After working on a document in Microsoft Word, it's natural for you to save progress. But it is unusual to come across a pop-up window stating 'Word cannot complete the save' when you want to save the document. So you may want to save your progress in the document to your computer or copy the text to another file. Before doing the latter, you can fix this problem. We have compiled solutions to fix 'Word cannot complete the save' error in Microsoft Word on Windows 11.
things to try first
Before you start panicking, the first step of action is to perform basic checks to save the document on your Windows 11 PC. Here are some common checks and reasons why you get the 'Word cannot complete the save' error in Word:
- You may see a 'Word can't complete save' error if the Word file is open on another computer.
- You can copy the text to another Word file on your PC and save it there instead. Take care not to copy section breaks while copying. If unsure, change the document view to Draft before copy-pasting.
- For Microsoft 365 users, check your Internet connection to make sure your PC is connected.
- If you are using a third-party antivirus program, it may prevent Word from creating a new document on your Windows PC.
- You can temporarily disable your third-party antivirus or remove it to let Microsoft Defender take charge of protection.
- Your Microsoft 365 plan may have expired and your last payment hasn't been made. but it is it's quite easy to do Check the status of your plan.
1. Rename the file and save location
You may not have the required permissions to save a Word document in a particular folder, partition or drive on your Windows 11 PC. So, you can save the Word file with a new name in a different folder location. Avoid using symbols or special characters in file names.
To rename the saved file, right-click and select change name, After that, move the file somewhere else – preferably to a different drive.
2. Provide full permissions to the Word file
You need editing rights to make any changes to the Word file and save it. If you did not create the Word document, you must have editing rights. However, if the Word file was created by someone else, send them a message to check the permissions.
You can also view the current permission status from the ribbon menu. When you click on the button next to the share button on the top-right corner, the drop-down will provide you with three options – Edit, Review, or View.
- Editing – Edit the document and save changes
- Reviewing – Review the document and leave comments with feedback
- Viewing – the document can only be read and no changes can be made to it
Choose editing Option. If it is grayed out, you will need the necessary permissions to make changes and will need to contact the administrator.
3. Disable Document Protection
If the document was shared with you, the sender must have applied document security On Word file. When this is enabled, it will restrict anyone from making changes to the document. If you have edit permissions, you can disable document protection. This way.
1. click on review tab, click on to protect And you will see two options – block writer And restrict editing,
2. Under Block Author, uncheck free all my blocked areas,
3. Under Restrict editing, uncheck Limit formatting to style selection And Allow only this type of editing in the document Option.
tip: After drafting invoices, contracts, contracts and similar documents, Microsoft also lets you add your signature to the Word document.
4. Open Word in Safe Mode
Unlike booting your Windows 11 PC in Safe Mode, you can start the Microsoft Word app in Safe Mode without restarting your computer. Here's how you can do that.
1. Press Windows key+R To open the run prompt.
2. Type the following command:
3. Word will open safe mode Seen in the title.
4. Click the File menu icon and locate the Word file you want to open. It will open automatically even in safe mode. Check if you can save the file or still see the 'Word can't complete the save' pop-up error.
5. Check Word Add-ins
If you still can't save the file, one of the add-ins may be malfunctioning. So if you're using add-ins in Word to help you, you might want to check that none of them are misbehaving.
In a Word document, click File > Options > Add-ins, click on Go Near Manage COM Add-ins,
In the pop-up that follows, uncheck all add-ins and try again. If you can save the Word file, re-enable one add-in at a time to eliminate the one causing the error.
6. Modify Word Compatibility Settings
One problem with Microsoft Office is the number of versions available concurrently. Office 2013, 2016, 2019, 365 etc. Compatibility mode is useful when trying to edit and save a file created in one version while using another version. If so, the Word file will not be compatible with the current version causing the 'Word cannot complete the save' error. Here's how you can change a file's compatibility settings:
1. click on file Menu.
2. click on Option In the lower left corner.
3. choose save Tab from the left sidebar. From the drop-down next to Save files in this formatchoose Word Document (*.docx), You'll notice that there are a few other versions of Word listed as well and try selecting one that applies to you.
7. Repair Word File and Microsoft Office
Repairing a Word file or even an app does not erase the file or associated data. So, you can repair file or Microsoft Office installation on your Windows PC without worrying about data loss. Over time, documents and even app files can get corrupted, and there are a few reasons behind this, like cache, code, bugs, etc. Therefore, it is easy to repair files and apps in Windows.
repair word file
1. Open any Word file.
2. click on file in the upper-left corner of the screen.
3. Choose open Tab from the left sidebar and click browse button.
4. Select the file you want to repair and select open and repair From the menu.
Repair Microsoft Office Apps
1. Press Windows key+I To open Settings.
2. click on Apps in the left sidebar and then installed apps On the right side.
3. Use search bar To find Office apps. then click on three-dot menu icon next to it and select advanced options,
4. click on Repairs Press the button and follow the on-screen instructions.
8. Reset Word
If Word won't let you save the file despite following the above solutions, you may want to reset the Word app. However, this will delete all app data. Therefore, before proceeding, back up all Word files to an external drive or upload them to cloud storage. Otherwise, you will lose all the data.
Follow steps 1 to 4 in the above section to repair Office apps. In the same window you will also have reset Option.
9. Update Word App and Windows OS
Although updates are automatic on Windows 11, they may not happen for some reason. If so, you will need to update the Word app and Windows OS. The update contains common bug fixes that can resolve many bugs and bring improvements. Here's how to update the Word app and Windows Update.
Update Word App
1. Open the Microsoft Store app.
2. click on Library icon in the left sidebar.
3. click on get updates,
4. Check if an update appears for the Word app and if so, download and install it.
update windows os
Similarly, updating Windows is easy and can be done from the Settings app.
1. Press Windows key+I To open Settings.
2. choose Windows Update From the sidebar and then check for updates. After installing the update, you will need to restart your PC for it to apply.
Save the document peacefully
Microsoft Word is a great app but the problem is that there are many versions of the app floating around. Most Microsoft apps have had multiple versions over the years. Skype is another example. Using the web version simplifies this problem.
Did you know that Word also allows you to create fillable forms? Some organizations and companies require employees to use Word specifically for this purpose.