Having trouble copying and saving files across Windows? This could be why

Microsoft has confirmed some 32-bit apps are having issues when copying and saving files across different versions of Windows.

The issue is affecting a number of popular programs and Microsoft Office apps, including the likes of Word and Excel, with users finding they cannot save their work and being confronted with "Document not saved" error messages.

Microsoft says the issue is primarily affecting enterprise and business users, with consumers and those using Windows devices in their home unlikely to be affected.

Windows copy issues

"You might have intermittent issues saving, or copying, or attaching files using 32-bit apps which are large address aware and using the CopyFile API," the company said in a support page outlining the problems.

"Windows devices are more likely to be affected by this issue when using some commercial/enterprise security software which uses extended file attributes."

Microsoft notes that all its most popular Windows builds are affected, including Windows 11, version 22H2; Windows 10, version 22H2; Windows 11, version 21H2; and Windows 10, version 21H2.

There have been no reports of File Explorer being affected by the copying issue, but Microsoft notes the CopyFile API used by a number of specific applications may be impacted. The company added that 64-bit apps are not affected by this issue, which also avoids apps that are 32-bit and not large address aware.

As it stands, Microsoft has only been able to release a fix for Windows 10 and Windows 11 21H2, which is available via the Known Issue Rollback system, adding it is working on a patch for other versions, and will provide an update soon.

The company says users might be able to get around the issue simply by attempting to save or copy again.

"Since the issue is intermittent, it is likely to succeed on a subsequent try," Microsoft's advice says.

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