Missing Word customizations & macros

Copper Contributor

I opened Word yesterday, and all of my customizations were gone. Still today, my macros don't work, my shortcuts are all reset...I tried going through the steps in the link below as I assume there was an update that caused this, but at Step 3, it tells me that it can't find "%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates." I contacted support and they led me here. Any insight would be helpful! This was two years worth of customizations, so I really hope I'm not just back to square one.



7 Replies

@LaurenScribe I have my doubts about the veracity of point 7 of the article for which you provided the URL

You should see at least one of the following files: Normal.dotm.old, NormalPre, NormalPre15, NormalOld, OldNormal, NormalEmail.dotm.old, NormalEmailPre, NormalEmailPre15, NormalEmailOld, or OldNormalEmail. 


The only NormalOld.dotm or OldNotma.dotm files that I have seen are ones that I have created myself.


However, as your issue appears to be finding the Templates folder, you can do that by going to clicking on Windows (C:) in the file explorer, then on Users, then on your user name.  Then if you do not see a folder named AppData, go to the View tab of the File Explorer and in the Show/Hide section, check the box for Hidden Items (In Windows 11, click on View and then on Show More and click on Hidden Items).  Then when you see AppData, double click on it and then on Roaming and then on Microsoft and then on Templates.


To avoid loosing your macros, you should put them in a macro enabled template that you save into the Word Startup folder so that it will be loaded as an add-in.  The macros will then be available for use on all documents, not just documents created from the Normal template (Blank document).


The spot listed in the article is, by default, a hidden folder. If you go into the address bar in Windows and type %appdata% it will get you much of the way there. That address is the default location. If things are not there, see Where is the Normal Template / How to Find the Normal Template.


I second the idea of storing your macros, shortcuts, and QAT modifications related to those macros in a separate Global Template. 

See also: Organizing your macros by Beth Melton, Word MVP 

Global templates are also a great storage location for any macros you want to share with others.


Bottom line: If you use Word long enough something (bad) will happen to your Normal Template. This need not be a catastrophe.

@Doug_Robbins_Word_MVP The trouble is: when I go to the AppData/Roaming/Microsoft folder manually, there is no Templates folder. And when I search for it, something does pop up, but it's empty. All my macros just seem to have disappeared.


Thank you for that insight about how to save macros in the future. I'll definitely do that moving forward. 



Check which folder is set as the User Templates folder in the File Locations dialog box. It may be some other folder than the usual one. 


To find File Locations, start Word, go to File > Options > Advanced and click the File Locations button.

Thank you, Stefan! This helped me find the folder. I found the Normal.dotm file, but there is no old file to restore with any of my customizations and macros. They still appear to be gone.
I am unusual for having multiple versions of Word, but I just searched my computer for "Normal.dotm" and found more than one hundred files.

Try going to the lowest level of your computer, perhaps the C: drive, and searching for Normal.dotm. Make sure you are searching in hidden and system folders as well. If you store on more than one disk, do it with each disk.



Sometimes, there is a backup of Normal called PreNormal or NormalPre or Normal1 etc. With a bit of luck, you can find such a renamed version with the macros you are looking for. 

EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed that this possibility has already been suggested.