You receive an error message or the program stops responding when you try save a file in Word 2002 and in Word 2003

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Article ID: 291178 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q291178
For a Microsoft Word 2000 version of this article, see 211326.

For a Microsoft Word 97 version of this article, see 180905.
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When you try to save a Microsoft Word file, Word may stop responding, or you may receive one of the following error messages:
There is not enough memory or disk space to complete the operation.
There is insufficient memory or disk space. Close extra windows and save your work.
There is insufficient memory or disk space. Close an application.
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

If this problem persists, contact the program vendor.
Word cannot complete the save due to a file permission error.(Path\File_name)


When you are working with Word (and with other programs for Microsoft Windows), the Windows page file can increase in size. This increase can be large and can use up most or all of the available disk space.

Note This behavior has been reported to occur if your computer is running certain versions of antivirus software.

This behavior can also occur if you are saving to a full floppy disk.


To work around this behavior, use one of the following methods:
  • You may be able to recover some disk space by quitting unneeded programs. After you quit the other programs, it may take a few minutes before Windows changes the size of the swap file.
  • You can free disk space by deleting unneeded files. For example, run Disk Cleanup. To do this, follow these steps.

    Note Disk Cleanup is available in Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows XP.
    1. Click Start, point to Programs (in Windows XP, All Programs), point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
    2. In the Select Drive dialog box, click to select the drive that you want to clean up (for example, C:\), and then click OK.
    3. On the Disk Cleanup tab, click to select each of the options for which you want to remove files.
    4. Click OK.

      For additional information about the Disk Cleanup tool, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      310312 Description of the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows XP
      186099 Description of the Disk Cleanup tool
  • You may be able to save your file to a floppy disk drive or network drive.
  • You can try to save to a different floppy disk with free disk space.


To prevent this behavior, add more hard disk space, either by adding a larger disk drive or by using a disk compression utility.

Note If you are running antivirus software, try turning it off. If this corrects the behavior, contact the manufacturer of your antivirus software for an update or workaround.


Article ID: 291178 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 4.2
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
kbtooltip kbsavefile kbprb kbsyssettings KB291178

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