How To Change DOCX to DOC To Optimize Your File Types

Updated December 28, 2022

Microsoft Word currently uses the .docx extension for document files, but older versions of the program used the extension .doc. To access .docx files on old versions of Microsoft Word and some other programs, you can change the file extension to make the documents compatible with both systems. Knowing how to adjust your file extension using different methods can make it easy for you to access the documents you need regardless of what computer you're using.

In this article, we explain how to change your document's file type from .docx to .doc using multiple operating systems.

Why change your file extension from .docx to .doc?

Changing your file extension from .docx to .doc is useful for ensuring you can access your documents. The Microsoft Office 2007 update included a change in the file extension from .doc to .docx, so copies of Microsoft Office from before 2007 are unable to access .docx files. Additionally, some third-party word processors are only compatible with .doc documents from Microsoft Word. Modern Microsoft Word programs can access both .doc and .docx files, so adjusting the file extension is a simple way to make your file more accessible to all programs.

Related: How To Include Microsoft Office Skills on a Resume

How to change .docx to .doc on Windows

If you have access to a Windows computer with Microsoft Word and know you want to make your document compatible with .doc file formats, you can plan ahead to convert the file. Here are the steps for changing a .docx file to .doc on the Windows operating system:

1. Open a recent version of Microsoft Word

When you open a recent version of Microsoft word, it uses the .docx file version. This means you don't convert a file to this type before changing it to .doc. You can also use this method to open a file directly in Word instead of through the file system of your computer.

Read more: What Is a .DOCX File? (And How To Open One Using 3 Methods)

2. Select the file you want to convert

Once you open Word, go to the "File" button and then select "Open" to find the document you want to convert. Ensure you open the correct document and that it already has the .docx type. Sometimes, Word can open other file types such as PDFs and open text files.

Related: What Is Compatibility Mode in Word? (With How-To Steps)

3. Find the "Save as" button

Once your document is open, find the "Save as" button from the "File" menu. Select the button. This creates a pop-up dialog box with options for your document.

Related: How To Reduce a PDF File Size (With 4 File Compression Methods)

4. Choose a location for your file

Save your .doc file in a location where you can find it. Even if you're not planning on accessing the document frequently, you still check it after this process to ensure you convert it properly. Pick a location such as a named folder on your computer.

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5. Name your .doc file version

Another option you have from the "Save as" menu is the "Name" field. Here, you can rename your document or create a new name. To avoid getting this document confused with the .docx version, it's important to create a recognizable name.

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6. Change the file type

The final option you want to access is the "File type" field. This is where you can change the file type. Select the current file type and then find the option that's either ".docx" or "Word 97-2003 Document." This changes the file type to .doc.

Related: How To Change File Types on Windows, Mac and Other Programs

7. Save your document

Finally, save your document by selecting the "Save" button. Once you finish converting the document, you can exit Microsoft Word. Try opening file explorer or searching for the name of the file on your PC to confirm that you changed the file extension successfully.

Related: Best Resume File Formats (Plus How To Save Your Document)

How to change .docx to .doc on macOS

If your operating system is macOS, you can still convert the file using Microsoft Word. While the process is similar to converting a file on Windows, there are some key differences. Here's how to do it:

1. Open the file you want to convert

When you change the file format of a document, you choose how your computer recognizes and stores it. Here, you start with a .docx file already in your computer's memory. Select the file you want to change and open the file in Microsoft Word.

2. Find the "Save" menu

Once Word opens, you can access the menu. Here, you want the "Save" menu, since that gives you the options for how to save your file. To reach the save menu, you access "File" and then find the "Save as" button. If the "Save as" button doesn't exist, then you can select "Save" to access the dialog box you need.

3. Name your file

Your file may already have a name. If you want to keep the name, just repeat it into the section where you can name your file. If you want a new name, enter it into the box to rename your document. Renaming it might make it easier to find in the future.

4. Select "File format"

Another option you have appears at the bottom of the "File" menu. This option is "File format" and is how you actually change your document from .docx to .doc. Select the current file type so that the list of options appears.

5. Change the format

From the list of options, choose the ".doc" file type. Sometimes, Mac lists them as the type of program, so you may also select "Word 97-2003 Document" rather than .doc. Either way, this is how you change the format.

6. Save your new file format

Finally, select a location where you want to save the document. If you plan on accessing it frequently, make sure you choose a location where you can find the document. Then click "Save." After converting the file, exit Microsoft Word and review the name of your file. You can open it again to confirm that the file displays your information properly in .doc format.

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Other methods for changing .docx to .doc

Here are some other methods you can use the adjust the file type from .docx to .doc:

1. File Explorer

On Windows, you can change the name of the file as a way to adjust the file extension type. To use this method, you simply change your settings in the file explorer application. Follow these steps to use file explorer to change .docx to .doc:

  1. Open the File Explorer application by clicking on the small file icon or searching for it in the search bar.

  2. Click the "File" button in the upper left corner, then click "Options."

  3. Select the "View" tab.

  4. Uncheck the box "Hide extensions for known file types."

  5. Click "OK."

  6. Review your files to confirm that they now show the file extension after the file name.

  7. Search for the file you want to convert.

  8. Right-click the file, then click "Rename."

  9. Delete the .doc extension and type .doc.

  10. Click "Yes" when the pop-up appears.

The file is now a .doc file. It's important to be aware that this format may cause instability for the file in some rare cases, so it's best to use this method only when no other methods are available. This method is useful if you're in a situation where you want to access a .docx file and have no way to open the file with your current software options.

2. Online converter

There are some online file converters you can use to change the type of your Microsoft Word file. Search for file extension converters and select one that has options for .doc files. When choosing an online converter, it's important to find positive reviews regarding information security. It's also a good idea to install software to protect against viruses because you're uploading and downloading files from the internet.

Related: 21 Different Types of Files and How to Use Them

Tips for changing your file extension

Here are a few tips for changing your file extension:

  • Test your files before you need them. If it's important for you to be able to use a .doc file on a specific word processor, try to open the converted file ahead of time. This allows you to troubleshoot if you have any issues.

  • Change the file name. Use a different name for your .doc file than for your .

    docx file to remain organized with every version of your documents.

  • Save your original file. Even if you only need the .doc file, keep the .

    docx version in your documents in case you have problems with the conversion process or want to access the original in the future.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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