Old Letter Stuck in Word

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

I don’t know how it happened, but whenever I open up MS Word, an old letter pops up.

I don’t know how to delete it as I have searched for a delete feature among the toolbars but haven’t found one. I have tried to delete all of the words on the document and save it that way, but that only makes me save it as another document. I can bring up a blank document, but that only comes up a second document. I want it back the way it was with a blank document as document 1.

Any suggestions on how to get rid of this letter and back to the original default blank document?

Thanks, Martin

Dear Martin,

It sounds like you have saved your old letter as the default template in Word.

Fortunately, the solution is fairly easy. All you have to do is find the normal.dot (or normal.dotm depending on what version of Word you are using) file and delete it. After you delete the normal.dot file, Word will automatically create a new, blank document templete the next time you open it.

What is the Normal.dot word template? It is the template that Word uses for a new document every time you start the program. The powerful thing about this document is that you can customize the template so that Word opens a new document with the formatting that you want. Occasionally though, someone will accidentally save a current document as the normal.dotm template and then every time they open a new Word document their old document will appear.

The only hard part here, is finding the template.

Make sure Word is closed before you begin!!

Click on “start” and then type the following in the search box: %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates

A folder named, “Templates” will appear in the top of your start menu. Click on it to open it.

In the folder, find the template named, Normal.

Right-click on “Normal” and delete it.

Now, when you open Word, it will create a new, blank template.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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