Top 5 Ways to Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding Issue

menu_default hide_default

If you’re an avid user of Microsoft Office, it’s very likely you’ve come across the ‘Microsoft Word is not responding’ error prompt. Microsoft Word is arguably the most popular tool in Office suite, and hence the most often used, which makes it more susceptible to errors than the other tools in the suite.

Fixing the Microsoft Word not responding issue is really simple if you know the right steps to take. And you don’t need to buy any software or resort to other means that will cost you money if you’re only aiming to fix the program. Just attempt the solutions below and you’ll fix the Word not responding error in no time.

Part 1: Top 5 Ways to Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding Issue

When it comes to fixing Microsoft Word keeps freezing or not responding on start up or any other similar Word error, there are several options at your disposal whether you are working on Word 2016/2013/2010 or Word 2007. So have a read below and try the top 5 fixes.

1Start Microsoft Word in Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a great route to take because it enables you to launch Microsoft Word with only the most important functions and features. All other third-party applications are disabled in this mode, which streamlines the process of troubleshooting any errors. So, if your Microsoft Word keeps freezing and not responding, try this.

Step 1- Press the Windows + S keys and then type “Microsoft Word” or just “Word”.

Step 2- Press and hold onto the Ctrl key and and meanwhile click on the Word application icon.

Step 3- You’ll see a prompt asking if you want to open Word in Safe Mode. Click on Yes. If it opens fine, your problem has been solved. If it still doesn’t open, proceed on to the next step.

fix Word not responding

2Disable Add-Ins in MS Word

If your Word is not responding in Windows 10, it’s very likely the problem is caused by add-ins, but the solution is quick and simple.

Step 1- Launch Word and when it opens up, look to the top left and click on the File menu. Then click on Options located on the bottom-left section of the page.

Step 2- In the next screen you see, look to the left sidebar and click “Add-ins”. Then there’s a Manage dropdown menu. Choose “COM Add-ins” and then click the “Go” button you see beside it.

Step 3- The next page will take you to where the add-ins are. Untick all the ones you see and then click on “OK”. For the last step, just close Word and restart it again. That should fix the Word not responding error.

3Change Markup Settings

There is a feature in Microsoft Word that allows you to keep a record of any amendments made to a document. But Microsoft Word can become slow or even stop responding if there are excessive tracked amendments or comments to the document you want to open. Here is a solution to this problem.

Step 1- If your Word is open, close and then launch it again. Click on Review on the top menu bar, then click on the Tracking group and a dropdown menu will appear. Click on All Markup.

change markup settings in Word

Step 2- Then click on Show Markup and another dropdown menu will appear. Move your cursor over to “Balloons”, then tick “Show only comments and formatting in balloons” in the window you see.

change markup settings in Word

Step 3- Lastly, click on “File” and then open the faulty document that causes the error. It should work fine now.

4 Disconnect the Network Drive

Microsoft OneDrive is a network drive that automatically backs up your Word documents. But what happens if you save your documents when the network drive is not existing or offline? Microsoft Word won’t respond.  The same is true for any other network drive. The solution is as simple as you disconnecting from any network service you’re connected to.

Step 1- Launch your File Explorer.

Step 2- On the left pane, right-click on your “Drive C” or “This PC”.

Step 3- You’ll see “disconnect from network drive…” in the dropdown menu. Click on it and select which network drive you want to disconnect from.

Step 4 - Click on ‘OK”.  A smaller window will ask you to confirm your selection. Click “Yes”.

disconnect network drive

Alternatively, you can also launch your “Explorer” and click “Computer” in the top menu bar. Then click on “Map network drive”. A dropdown menu will open and when you see “Disconnect Network Drive”, select it.

disconnet netword drive

5Run MS Office Repair Program

Microsoft Office’s inbuilt Repair tool is a great utility to solve problems like this. And using it takes very little of your time.

Step 1- Press the “Windows+R” key, then type “Control Panel”, and click it when you see it. Once it’s open, click Programs > Programs and Features.

Step 2- Look for Microsoft Office under the “Name” category. Click on it and then click on “Change” in the menu right above it.

repair Microsoft Office

Step 3- A new window will open and you’ll see several options on it. Tick “Repair” and click on the “Continue” button. The newer Office versions will give you two options: Quick Repair and Online Repair. You can select anyone you want but the latter requires an internet connection.

Step 4- The repair process will commence. Wait for it to complete and when your computer has been automatically rebooted after this repair process, you can then launch Microsoft Office to see if all is well.

Part 2: Recover Documents Lost for Word Not Responding

All you’ve read thus far talks about solutions for when Word is not responding or when Microsoft Word becomes very slow or freezes. But what to do if you lost several Word documents due to Word not responding issue? Or what if your Word files get lost because of operating system failure,  system crash or perhaps a malicious software attack?

The answer is for you to use a powerful and reliable Word data recovery software that can effectively recover your most important documents with little effort expended on your part. The best software available to you now is iMyFone AnyRecover, an effective tool that’s capable of recovering data lost in any situation. It is recommended by leading media sites like Softpedia, Appleworld and Engadget for its high recovery rate and easy-to use feature.

AnyRecover product

1,000,000 + Downloads

Amazing Features of AnyRecover Data Recovery Software:       

Recovering lost data from internal hard drive, recycle bin, external hard drive, SD card, USB drive and many other storage devices.

Able to recover files lost due to accidental deletion, Shift+Del delete, lost partition, virus attack, system crash, etc.

iMyFone AnyRecover accommodates the major operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.9 to Mac OS X 10.15, Windows 10/8.1/ 8/7/ XP.

AnyRecover supports to restore over 1000 file types, including Word documents, videos, pictures, emails and more.

It’s 100% safe to use and trusted by millions of users around the world.

Download NowDownload Now

Part 3: Frequently Asked Questions on Word Not Responding

  • What causes Word not responding?

There can be many reasons why your Word is constantly not responding but the most likely reasons are Word files corrupted by a virus. The fault could also lie with plug-ins or third-party add-ons. Finally, it might even be outdated hardware and software.

  • How do I force Word to quit safely when it's not responding?

This is very easy. Just right-click on your Windows’ taskbar and click “Start Task Manager” in the menu which pops up. Locate “Microsoft Word” in the list of running programs under the “Processes” category. Click on “End Task”.

  • How to fix Word if it keeps not responding?

You can try to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office, or disable any third-party antivirus software after you scan your system to make sure a virus isn’t causing the problem.


Microsoft Office is a great tool that’s indispensable in daily life, so you should always know the most effective solutions to fix Word not responding errors, and this article highlights them. But even if you fix the word not responding error but you still lose your Word files, iMyFone AnyRecover can easily get everything back.

Download NowDownload Now


By  James Crawford , to Document Recovery

Updated on Aug 19, 2020

Related Articles: