the disk is full trying to write to macintosh hd

Word for Mac 2011 keeps giving me the following message: "the disk is full trying to write to macintosh hd", followed by a message saying that autorecover cannot save the file to the chosen location. I have changed the location for autosaved files in my Word/Preferences/File Locations, but this made no difference.

I have searched the internet for a solution and it seems that this message was also related an old bug in several of the previous versions of Word for Mac. The difference is that the old bug prevented saving the file; in my case, there is this annoying message and, of course, no autosaves of the file I am working with.

My setup: brand new Macbook Pro, with 750 MB (614 MB free), Office for Mac 2011 (Word v. 14.2.2), MathType v. 6.7d. The document has 4 pages, about 6 or 7 equations made with MathType, a few tables, no figures. It was a document originally created with Word 2003 for Windows (.doc), but I saved it as a Word 2011 file (.docx).

I would appreciate any suggestions on how to fix this.

Question Info

Last updated May 22, 2019 Views 39,815 Applies to:
The error message is misleading. Word should be saying "I could not save the file." Factors that contribute to Word's message:

  • Having the file open and working on it for hours on end. If such is the case, you may find that simply closing and reopening the file, or just doing a Save As under another name, will restore functionality. This appears to be because Word keeps track of Undos in hidden files. If there are too many Undos, Word reaches its limit on the number of open files.
  • Using track changes. This increases the complexity of the document and, consequently, that of the Undo files. If you are only tracking changes by one author, sometimes you can instead work without tracking changes (all changes accepted) and do a file comparison with the original version after you are done with the changes.
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