How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word

If you try to open an older version of a MS Word document with the .doc file extension, you might get a message that your file is in compatibility mode. What does this mean?

It means your doc was saved in an older version of Word, typically Word 97-2003, and because of that some features in the newer version of Word may not work. There’s nothing wrong with your file. It still works fine but some features will not work unless you update the file.

So, how do you do this?

By the way, converting the file to a new version will usually make the file size much smaller, which is always a good thing.

How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word

If MS Word opens your documents in Compatibility Mode instead of as a normal document, follow these steps.

  1. Open a document in compatibility mode. In Word, it shows Compatibility Mode in the top of the window.
  2. Click FILE on the ribbon menu.
  3. Click Convert.

This converts the file to the new format.

The [compatibility mode] message is removed and the file is now a regular Word file with the .docx file extension.

How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word # 2

  1. Click File tab, Options, Save option, Save files in this format.

  2. Save as *.DOCX

How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word #3

If Word 2010 creates all NEW blank documents in Compatibility Mode, this means your Normal.dotm template is in Compatibility Mode.

To fix it, open the Normal.dotm file itself to convert it to Word .docx format.

Use File > Open instead of File > New.

There are two things you must do:

  • Make sure the file type dropdown is set to either “All Files (*.*)” or “All Word Documents (*.docx;*.docm;*.dotx;*.dotm;….)” or “All Word Templates (*.dotx;*.dotm)”.
  • Find the folder that contains Normal.dotm.
  • In Windows 7 that’s usually C:\Users\<your name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates, but it’s different in Windows XP, and could be different if you’ve used the Options >Advanced > File Locations dialog to change the User Templates location.

Also, the AppData folder and everything under it is marked as Hidden by default, so you might not be able to see it if you try to navigate the folders.

  • Go to the address bar at the top of the Open dialog and type: %AppData%\Microsoft\Templates
  • Click Enter.
  • Once you locate Normal.dotm in the Open window.
  • Click it and click the Open button.
  • If the Word title bar now says “Normal.dotm [Compatibility Mode]”, click File and click the Convert button.
  • Save and close the file.

Future new blank documents will no longer be in Compatibility Mode.

How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word # 4

  1. Delete the template.
  2. Restart Word 2010
  3. Word creates a new template.
  4. Click FILE, Options, Advanced.
  5. Scroll down to Compatibility options for and select All New Documents

VIDEO – How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in Word

User Guide Templates (5 x MS Word)

Download these 5 User Guide templates to create user manuals, getting started guides and other technical documents.

Download Now for $9.99 – Buy Here!

Download TemplateLearn more about these templates

PDF Tutorial

Download the PDF of this tutorial here – How to Turn Off Compatibility Mode in MS Word.

Thousands of templates to jump start your project

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan