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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Microsoft finally fixes annoying Windows 11 file copying bug

Windows 11 is about to get the full fix for a bug that causes serious aggravation to some users when trying to copy big files.

This problem has been around for some time, but Microsoft has finally got a handle on it, because as Windows Latest points out, the cure is bundled up with the freshly revealed ‘Moment 2’ update for Windows 11 22H2.

That update is already available as an optional offering – still in preview, in other words, but up for grabs to all Windows 11 users (not just testers) – and it’ll be fully rolling out with the final deployment of Moment 2 which happens next Tuesday (March 14).

So, if you’ve been hit by this bug, the resolution is imminent, thankfully. The issue badly slows down the copying of larger files, with some reports we’ve seen in the past saying that hefty copy operations can actually take twice as long as they should. Nasty indeed.

Windows Latest made this discovery thanks to readers who informed the site that file copying had reverted to normal speeds following the installation of patch KB5022913 (Moment 2 preview).

A tech consultant told the website: “We ran into this problem in December when we upgraded our 100 devices to Windows 11 22H2. The files were taking a lot longer to copy over than they should. We noticed some file transfers were almost twice slower. Our users confirmed this is no longer the case after the KB5022913 update.”

Analysis: A long time in the making

As mentioned, this problem has been around for a while – indeed a fix was applied in testing way back at the start of December 2022. That means it will have taken three and a half months for the test patch to actually reach the release version of Windows 11. (Assuming that it is included with Moment 2 and doesn’t get ditched at the last, erm, moment, if problems have been encountered with the optional preview update).

When we first reported on this, we were keeping our fingers crossed for a swift fix, but that didn’t happen, so presumably this was a knotty problem that took quite some untangling. Granted, the bug mainly affects those on enterprise networks, but folks running small office or home networks have also been hit.

The Moment 2 update fixes a bunch of other bugs, as you might expect – including File Explorer glitches and a flaw with Bluetooth keyboards – and it adds a whole pile of features to Windows 11. That includes Phone Link for iOS (finally), improvements for touchscreen devices, and much more (we’ve got a deep dive on all the additions right here). Oh, and it’ll also usher in the Bing AI to the taskbar (sort of, from time to time – we talk about this further here).

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