How to Stop Automatic Numbering in Word: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re frustrated with Microsoft Word’s automatic numbering feature, you can stop it with just a few simple steps. You’ll learn how to disable this feature and regain control over your document formatting.

Stopping Automatic Numbering in Word

Disabling automatic numbering in Word will help you take control of your document formatting. Follow these steps to turn off this feature.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word to start editing your document.

When you open Word, you’ll either start a new document or continue with an existing one. Make sure you’re in the document where you want to stop automatic numbering.

Step 2: Go to the File Tab

Click on the "File" tab at the top left corner of your screen.

This tab opens a menu with different options like saving, opening, and printing documents. We’re looking for the Word Options section.

Step 3: Select Options

Choose "Options" from the menu on the left-hand side.

When you click "Options," a new window will pop up. This window contains many settings you can adjust in Word.

Step 4: Choose Proofing

In the Word Options window, click "Proofing."

The Proofing section includes settings related to spelling, grammar, and autocorrect features.

Step 5: Click AutoCorrect Options

Click on the "AutoCorrect Options" button within the Proofing section.

This button leads you to a new window where you can change various AutoCorrect settings.

Step 6: Disable Automatic Numbering

Under the AutoFormat As You Type tab, uncheck the box next to "Automatic numbered lists."

Unchecking this box stops Word from automatically creating numbered lists when you type.

Step 7: Save Your Changes

Click "OK" to save your changes and close the AutoCorrect Options window.

By saving your changes, Word will no longer automatically number your lists.

After following these steps, your document will no longer create automatic numbered lists. You can manually create lists without the software taking over.

Tips for Stopping Automatic Numbering in Word

  • Save Before You Start: Always save your document before making changes to settings.
  • Explore Other AutoCorrect Options: You might find other helpful settings to adjust in the AutoCorrect Options window.
  • Practice: Get comfortable with these steps by practicing in a new document.
  • Manual Numbering: If you still need numbered lists, you can manually number them using the numbering button in the toolbar.
  • Re-enable if Needed: You can always re-enable automatic numbering by following the same steps and checking the box again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is automatic numbering in Word?

Automatic numbering is a feature that creates numbered lists as you type, saving you the effort of manually adding numbers.

Why would I want to disable automatic numbering?

Disabling it can give you more control over your document’s formatting and prevent unwanted changes.

Can I disable automatic numbering for specific documents only?

No, changes to AutoCorrect settings apply to all documents. You’ll need to re-enable the feature if you want it back.

What if I only want to disable bullet points, not numbering?

You can uncheck "Automatic bulleted lists" separately in the AutoCorrect Options window.

Will this affect existing numbered lists?

No, disabling automatic numbering won’t alter existing lists, only prevent new ones from being automatically created.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Go to the File tab.
  3. Select Options.
  4. Choose Proofing.
  5. Click AutoCorrect Options.
  6. Disable automatic numbering.
  7. Save your changes.


And that’s how you stop automatic numbering in Word! Now, you’re in control of your document’s formatting. Whether you’re working on a school assignment or an important report, you won’t have to worry about Word making unwanted changes. For further reading, check out Microsoft’s support website or other tutorials to master more Word features. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or leave a comment. Happy writing!