retain last used path to location for saving files in Windows 7

by Mark Miller   Last Updated August 10, 2018 12:01 PM - source

I am using Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7 on a Dell PC. I am opening a bunch of MSWord files one at a time, copying data tables therein, pasting the data into Excel and saving the Excel files as comma delimited text files. I am creating a separate Excel file for each MSWord file.

The path to the folder containing the saved comma-delimited files is quite long, something like this:


Every time I open Excel and save a new comma-delimited file I have to re-navigate the entire path (c:\users\me\aa\bb\cc\dd\ee).

In the past Windows seemed to remember the last used path, saving a lot of tedious key-strokes. In fact, I think Windows did this for me as recently as last week, albeit on a different computer.

Can I apply a setting in Windows somewhere asking it to offer the last used path as a default when saving files so I do not have to re-navigate the entire directory structure to save each new comma-delimited file? If I can, how so? Where is the option for specifying that setting?

Thank you for any help.

Tags : windows-7

Answers 10

My computer behaves the same way, and I agree that it is annoying. I don't know an exact solution, but what I usually do is copy the path (c:\users\me\aa\bb\cc\dd\ee) to the clipboard, and paste it into the "File name" box and hit enter. This immediately navigates to that folder in the browse window. While it's not a perfect solution, it saves a lot of time as long as you don't need to copy and paste other things.

June 18, 2012 22:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. That probably would save quite a bit of time.

It occurred to me that if there is no way to ask Windows to re-use the last path, perhaps the most efficient thing to do is simply save the comma-delimited files in the default location that Windows does offer, then copy and paste all files at once from there to the desired location after finishing the file creation process. That assumes you can write to the default location, which I believe I can.

Mark Miller
Mark Miller
June 18, 2012 23:33 PM

Every time I open Excel

That implies you quit Excel after each save. In that case Excel will revert to the default file location. To keep the current location, do not quit. Instead, close the spreadsheet only and Excel will remember the location from the last save.

Alternatively, in Excel go to Tools > Options and click the General tab (I'm using Office 2003 - 2007 and later may be slightly different). You can specify the default file location there.

June 19, 2012 01:43 AM

During save of first file, right click in explorer browser and select "copy address". It will save back to that folder the following times.

August 22, 2012 20:46 PM

John's answer didn't do anything but was partly correct. You can copy the address but it doesn't save the location. The trick is after you have copied the address, click on any other folder - at which point you will see the path change. Then manually click on the path, where it should now become editable. Simply paste the path you just copied and press enter. It doesn't retain the path next time you save, but when you go to save, the path you entered before is now available in the path dropdown list. I do literally do hundreds of excel files a month so I was pulling my hair out on this one.

Have fun! :)

February 04, 2014 00:12 AM

For now, I am using "Recent Places", and I sort the folder on the Modified Date, Descending order. I always get the last folder I used this way.

April 22, 2014 01:05 AM

To go to the desired path whenever you click on "browse button" while working with Microsoft Excel or Word docs, follow the steps below:

  • Click on File (Keyboard Shortcut Alt+F)
  • Click on Option
  • Then click on Save
  • Change the path in "Default file location" field where you want to redirect when you click on the "browse" button
  • Finally click on "OK"

The next time you click on browse button working with Excel or word it will re-direct the user to the path saved.

Abhishek padhi
Abhishek padhi
June 12, 2014 05:33 AM

In excel under options for save remove the default location then it will always go the the last open or saved location

November 16, 2015 15:50 PM

If I understand the question, in Excel under Options - Save, check the box next to "Don't show the Backstage when opening or saving files" option.

July 13, 2016 14:03 PM

Long before Office implemented their backstage, I discovered a program called DirectFolders. This helped me immensely. Prior to using this software, I would navigate to the place I wanted in Windows Explorer, and then copy and paste the folder path into the save dialog. It sounds like extra work, but I was usually already working in that folder anyways, so it saved me lots of steps.

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Access your folders from anywhere

Just double click on an empty area located on the Desktop, Explorer or File Open/Save dialog box to bring up a menu. Select a favorite or recent folder from this menu and the file dialog immediately jumps to that folder. If you activate this menu from the desktop or tray icon, this folder will be opened in Windows Explorer.

Now you can jump to any deeply nested folder in just a single mouse click! It also automatically resizes every standard file dialog, so that you can see a larger number of files. You will be able to find what you are looking for with a lot less scrolling.

When I first tried out DirectFolders, I still tried to do this and learned about one if it's features; it will automatch the save dialog to the window that you clicked on (he calls it ClickSwitch).

Sadly, the dev hasn't updated DirectFolders in a long time, and with all the Windows and Office updates since, things don't always play nice with each other.

I suspect the backstage is related to why they haven't updated. The Backstage takes over 80% of the features of Direct folders, and offers online services and stuff.

For me, the Backstage just gets int eh way, because I'm always doing things locally (not cloud).

August 10, 2018 11:29 AM

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