How to make a copy of a word document- backup tips

In today’s digital age, where important documents and files are stored on our computers, ensuring their safety is crucial. One way to safeguard your valuable content is by creating copies or backups. Microsoft Word is a widely used platform for creating documents, and learning how to make a copy of a Word document can be a lifesaver in case of unexpected data loss or corruption. In this article, we will explore effective backup tips to help you secure your documents and give you peace of mind.

Understanding the Importance of Backups

Before diving into the how-to, let’s discuss why creating backups of your Word documents is so important. Accidents happen, computers crash, and files get corrupted. Imagine spending hours crafting a vital report or a creative project, only to lose it due to a technical glitch. Regular backups can prevent such disasters and save you from frustration.

How to make a copy of a word document- backup tips

1. Using the “Save As” Function

The “Save As” function is your first step towards creating a backup for your Word documents. This simple yet effective method allows you to save your existing document with a new name or in a different location, ensuring the safety of your valuable content.

When you open your document in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:

  1. Click on “File”: Locate the “File” option on the top left corner of your screen and click on it. This will open a dropdown menu with various options.
  2. Select “Save As”: From the dropdown menu, select the “Save As” option. This action will prompt a new window to appear.
  3. Choose a New Name and Location: In the new window, you can choose a new name for your document. This is helpful to differentiate it from the original file. Additionally, you can select a different location to save the backup. You can choose a specific folder on your computer or an external storage device.
  4. Save the Backup: Once you’ve selected the new name and location, click the “Save” button. Your Word document will now be saved as a separate file, serving as a backup copy.

By utilizing the “Save As” function, you create a duplicate of your document that is separate from the original. This copy acts as a safeguard against accidental changes, data corruption, or any other issues that might affect the primary document. It’s a straightforward method that ensures your content remains intact and accessible, even in the face of unexpected challenges.

2. Utilizing Cloud Storage Services

Cloud storage services provide a modern and convenient way to create backups for your Word documents while offering the added benefit of accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection.

Follow these steps to utilize cloud storage for your document backups:

  1. Choose a Cloud Service: Select a cloud storage service that suits your needs. Popular options include Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and iCloud.
  2. Create an Account: If you don’t have an account, sign up for one. Most services offer free plans with limited storage and paid plans with more storage options.
  3. Upload Your Document: After logging in, locate the “Upload” button within the cloud storage platform. This may be labeled differently on different platforms, but it generally resembles an upward-pointing arrow or a cloud icon with an arrow.
  4. Select Your Document: A file browser window will open. Navigate to the location of your Word document on your computer and select it for upload.
  5. Confirm Upload: Depending on the service, you may need to confirm the upload. Once confirmed, your document will be uploaded to the cloud.
  6. Access and Security: Your uploaded document will now be available in your cloud storage account. You can access it using any device with the cloud service app or through a web browser. These services also offer security features like two-factor authentication to keep your documents safe.
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Cloud storage services offer a seamless solution for creating backups. Not only do they provide an additional copy of your document in a secure environment, but they also enable you to access your documents on the go. This is particularly helpful if you need to work on your documents from different devices or locations. Additionally, cloud storage reduces the risk of data loss due to hardware failure, as your files are stored off-site on remote servers. By utilizing cloud storage, you’re ensuring that your important Word documents are protected and easily accessible whenever you need them.

3. Automated Backup Software

Automated backup software takes the stress out of manual backups by regularly saving your Word documents to a designated location, ensuring that your files are consistently protected without requiring constant attention.

Here’s how to use automated backup software:

  1. Choose a Backup Software: Research and select backup software that suits your needs. Popular options include Carbonite, Backblaze, and Acronis True Image.
  2. Install the Software: Download and install the chosen backup software on your computer.
  3. Configure Backup Settings: Launch the software and follow the setup wizard. You’ll be prompted to specify the files and folders you want to back up. Choose your Word documents or the entire folder where they’re stored.
  4. Select Backup Destination: Next, choose where you want the backups to be stored. This can be an external hard drive, a network drive, or even a cloud storage account.
  5. Set Backup Schedule: Most backup software allows you to set a schedule for automatic backups. You can choose daily, weekly, or custom intervals.
  6. Start Backup: Once you’ve configured your settings, start the initial backup process. The software will create a backup of your selected files and folders.
  7. Enjoy Automatic Protection: From now on, the software will automatically back up your Word documents based on the schedule you’ve set. It will detect changes in your files and update the backups accordingly.

Automated backup software offers a hands-free approach to data protection. It eliminates the need to remember to manually back up your documents and ensures that your files are constantly safeguarded against potential data loss. With the ability to choose backup locations and schedules, you’re in control of how your backups are managed. This method is particularly useful for busy individuals who want reliable and consistent data protection without the need for constant manual intervention.

4. Emailing Documents to Yourself

Emailing your Word documents to yourself is a quick and effective way to create a backup copy that can be accessed from any device with internet connectivity.

Here’s how to use this method:

  1. Compose a New Email: Open your email client and create a new email message.
  2. Attach the Document: Look for the “Attach” or “Attach File” option within the email composition window. Click on it to attach the Word document you want to back up.
  3. Enter Your Own Email Address: In the “To” field, enter your own email address. This ensures that the email is sent to your own inbox.
  4. Add a Descriptive Subject: Choose a subject that clearly indicates the purpose of the email, such as “Word Document Backup.”
  5. Send the Email: Click the “Send” button to send the email to your own address.
  6. Access the Backup: When you need to access the backup, simply log in to your email account from any device and locate the email you sent. You can download the attached document from the email.

