How to Get Out of Compatibility Mode on Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting out of compatibility mode in Microsoft Word is pretty simple. All you need to do is convert your document to the latest Word format. Compatibility mode helps old documents open in newer versions of Word but can limit some features. By converting your document, you unlock all the latest features.

How to Get Out of Compatibility Mode on Word

In this section, you’ll learn how to switch a document out of Compatibility Mode in Word. This will ensure you can use all the modern features Word has to offer.

Step 1: Open Your Document

First, open the document that’s in compatibility mode.

When you open a document from an older version of Word, it might automatically start in compatibility mode. Look at the top of the window to see if it says "Compatibility Mode" next to the document name.

Step 2: Click on File

Next, click on the "File" tab in the top left corner.

The File tab is like a control center. Clicking it opens up a menu with lots of options for managing your document, such as saving, printing, and sharing.

Step 3: Select Info

Then, choose "Info" from the list on the left side.

Under the Info section, you can see all sorts of details about your document, including its size, author, and whether it’s in compatibility mode.

Step 4: Convert Document

Now, click on "Convert" in the Info panel.

You’ll see a button that says "Convert." Clicking this button changes your document from the older format to the newer Word format.

Step 5: Confirm the Conversion

Lastly, confirm that you want to convert the document when prompted.

A dialog box will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to convert the document. Click "OK" to finish the process.

After completing these steps, your document will no longer be in compatibility mode. You’ll be able to use all the features available in the latest version of Word.

Tips for Getting Out of Compatibility Mode on Word

  • Always save a backup: Before converting, save a copy of your original document.
  • Use the latest version: Ensure your Word software is up-to-date for the best experience.
  • Check for lost features: Some older features might not transfer perfectly.
  • Understand the benefits: Converting lets you use new features like SmartArt and advanced formatting.
  • Use Help resources: Microsoft has lots of online resources if you get stuck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my document open in compatibility mode?

Your document is likely from an older version of Word. Compatibility mode ensures that it opens correctly in the newer version.

What features are limited in compatibility mode?

Some modern features like new formatting options, SmartArt, and other advanced tools might not be available.

Can I revert back to compatibility mode?

Yes, but you’ll have to save the document in an older Word format again.

Is it safe to convert my document?

Yes, but always create a backup before converting, just in case something doesn’t transfer correctly.

Do I need an internet connection to convert my document?

No, this process is all done within the Word software on your computer.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Click on File.
  3. Select Info.
  4. Convert the document.
  5. Confirm the conversion.


Converting your document from compatibility mode in Word is an essential step to unlock the full potential of your editing software. The process is quick and straightforward, and it ensures that you can take advantage of all the latest features Microsoft Word has to offer. Always remember to save a backup copy of your original document just in case. Once you’re familiar with these steps, you’ll find the process to be a breeze. For further reading, you can check out Microsoft’s official support page or other online resources. So go ahead, update your documents, and enjoy the enhanced functionalities that come with the latest Word format!