How To Change The Default Picture Save Location In Microsoft Word

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2011
Updated • Jun 20, 2011
Tutorials, Windows

I'm frequently getting articles submitted as Word documents. These documents include pictures and the text, and I somehow have to save the pictures to my local drive before I can upload them to the web server and embed them in the article.

One of the things that irritated me for quite some time was the default save folder for pictures. Word always defaulted to saving the picture in the My Pictures folder under the currently logged in user's user directory. I need to add that I'm using Word 2010 under Windows 7, and that it may be different on other systems.

This meant a lot of switching as I was using a different default folder for pictures and image editing.

I first tried to find a way to change the default save picture folder in Word 2010, but failed to find a suitable setting. The only setting available was to change the default document folder, but that had no influence on the picture saving in Word.

word default file save location

You find that setting under File > Options > Save.

I knew that it was possible in previous versions of Word to change additional default directories, including the directory where the pictures were saved in.

The reason for those missing options is the new library feature of Windows 7. Microsoft has moved the default save folder settings to each individual library. Here is how you make use of that new feature to change your default file save as locations under Windows 7.

Open Windows Explorer and click on the Libraries folder in the sidebar. It should look like this.

windows libraries save location

You will only see libraries for Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos by default, but can add your own folders as a library.

Right-click a library and select Properties from the options. In my case, I had to right-click the pictures library. You will see a listing of all folders making up that library. One of the folders has a check mark next to it. This indicates the default save location for files of that type.

change default save as

To change that location do the following. If the new default folder is already listed select it, and click the Set save location button. If it is not listed yet click the Include a folder button and add the new folder to the library. Select that folder afterwards and click set save location to make it the default file saving location. The check mark should now be visible next to that folder.

If you go back to Word you will notice that the new save location will be suggested whenever you save pictures in the program.

You can use the same technique to change the default save locations for documents, videos and music.

You can alternatively use the Windows 7 Libraries Management Tool or the Win7 Library Tool to make those changes.

I'm not sure how this is handled under Vista or Windows XP. If you use Word 2010, or another Office program and run Vista or XP let me know.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Anonymous said on May 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you

  2. adfasf said on January 20, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Thank you!

  3. Big Dougy said on October 30, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    THANK YOU – this has been a challenge I’ve dealt with for some time.

  4. bluebone said on February 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

    having to choose destination folder is a big problem in my workflow – as i use many folders. from developer perspective, remembering last save folder is 1 minute of work

    damn, those big companies are throwing obstacles here and there

  5. Robert Palmar said on June 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Well this is a bit maddening for Office 2010 users
    and I am sure such users will appreciate the answer.
    For me this is another reason to stick with Office 2003 :)

  6. WIlliam said on June 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    You really run out of subjects … ain’t ya :D … love your works by the way

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      William, this was actually bothering me today ;)

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.