versatile data recovery tool - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is highly recommended to help you recover deleted or lost Word document without effort.

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. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, connect it to your computer first. Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, click "Filter" and choose "Word" from the drop-down list to navigate the wanted Word documents. 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to double-click and preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired Word file and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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