Word 2016 for mac - Won't Save or Save As


  • Since I upgraded to Word 2016 for mac from the online download store, I've had spotty saving capability, and now it has stopped saving 90% of the time. I even tried to copy and paste it into a new document and it still won't save. Save and save as are both not working, even after I have updated everything, and run all the updates available. This is becoming a problem, help!

    • Edited by kenzikay Monday, July 18, 2016 4:02 PM
    Monday, July 18, 2016 4:01 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    What is the OS X Version and what is the Word 2016 version? Please make sure both are the latest version and then check if this issue continues.

    Did you get any error message when it failed to save or save as?

    Does the issue occur when creating and saving a new file or only when editing and trying to save an existing file?

    Does this issue happen to other Office programs, such as Excel or PowerPoint?

    In addition, some users were able to fix a similar issue via uninstalling and then reinstalling Office, you may also have try.

    Please let me know the result.


    Steve Fan
    TechNet Community Support

    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact
    Tuesday, July 19, 2016 6:50 AM
  • OS X and Word are all latest versions with most current updates.

    No error messages, just doesn't save or save as.

    Sometimes it will give me a save pop-up when I close the document, but not always.

    It is both saving a new file and editing existing files. I tried to covert the documents before trying to save to see if that helped, it did not.

    I don't use excel or powerpoint, but I tried them for this purpose and things saved fine.

    I literally just installed this program a month ago, I have already uninstalled and reinstalled.

    Still not working...

    Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:29 PM
  • Hi ... any luck with this particular oblem. I'm having the same issue!! Especially with Save As.
    Thursday, November 24, 2016 4:24 AM
  • Having the same problem.  Was this ever resolved?
    Friday, January 13, 2017 11:21 PM
  • I'm having the same problem.  Just updated Office this morning.
    Wednesday, February 08, 2017 4:17 PM
  • I am encountering the same problem and nobody seems to have found the solution.
    Monday, March 06, 2017 6:09 PM
  • Same problem. Happens intermittently, but resolves itself when I restart Word and the computer.

    At the moment, I have a document with lots of track changes and comments that isn't saving and I didn't realize it until hours later. While I can restart the computer to get Word to cooperate again, I need a way to save this file before I do that. I can copy and paste it into TextEdit and save that way, but then I'll lose all of the track change and comments information. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Monday, April 10, 2017 2:12 PM
  • Yep this is also happening w/ mine and I have no idea how to fix it... still no response about it?
    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:35 PM
  • I am having the same issue.  Please notify me when a solution is found.
    Sunday, May 14, 2017 5:43 AM
  • I am experiencing the same problem, but only when using the "block" style documents - impossible to save them, I do everything and there's no error message, it looks like they got saved but if I try to close the document, it says it hasn't been saved. Please let me know when this problem is resolved! It looks like it's been bugging people for quite a while, it's upsetting to see it still hasn't been resolved since!
    Thursday, June 15, 2017 1:28 PM
  • I'm having the same problem. Recently updated Office on my Mac and now the files wont "Save As."  For instance, I made changes to an existing word document and wanted to save it as a new draft.  I Save As and make the file name change, but this isn't reflected in the document name or the Finder.  Haven't tried restarting yet, but I see I'm not the only one with this issue. 
    • Edited by mdonick Wednesday, June 21, 2017 3:01 PM
    Wednesday, June 21, 2017 3:01 PM
  • Wow. So many people with the same problem as me and no solution! I am just now starting to realize just how terrible Microsoft Word is. I think switching to different software may be the best solution as the customer service doesn't seem to be working either.
    Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:07 PM
  • I had the same issu. I thought it might be because I was trying to save my file on my google drive account. I was connected on two different computer (1 Mac and 1 PC) on my google drive account at the same time. When I disconnected from the other computer (PC), I was able to save on my Mac.
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 4:45 PM
  • I had the same issue. Needed to save changes but the save prompt wasn't showing up.

    I bypassed this by clicking on the Word icon within the document and dragging and dropping it onto the desktop, this made the save prompt appear and I was able to save it to my desktop.

    After saving, I restarted word so it wouldn't happen again.

    Monday, July 24, 2017 6:33 PM
  • Got it ;-)
    Left of the Word icon in the doc, there is a pull down (arrow) menu, in which 'save as' can be selected, also to customize the quick access toolbar.
    Hope this helps
    Monday, July 31, 2017 7:56 PM
  • This doesn't work - it only adds the save as icon to the dock - which is available through the file menu anyway. Strangely, when you drag the document to the desktop it appears under a different name!!! I got around this once by changing file name using Finder - but there is something really odd going on. This must be a bug surely?
    Wednesday, August 02, 2017 1:05 PM
  • Having the same problem with Word Version 15.36, and OS X Sierra 10.12.5.  

