Can’t Type Anything in Microsoft Word; What to Do?

410405 Can’t Type Anything in Microsoft Word; What to Do?

Not being able to type or edit documents in Microsoft Word can be extremely frustrating. Whether you are a student working on an important paper or a business professional trying to finish a report, losing the ability to put words on the page brings productivity to a grinding halt.

Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get Microsoft Word back up and running when you can’t seem to type anything. In this article, we’ll walk through the top solutions to try if you find yourself unable to enter text into a Word document.

Step 1: Check That Your Keyboard Works Properly

Before diving into Word-specific issues, first make sure that your keyboard itself is working correctly. Open another program like Notepad or an internet browser and try typing there. If your keyboard works fine typing elsewhere, you know the issue lies specifically with Microsoft Word.

However, if your keyboard does NOT work in other programs either, you likely have an external hardware issue, like a stuck key or broken USB connection. Try using a different keyboard or reconnect the current one.

Step 2: Verify That Num Lock is Disabled

A common culprit behind Word’s typing issues is having Num Lock enabled accidentally. When Num Lock is on, it changes part of your keyboard to type numbers instead of letters.

To disable Num Lock, locate the Num Lock key on your keyboard (often in the top row labeled ‘Num Lk’). Press it once to turn off Num Lock, then try typing in your Word document again.

Step 3: Disable Add-ins and Extensions

Microsoft Word supports add-ins and extensions that can extend its functionality in helpful ways. However, buggy or outdated add-ins can also cause typing problems.

To rule out conflicts from add-ins, open Word and navigate to File > Options > Add-ins. Go through the list and disable any suspicious or unnecessary add-ins. Then close and restart Word to see if typing works properly now. If so, you can enable add-ins one-by-one until you identify the problematic one.

Step 4: Reset Microsoft Word to Default Settings

Resetting Word restores the original default settings, which will override any corrupted options that might block typing ability.

To reset, go to File > Options > General. At the bottom, click the button “Reset only Word settings” and confirm on the popup. After Word reopens, create a new blank document and test if typing works.

Step 5: Repair Your Office Installation

A damaged Office installation can also manifest in odd Word behavior like losing typing capability. To repair, open Windows Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Find Microsoft Office, click the three dots next to it, and select Modify. This will open the Office installer – proceed to click Online Repair and follow the on-screen prompts.

Once repair finishes, reopen Word and check if typing works now. A full reinstall of Office is the next step if this repair did not resolve matters.

Step 6: Create a New Windows User Profile

As a last resort, create an entirely new Windows user account to test if typing issues persist there. Sometimes corruption in your personal user profile causes problems for Office apps like Word.

To add a new test account, go to Windows Settings > Accounts > Family & Other Users > Add someone else to this PC. Complete the steps to create a new user, switch over to that account, and open Word. Check if typing works normally there or not.

If typing DOES work in the new account, your original profile has become corrupted somehow. You can either continue using the new profile or try resetting and restoring your original.


Losing the ability to enter text into Microsoft Word can totally derail your productivity. But before panicking, walk through these troubleshooting tips – the problem likely stems from something simple like Num Lock being turned on or a buggy add-in.

Disabling extensions, repairing Office, and resetting Word to defaults can get your document editing back on track. And should all else fail, creating a fresh user profile isolates whether wider system issues are at fault.

With some targeted troubleshooting, you can solve Word’s typing woes and resume working on important papers and reports without starting over from scratch.

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