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MS Word, for sure, is the most used application out of the whole MS Office suite. It is merely a word processor developed by Microsoft but has been the most sought-after application among all professionals. Just like other components of the MS Office suite, it has minor bugs and glitches that need to be treated immediately. One such common error associated with MS word is- A file error has occurred. Some people have reported that they get this error message while saving a Word file. Irrespective of the file location (as the file(s) can be located locally on your system or remotely on a file hosting service like OneDrive), this equally affects the locally and remotely stored files.

A File Error Has Occurred

When MS Word is not able to save the changes in the file or when the entire Word document is corrupted, then Word comes up with the message “A file error has occurred.” It usually happens when you try to save a particular Word file.

A file error has occurred

We are going to find some of the primary causes and some convenient methods to resolve this issue.

Reasons Behind Word File Error

It is always good to know the causes of the Word file issues, which can later be used to address the problem more efficiently. Some of the most common reported causes behind the Word File error are listed below:

  • The Word File is on a shared network, and two or more users are trying to access it simultaneously.
  • The file that you are trying to access is password protected.
  • The Always Create Backup Copy option is enabled.
  • Word file corruption
  • Failing to get updates for Windows
  • Compatibility issues between the Windows operating system and the Antivirus program installed.
Methods to Fix the Word File Error

As previously mentioned, this error is quite common while saving Word documents. It is basically a Permission Issue. The best way to deal with this issue is by creating a new Word file and later copying all the data from the old Word file to this new file. While saving the file new file, make sure there is no space in the file name.

  • While editing or modifying the Word file, always create a backup copy option should be disabled. You can re-enable it after the editing is done.
    To Enable/Disable Always create a backup copy option, go to File > Options > Advanced, and Scroll down to the Save section. Then Enable/ Disable the backup copy option.
    Enable/ Disable the backup copy
  • If the Word document is shared on a network, then it is advised to keep a copy of the file on your hard drive before making any changes to the original file (over the network).
Method #1 Deleting ~$ file

Before locating the ~$ file, one needs to unhide the file and folders. The steps are outlined below:

  1. Go to the File Explorer, and in the View, tab click on the Options button.
    unhide the file and folders
  2. This will open up the Folder Options. From the Folder Options, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
    Show hidden files
  3. Next, click Apply, then hit OK.
  4. Now, open File Explorer and search for the following path

    Note: In the above file path, replace [username] with your actual username.
    open File Explorer and search

  5. In the Template folder, look for the file containing normal in the file name, such as ~$ Delete such files but make sure you don’t delete the whole Template folder
Method #2: Open the Word Document in Safe Mode

As we have seen in other applications, problems in the interfering plugins can sometimes lead to such errors. Therefore, while using Word, try to launch in safe mode.

Step 1: Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.

Note- Before starting the procedure, please check all Word files and applications are closed.

Step 2: Now, in the Run dialog box, type WINWORD /SAFE. And click the OK button to open Word in safe mode.

Step 3: Now, Microsoft Word is launched in Safe Mode.

In window title displays “Microsoft Word (Safe Mode).” Press Accept in the new pop-up box.

Step 4: Now copy the content from the previous corrupt document to this new one. And save it.

Method #3 Copy-paste the Changes to a New Document
  1. Recreate a new document in word using the same outlet as the older document.
  2. Now turn off the track changes in both documents.
  3. Now copy the entire content from the older document and paste it into the new file.
  4. And turn on the track changes in the new document.
  5. Now lastly, save the new document with a new name.
Method #3 Kernel for Word Repair

In most cases, it has been found that the Word file error is caused due to file corruption. If you are looking for a precise tool to get past the Word file error, then Kernel for Word Repair might be the right option for you. This tool has a lot of features to offer. It can quickly repair any Word file, irrespective of the version. It helps you open corrupt Word .doc and .docx files. The preview feature of the tools lets the user view the repaired file before saving.

Now, let’s have a look at the tool process in detail.

  1. After installation, launch the tool.
    launch the tool
  2. Next, click on the Add File(s) button to add the affected files(s).
    Add File
  3. Click on the Repair File(s) button to repair the previously selected files.
    Repair File
  4. Next, you will be asked to give the location for saving the repaired file(s).
    location for saving the repaired file
  5. Depending on the file sizes, the tool will attempt to repair the affected files.
    repair the affected files
  6. If the process ends successfully, you will be prompted with a message of successful completion. The location of the repaired files will be shown alongside the filenames. Click OK to finish the process,
    process ends successfully


We have discussed the prime causes behind the Word file error. Out of all these causes, file corruption remains the main culprit. There are different ways to recover MS Word documents. In this article, we have discussed one manual and one automated way to deal with this issue. If you are looking for hassle-free recovery of your word files, then we highly recommend using the Kernel for Word Repair tool, which is covered at length in this article.

Repair Corrupt MS Word .doc/.docx files with Kernel For Word Repair


Kernel for Word Repair