    Clicking "Save" or "Save As" brings up the spinning color wheel while word freezes for about 30 seconds, then the app unfreezes, but nothing's saved and there's no Save As dialog box. 

    I was able to copy and paste my document into TextEdit, close Word (agreeing that I didn't want to save my work), then reopen Word, paste back into my document and save. 

    Clearly a bug that's affecting a decent number of users, and has been for over 6-months.  

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017 9:59 PM
  • Just had the same issue—unable to save a document. I had made one successful save when I first created the document and there were only a few lines in it. When I was having trouble saving after that and when I was finished with the 2-page document, I checked Quick Look and only those original few lines were there. 

    I copied and pasted my entire document to an email to myself (I wasn't using Track Changes). Then quit Word. When I reopened Word, I selected File/Recents and opened the document. It was there in its entirety, apparently having been saved without my knowing. Lucky? Worth a try. 

    Now I've started a second document, did a Save As, then added to it, and then successfully used Save. 

    Monday, August 28, 2017 3:46 PM
  • Hello all, we are seeing this issue on an iMac and mac mini, both Sierra 10.12.5 latest updates for office 2016. I can reproduce the problem saving to our network share consistently when saving. Any idea what is going on or if there is a fix, or a bug report?
    Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:46 PM
  • correction: we can save as, and that works, but click save throw the error
    Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:46 PM
  • Hi,

    I am having this exact same problem. When i click save or save as, either on the toolbar or the drop down menu nothing happens. When i close the document I get the box coming up asking if I want to save before exiting. I have university assignments to do and I'm scared to do them on my computer because of the problems with saving! Did anyone find out a solution? I have checked and there are no updates available for either my iOS or microsoft.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017 5:56 PM
  • I've seen a work around for the problem.  When SIGN IN comes up, I just click SKIP sign in.  Then Save as and Save worked.  Using Macbook Air.

    However I'm looking at another issue now where saving seems to overwrite other files...

    Monday, September 18, 2017 3:23 AM
  • I have the same problem, but found when I copied and pasted my document to a new screen, I was able to Save it. This sounds bizarre, but it worked. Absolutely impossible to Save in Document 1, but possible in Document 2. 

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:19 AM
  • Hi. exactly same issue. help !  

    Friday, September 22, 2017 10:00 AM
  • I have tried opening my Word documents on the PC from an external drive formatted with the ex-fat file formatting and those documents can "Save As" on the PC.  The SAME drive will open Word Documents on the MAC and save the changes but it will not do the "Save As" and it states at the bottom the "recommend compatibility issues" check.  It also shows the message that docx is the xml-based format that is used and it "cannot store VBA macro code."  It has been going on all week.  I thought it was just my set up because I am trying to migrate documents on a Seagate drive that was not ex-fat formatted and the issue there on the MAC is that it opens only a Read Only copy of anything saved on an external drive that is not formatted for ex-fat.  I   Has anyone had the problem after working in I-Cloud?  Could the I-Cloud settings have made some universal change?  I had dragged things into i-cloud to try to get them to transfer from one drive to the other and was afraid I changed some settings in the process without knowing?

    Friday, September 22, 2017 4:08 PM
  • Sorry, correction, the drive that did is not formatted to transfer is a FREEgate drive not Seagate.  The Seagate formatted in NTFS.
    • Proposed as answer by EFMann Friday, September 22, 2017 5:38 PM
    Friday, September 22, 2017 4:12 PM
  • It only worked for me when I changed the save format to Word 97-2004 .doc
    Saturday, September 30, 2017 2:31 PM
  • Hi! I think I have the solution.

    The "Save as" drop down window has a box in the left bottom location, (below the Favorites list) saying: "On My Mac" and you have to click on that bloody button to make the Save function work. After clicking it will change to "Online Locations," but you just ignore that, the "Save" button will come alive and work like a charm.

    Send me a note after you tried it and found it working, or not, because I wish to know if it is really the universal solution:

    Good luck with it!

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 10:31 AM
  • I am having the same program. Brand new MAC, brand new Microsoft suite.  

    Not able to get a 'save as' drop down window at all, so not able to try Ambator's suggestion. 

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017 3:05 PM
  • Tried it it did not help.  I was able to save 2 other documents today but the last 3 no way!

    Friday, October 06, 2017 7:58 PM
  • To solve this simply change the file format to the previous 97 version of microsoft word, save it, you'll see compatibility mode at the top, then save as again, but change the file format back to the newer version and you are golden.
    Saturday, October 07, 2017 6:35 PM
  • How do I change the file format to the previous 97 version if I can't get a "Save as" box? Thank you.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:44 PM
  • Works for me.  Every time.  Thanks so much.
    • Edited by Laser12345 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:14 AM
    Monday, October 16, 2017 3:14 AM
  • Ditto this issue. Just upgraded - am on a Mac. Please fix - what a terrible bug!
    Friday, October 27, 2017 7:43 PM
  • I had the exact same issue. I found a way to work around it for now until they fix this bug. 

    Click on the drop down menu and select "Save As." Then look for the File Format box in the lower right hand corner of the Save As box you should be in. Change the file format to Word 97-2004 (.doc) Click save. It will save your document in Compatibility Mode. Close Word. Reopen Word and in the drop down menu select "Open Recent." Select the document you just saved. Once it's opened, go to the drop down menu again and select "Save As" and select file format drop down again and select the top option Word Document (.docx) This is the file format you originally tried to save it as. You will get a box that pops up letting you know that you are converting to an online XML file available on the newest versions of Word and that some of the original formatting on your document may be affected. Click OK after reading the message. Your document will be saved as a .docx now and you will be good to go. Per the warning message, double check the formatting and appearance of your document just in case something did change with it before you submit your document anywhere. Mine looked fine.

    I hope this helps everyone!

    Monday, October 30, 2017 5:32 AM
  • Save As Word 97  doesn't help.  I have to restart Word to get the Save As menu to show up.  I can save the file by overwriting one particular file before I restart word, but i messes up my format. The only way to fix the format I found was to copy the text to another file already formatted the way I want it.  Then I get the same response when doing Save As Word 97, i.e. no response at all.  Leaves the file name unchanged and saves nothing.
    Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:37 AM
  • Worked for me - thanks!

    Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:17 PM
  • Here's what happened to me.  Mac OS 10.11.6, MS Office 2016.  Working in Excel and Save, Save As and Save As Template choices were grayed out (unavailable).  To make changes and use these options I chose to close the spreadsheet then had to sign into my MS account to activate MS Office.  After that all three save options were available.

    This sounds like one of Apple's tricks to control how you use their products.

    Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:04 PM
  • My fix to this was to Save As 'Word 97/2004', then in the new document (File) 'Convert Document.' The dialog box said it would use the latest format and that some formatting might be lost. Seems to have addressed Word seizing up (and requiring a Force Quit)

    • Edited by ithomson60 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:41 PM
    Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:40 PM
  • Hey, 

    Ive found something that has worked for me **Knock on Wood**

    But ive also just bought a MacBookAir and too save the files, I just use a USB or a SD card, Simple as that. 
    And with the Laptop Only Being 128gigs i want all the space i can, so i dont mind using a USB/SD card

    Annoying for some, But hope it helps!!

    Saturday, December 02, 2017 10:14 PM
  • AWESOME!!!  It worked!!  Thank you SO much!!!

    Monday, December 04, 2017 3:44 PM
  • Same problem, endlessly.

    Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:07 AM
    Saturday, December 09, 2017 2:09 AM
  • I am having the same problem on Excel. I upgraded and the "Save" and "Save As" options are grey-out and not useable. I have not activated my free 1-month subscription, so that may have something to do with it; however, I am not interested in a subscription to a service I did not request. And if that is the issue, they should tell us. None of the above work-arounds suggested work for me...truthfully, most of them suggested fixes are off topic, and seem like bs ways of making it look like there are solutions for this issue, but there are not yet.
    Monday, December 18, 2017 6:58 PM
  • OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    I am dumb as dirt but I have the newest, biggest, best Apple hardware available because I use the computer for work, not as a toy. 

    I dumped all of my microsoft stuff to switch to 100% Apple but could not adapt my crusty old brain to the Apple word processing etc. so I bit my lip, cursed very loudly and purchased Microsoft 365 for Apple.  Then bumped into this #$*@$%^@#!!!!! 

    Again my sincere thanks!  

    Wednesday, December 20, 2017 8:50 PM
  • Me too. Really can't afford to loss in time and effort.
    Friday, December 22, 2017 9:00 PM