This method provides a straightforward way to have a backup copy of your Word document readily available in your email account. It’s particularly useful if you need to access the document while on the go or from a different computer. However, keep in mind that email services often have file size limits for attachments, so this method may not be suitable for large documents. Nonetheless, it offers a convenient and easily accessible backup option for smaller files.

5. External Storage Devices

Using external storage devices like USB drives or external hard drives is a reliable method for creating backup copies of your Word documents offline.

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Here’s how to use external storage devices for backups:

  1. Connect the Device: Plug your USB drive or external hard drive into an available USB port on your computer.
  2. Open File Explorer: Open the File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to access your files.
  3. Locate the Document: Navigate to the location where your Word document is saved.
  4. Copy the Document: Right-click on the document and select “Copy” from the context menu.
  5. Paste to External Drive: Open the external storage device in File Explorer or Finder, then right-click and select “Paste.” This will copy the document to the external drive.
  6. Eject the Device: After the copying process is complete, safely eject the external storage device from your computer.
  7. Store in a Safe Place: Store the external device in a secure and dry location to ensure the safety of your backup copy.

External storage devices provide a physical and tangible backup solution that doesn’t rely on internet connectivity. They’re especially useful if you want to keep your backups completely offline. However, remember that external devices can also be susceptible to damage or loss, so it’s important to choose a safe storage location and handle them with care. This method is ideal for those who want a physical copy of their documents that can be easily accessed even without an internet connection.

6. Version History in Word

Microsoft Word offers a valuable feature called “Version History” that allows you to access and restore previous versions of your document, acting as a built-in backup system.

Here’s how to use the Version History feature:

  1. Open Your Document: Open the Word document you want to work on.
  2. Click on “File”: Navigate to the “File” tab at the top left corner of the screen and click on it.
  3. Select “Info”: In the File menu, select the “Info” option. This will open a pane with document details.
  4. View Version History: Within the Info pane, look for the “Version History” option. Click on it to see a list of previous versions of your document.
  5. Choose a Version: Review the available versions and select the one you want to restore. You can also click on the “Open Version” link to preview a version before restoring it.
  6. Restore a Version: After selecting the desired version, click the “Restore” button. This will replace the current version of your document with the selected one.
  7. Save Changes: Once you’ve restored a version, save the document to keep the changes.

The Version History feature is especially helpful when you want to revert to a previous state of your document due to accidental changes or errors. It provides a safety net within Word itself, eliminating the need for external backup methods. However, keep in mind that this feature may not be suitable for long-term backups or if you want to keep multiple versions of a document. It’s a convenient solution for those who frequently edit their documents and need a quick way to undo changes without relying on manual backups.

7. Naming Convention for Backups

Establishing a clear naming convention for your backup files is a smart way to keep your documents organized and easily identifiable.

Follow these steps to create a naming convention for your backup files:

  1. Choose a Format: Decide on a format that works for you, such as adding a date, version number, or a brief description to the original filename.
  2. Include Date or Version: Incorporate the date or version number into the filename. For example, “DocumentName_2023-08-18” or “DocumentName_V2.”
  3. Be Descriptive: If necessary, add a brief description to the filename to highlight the content or purpose of the backup.
  4. Consistency is Key: Stick to the chosen format consistently for all your backup files.
  5. Avoid Special Characters: Avoid using special characters or symbols that might cause issues when saving or accessing files.
  6. Separate with Underscores or Dashes: Use underscores (_) or dashes (-) to separate different parts of the filename.
  7. Include Document Type: If you have multiple types of files, consider adding the file type extension to the filename, such as “.docx” for Word documents.
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By implementing a naming convention, you’ll make it easier to locate and identify your backup files quickly. This is especially useful when you have multiple backup versions of the same document or when you’re searching for a specific backup copy. A clear and consistent naming convention enhances your organization and streamlines the backup management process, saving you time and potential frustration in the future.


In a world where data security is paramount, learning how to make a copy of a Word document is an essential skill. Whether it’s for personal or professional use, having backup copies of your important files ensures that you’re prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. From using the “Save As” function to exploring automated backup solutions, there are various methods at your disposal. Choose the ones that align with your preferences and needs to create a robust backup strategy. Remember, the time and effort invested in creating backups today can save you from potential data loss headaches tomorrow.


Q1: Why should I make a copy of my Word documents? Backing up prevents loss due to crashes or glitches, ensuring your hard work is safe.

Q2: How do I use the “Save As” function for backups? Open your document, click “File,” choose “Save As,” rename, pick a new location, and save.

Q3: Can cloud storage help with backup? Yes, services like Google Drive or Dropbox let you access and secure documents remotely.

Q4: What about automated backup software? It’s a time-saver; it automatically stores your files in a set location or cloud.

Q5: How does emailing documents to myself work as a backup? Attach your document to an email and send it to your own email address.

Q6: Are external drives reliable for backups? Yes, copy documents to USB drives or external hard drives for offline backups.

Q7: How does Word’s version history help? It lets you revert to earlier document versions, acting as a safety net.

Q8: Should I use a naming convention for backups? Yes, include dates or version numbers in filenames for easy organization and retrieval.

Q9: Can version history replace manual backups? It’s an extra layer of protection, but regular backups remain essential for comprehensive security.

Q10: What’s the key takeaway here? Creating backups is a must—protect your work from unexpected losses or technical glitches.