Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processor globally. However, at times users face issues with Word not opening on their Windows PC. This can disrupt your work and prove to be extremely frustrating.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process to fix Microsoft Word not opening on your Windows computer.
Why is Microsoft Word Not Opening?
There can be several reasons for Word not launching properly on your system:
- Corrupt Word installation or damaged program files
- Conflicts with antivirus or firewall software
- Too many add-ins causing instability
- Outdated Windows or Office updates
- Incompatible printer drivers
- Corrupted documents or templates
Identifying the exact cause will help troubleshoot the issue more efficiently.
Step 1 – Restart Your Computer
The first step is to restart your PC and check if the issue persists. A system reboot clears any software conflicts and memory issues that could prevent Word from opening correctly.
Follow these steps to restart your Windows computer:
- Save and close any open programs and documents
- Click on the Start menu
- Click on the Power button
- Select Restart
Once your system has restarted completely, try opening Word again normally to see if the problem is resolved.
Step 2 – Run the Application in Safe Mode
If Word still won’t open after a reboot, the next step is to run it in safe mode. Safe mode loads the software without add-ins, templates or third-party extensions.
This isolates whether any incompatible components are causing the launch failure. Follow these instructions:
- Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box
- Type winword /safe and press Enter
- Click Yes if prompted to open Word in safe mode
- Try creating or opening documents to test if the app now works properly
If Word opens fine in safe mode, it indicates conflicts with certain add-ins or templates. You can identify the problematic components by enabling them one-by-one in normal mode.
Step 3 – Repair Office Installation
Corrupted installation files can also stop Word from functioning correctly. Use the Office repair utility in Windows to fix damaged program components.
Here is how to run Office repair on your system:
- Open Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features
- Right-click on Microsoft Office and select Change
- Choose Repair > Quick Repair in the options
- Follow on-screen directions to complete the repair process
- Restart your computer once done
The quick repair scans Office apps for issues and restores altered files. This should resolve any launch failures occurring due to corrupt installations.
Step 4 – Create a New Windows User Profile
Sometimes, damaged Windows user profiles prevent Office apps from working correctly. Creating a new profile resets all Word configurations and settings on your operating system.
Follow these steps:
- Go to Start and type sysdm.cpl to open System Properties
- Navigate to the Advanced tab > User Profiles section
- Click Settings to open the User Profiles dialog box
- Select your user account and click Copy To
- Provide a new profile name and click OK
- Restart your system and sign-in using the newly created profile
- Attempt to open Word again to see if the issue is fixed
This will create a separate Windows profile with default Word settings. If the problem persists, it lies elsewhere and is not profile-related.
Step 5 – Uninstall and Reinstall Office
If none of the above steps work, completely uninstall Office using the Windows uninstaller tool. This removes all program files, configurations and registry data.
You can then reinstall Office fresh on your operating system using the latest installer package.
Follow these instructions:
- Open Control Panel > Uninstall a Program
- Right-click on Microsoft Office and select Uninstall
- Follow the on-screen prompts to completely remove Office
- Download the latest Office installer from Microsoft
- Run the Office setup package and reinstall Word on your PC with default settings
Reinstalling Word will replace all its components and ensure optimum compatibility with Windows.
Step 6 – Run SFC and DISM Scans
System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tools check Windows system files for corruption. Running these inbuilt utilities can fix the issue if it’s occurring due to damaged operating system components.
Follow these steps:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator
- Type sfc /scannow and press Enter to run SFC scan
- Once finished, run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth to start DISM repair
- Restart your computer when the scans complete
- Attempt opening Word again normally after the reboot
This will scan and replace corrupt Windows files that could be preventing Office apps from functioning optimally.
Step 7 – Contact Microsoft Support
If you still face the problem of Microsoft Word not opening on your Windows PC after trying all the above solutions, it’s best to contact Microsoft Support.
You can reach out to them via the following channels:
- Online Ticket: Visit Microsoft Office Support webpage and open a technical support ticket
- Chat Support: Initiate a live chat with a Microsoft technician for troubleshooting assistance
- Call Support: Contact Microsoft helpline to speak with an expert on call
Microsoft Support can run remote diagnostics, analyze error logs and suggest appropriate fixes as per your unique issue.
We hope this detailed guide helps you resolve problems with Microsoft Word not launching on your Windows 10, 8 or 7 PC. Let us know in the comments if you have any other quick fixes for this commonly faced software glitch.