Office 2010: Fix Word Not Saving Default Settings

In a previous article, I wrote about how to change the default font and document settings in Word 2010.  I recently ran into a frustrating problem on a computer where even though I was saving the settings as default like shown in the mentioned article, when I would close Word and then re-open, the old default setting still remained.

Every new document that you create in Word is actually based off of a generic template referred to as the Normal template.  Each time a new default font or other document setting is changed for all documents, you are really editing the Normal template in Word.  I found that sometimes old or corrupt copies of the Normal template may remain and cause the problem of not saving new default settings for documents.

After some searching, along with a little trial and error, I was able to resolve the problem as outlined below.

Before starting, make sure that Word and any other Microsoft Office programs are closed.

Step 1: Start by navigating to C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.

You will see a couple of folders along with a file named Normal.  Make a copy of any Normal or NormalOld files in-case something goes wrong.

Step 2: Select and delete the Normal (and NormalOld files if they exist).

Step 3: Open Word and you will see that the default font and document settings have returned to their default settings.  In deleting the Normal template and opening Word, a new Normal template is created and saved to the Templates folder.

Step 4: Use our guide to changing the default font and other document settings.

When you close and re-open Word your new default settings now save and are applied to any new documents.

Have any other tips for using Microsoft Office?  Share them with us by commenting below!

Have any other tips for using Microsoft Office?  Share them with us by commenting below!
  • Nhazelton

    Did not work!

    Any other ideas?

  • Southnsoul

    I followed everything you advised in both articles, exactly, and it did not work. As soon as I open my saved documents, everything reverts to the default settings. It is infuriating that people like myself have paid over $100 for this program and Microsoft couldn’t even get their own customization options to perform correctly.

  • Craig Rooster Emerson

    Perfect instructions. I had multiple Normal and Normal (Old) files in Template folder. After spending most of the day reading a variety of comments I know there are several other folks out here that need to know about your fix, THANX.

  • Chas

    Doesn’t work for me. After I’ve deleted Normal and opening up Word (Step 3) I do not get a new Normal template created in the relevant folder. I have to create a document and save it as a Word template. Even when I do that and re-launch Word, I’m back at the 1.15 line spacing I don’t want. Any other suggestions, please?

  • Lisa

    This does not work

  • Mosa

    This solution didn’t work for me, but I found this alternative way to update the Normal template at this location, which has worked perfectly: