Tip of the week # 632
4 December 2020

Set your shared drive as your default folder (Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Project) *

Developing a new webinar to help a client tackle information overload using Windows' and Outlook's - often underused - tools, I realised I never wrote a tip about how to set a default working folder in Excel, PowerPoint and Word for version 2010 and beyond. For example, you may hardly ever use the Documents folder as the folder where you store your files. Similarly, you may never use the cloud.

So, if there is a particular location, such as a shared drive, and you find yourself clicking umpteen times to navigate to it, you can set it as your default folder. And don't worry, whenever you save a document you can still navigate to a different folder.

Here's how:

  1. On the File tab click on Options.
  2. Click on the Save category (or type the letter S).
  3. Type the path in the Default file location box. (In Word you can click Browse and navigate to the folder you want to use. To make this step a bit easier in Excel, PowerPoint and Project you could right-click any of your folders from the list of recently opened items and select Copy path to clipboard. You would do this before you do step 1.)
  4. Click OK.

By the way, Microsoft doesn't push this setting out to all programs. So if you want a default folder in Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Project you will have to follow the steps described above in each of these packages.

Related tips

  1. Set a prompt to open a file as read-only : tip_253.php
  2. Exit the program and close all open files after prompting you to save them : tip_493.php
  3. Time-saving shortcut key to use Save As command : tip_344.php
  4. Save time opening or saving files by customizing the Open and the Save As dialog boxes : tip_334.php
  5. Setting a new default file location : tip_98.html


* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.