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MS Word: Open the Last File Worked On Automatically

If you find yourself frequently going back to edit the last Word file closed then I’m sure that you’d find it extremely helpful to have the ability to start not only Word, but also open that last file at the same time.

Happily, I can tell you that we can set up a shortcut for your desktop or task bar that will open both the program and the file with just the one click.


Yeah – of course you are.

To begin we need to right-click on the desktop and choose New / Shortcut.

msw_start_shrtcut [1]

When the dialog box opens click the Browse button.

msw_browse2_find_Word [2]

On your hard drive you’ll need to locate and select the WinWord.exe file… assuming you installed Word in its default location you should find it in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 12 (the Office # will vary based on the version you’re running… 12 is for Word 2007).

msw_select_winword [3]

With WinWord selected click OK.

You’ll be sent back to the Create Shortcut dialog box where the target address for the shortcut has been filled in…

Time to alter the address so that not only the program opens but also the last file edited.

msw_adjust_target_add [4]

After the last quotation mark add a space then type /mfile1

Click Next.

Name your shortcut so that it isn’t confused with the one you already use to open only the program and click Finish.


I know – the shortcut looks the same as the regular one… no problem.

To change the icon right-click the shortcut, click Properties and then the Change Icon button and proceed from there.

You now have a shortcut on your desktop that will do double duty saving you time and frustration :)

~ April