When I write a Word Document and save it, a duplicate come up alongside it in "Documents" with the title preceded by ~$ and the rest of the title of the original document, but if I try to delete this a dialogue box comes up asking if I want to send the file to the recycle bin and if I do the Windows or another program may no longer work correctly. This Word Icon and title of the document seems to be a faded colour next to the original document. If I open it up, another dialogue box comes up saying it is "File Conversion." and a message in the preview pane tells me that "This file cannot be previewed cannot because of an error in the Microsoft Office Word Previewer."

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    It's a backup (lock) file. It will go away by itself when you close your document.
    – DavidPostill
    Oct 4, 2015 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


The ~$.doc[mx]* is the "owner file", containing your login information (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/211632). And yes, it will get automatically deleted when you close the document.

It is also not visible by default, unless you checked in Explorer tools / folder options / tab:view to "show hidden files, folde, and drives".

You can have Word always also create a backup file (in addition to the default autorecover file, word / options / save) under word / options / advanced / section:save.

  • Do you know what conditions might cause the filename to be truncated? E.g. Test.doc having an owner file called ~$st.doc?
    – Marie
    Aug 20, 2019 at 15:02

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