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HOWTO: Restore Normal.dot Microsoft Word File

Restore Fix Microsoft Office Word Normal.dot FileDescription

Normal.dot is the file Microsoft Word uses as the default blank page.  So when you open up Word there you see it…normal.dot.  Ah but what if it’s not blank any more?


Normal.dot is just a MS Word template like any other and can therefore be edited and saved so that when you open Microsoft Word you don’t see a blank page anymore but instead you see the one you edited.

So maybe you like the page that opens up every time with MS Word but maybe you also want that blank page that you originally had too.  Well that’s also possible.  This solution applies to all Microsoft Word 2008, 2003, 2002, XP and some previous versions also.


Luckily there’s an easy way to get you original normal.dot back and also keep the edited version which you can later use as a template to start the odd document or two that you really intended it for.



Step 1 – Save Your Existing Normal.dot As A Template (optional)

  1. First let’s save your existing non-blank normal.dot file as a new template so you can use it in the future if you wish.  Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Word should open and display your edited non-blank normal.dot file.  Click File > Save As
  3. Change the File Type to either Document Template (*.dot) or  Word Template depending in your version of Microsoft Office.  (Also on Mac it’s Word Template)
  4. Enter a unique name for your template in the file name field
  5. Click Save


Step 2 – Restore Your Original Normal.dot File

  1. Close Microsoft Word
  2. Open My Computer
  3. Click Tools > Folder Options
  4. Click View tab
  5. Click Show hidden files and folders > Click OK
  6. In My Computer, open your Local Disk (C Drive)
  7. Open Documents and Settings
  8. Open the folder with the same name as your Windows username
  9. Open Application Data folder
  10. Open Microsoft folder
  11. Open Templates folder
  12. Right click on normal.dot file > choose Rename
  13. Enter a new unique name such as broken.dot and hit enter to confirm the rename
  14. Open Microsoft Office and your orignal blank normal.dot will be automatically recreated for you


Wow, 6 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. mysassydate says:

    Something strange happen in my company. My collegue’s word profile has been change and pointed to mine. all my word setting is now on her word setting. we work on different machine and own citrix profile which we log in individually.

  2. Priya says:


    You wouldn’t believe what time i took (i’m all thumbs in tech issues!) just getting to normal.dot file. my search command did not yield the normal dot file (is my normal.dot carrying extension other than .dot?). but because of your step by step guide i could do it easier than tying shoelaces! thank you.

    thanks a lot.


  3. Cheers for the info. It was a good read.

  4. Not helpful says:

    The problem is when I clicked “Save as” or “Save”, I got the error “Word cannot save or create this file Make sure that the disk you want to save the file on is not full”

  5. I read this piece of writing fully about the difference of newest and
    earlier technologies, it’s remarkable article.

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