Whether you’re using the latest Microsoft Office or an earlier build, there’s a great chance you’ll encounter the Microsoft word not opening error, and this problem occurs on both Windows 7, 8, and 10.
When you attempt to open Microsoft Word but you only end up seeing nothing, it means either the Word file or software itself is malfunctioning and needs to be fixed. The moment you see the error, your Microsoft Word will stop working then even close itself, disabling you from working with it. In that case, you can take advantage of these 6 simple yet excellent solutions to this persistent Microsoft word not opening problem outlined for you below.
The factors that culminate to give you the MS word not opening error are many, and some of them are more frequent than others. Sometimes, the error could arise from external factors but other times, the error is caused by something within the application itself. The main causes are:
Incompatible Add-Ins – Add-ins are intended to give extra features to software but they sometimes create conflict in how the software functions, hence Microsoft Word cannot open.
Corrupted Word File – It’s very possible that if you attempt to open a damaged or corrupted Word file, you won’t be able to open the file and view its contents.
Server Timeout – If you attempt to open, save, or perhaps access a Word document that’s hosted on a remote server, the MS Word will not open.
Outdated Word Version – Microsoft Word receives updates too and if you’re trying to open a Word document using an outdated version of Microsoft Word, compatibility issues might arise and it cannot open the Word file.
Improper Installation– When you don’t install MS Word properly, the software could be adversely affected if you try to launch it, leading to the Microsoft Word has stopped working error.
When your Microsoft Word is not opening on Windows or if you seek solutions to the constant Word won’t open error, all you need are the tools your computer provides. There’s no need to resort to third-party tools or professional help because you can fix the problem on your own, and here’s how:
If the problem is specific to a Word document and not the Microsoft application, a quick and simple method here is to launch MS Office and open up a blank page. The steps below detail how you’ll do this.
Launch MS Word and create a new file.
At the top ribbon menu, you’ll see Insert. Click it, then click on Text too.
You’ll see a drop-down menu. Click on Text from File.
Locate the directory of the faulty Word file and select it, then click on Insert.
You can now open the Word file and see the contents in it. Finally, proceed to save it as a new file on your computer.
Task Manager is great at closing unresponsive programs and that’s why you can use it as a fix in this situation.
If you try to launch Microsoft Word and nothing happens, open up Task Manager by clicking this key combination: Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You can also right-click on the Taskbar and choose Task Manager.
Look under the Details tab and if you see WINWORD.exe running, it means Windows identifies the program as open and functioning properly, which is far from the case.
Simply right-click on it and select End process tree, then restart Microsoft Office.
Safe Mode gives you privileges your normal Windows mode doesn’t, and if you start Microsoft Word in it, there won’t be any add-ins and templates running, so you’ll be able to ascertain whether the software is working properly or not.
The quickest way to launch an Office software in safe mode is to log into your Windows normally and press the Windows + R keys.
Next, type “winword /safe” and choose “OK”.
If your Word program opens up in safe mode, then proceed with the steps to disable add-ins, because damaged add-ins may also prevent your Office from opening documents.
Click on File > Options, then select Add-ins in the new window that opens up.
Look at the bottom of the window and you’ll see the “Manage” dropdown menu. Click on the “Go” button beside it.
Untick the add-ins you see and click on “OK”. Once you open up Word in normal mode and it should work fine now.
Updates are primarily meant to rectify any errors besetting a software. Microsoft regularly releases updates for Microsoft Office and the entire operating system itself. So, if you’re running an old version of Windows and the problem occurs very often, updating your operating system might solve the problem.
Press the “Windows” key and click on “Settings”.
Go ahead to Update & Security > Windows Update.
Click on the Check for updates button. Windows will check for any available updates, including Microsoft Office. If there is any, download and install it.
But if your Microsoft Office worked fine before and the error only manifested after you updated your Windows. In such a case, perhaps uninstalling any new and prior updates will solve the issue.
Once again head to Windows Update page.
Click View update history > Uninstall updates.
Look through the recent updates and locate the ones belonging to Microsoft Office.
Right-click on the update and select Uninstall.
Try launching your Microsoft Office and open a word file and see if you’re still getting the Microsoft Word has stopped working error.
Microsoft comes with its own proprietary and built-in recovery tool called Microsoft Office Repair. Use it to fix the Microsoft word not opening files issue.
Simultaneously press the Windows + R keys.
Type “appwiz.cpl” and hit “Enter”.
The “Programs and Features” dialogue box will open up, look for the version of Microsoft Office you have installed and right-click on it.
Select Change and then tick Quick Repair. The tool will attempt to fix any errors. Restart your computer after the repairing process is completed.
These keys are used to store, manage, and modify system configuration and application. But sometimes, they could get corrupted or be modified to the detriment of a particular software and prevent you from running the software properly. A simple solution is to just delete the faulty keys.
Step 1: Type “regedit” in the search bar to open Registry Editor, you’ll see a database in a tree format called “keys”.
Step 2: Depending on which version of Microsoft Office you’re using, navigate to the path that pertains to your Microsoft Office and find the “data” key. See below for the paths of all the MS Office versions released.
Word 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\10.0\WordData
Word 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\11.0\WordData
Word 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\12.0\WordData
Word 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\14.0\WordData
Word 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\15.0\WordData
Word 2016: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicrosoftOffice\16.0\WordData
Step 3: Right-click on the “Data” key and select “Delete”.
Step 4: Restart your computer and you should be free of any Word not opening errors.
The solutions above are great if your Microsoft Word is not opening in Windows 10/8/7, but, in the worst-case scenario, what if you lose your Word documents due to this error or other problems like Word not responding, system crash, etc.? Is there a way you can get everything back in one piece? Yes, there is, and that way comes in the form of an efficient data recovery tool from iMyFone called AnyRecover.
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Six very simple yet effective ways to fix Microsoft Word not opening files were outlined for you in the pages above. If one solution fails to solve your problem, simply try another until you find the one that works.
If you resolve the Microsoft Word not opening errors but still lose your Word documents along the way, iMyFone AnyRecover can recover them for you. It’s a light but powerful data recovery software capable of recovering all your lost, formatted and deleted files.
By James Crawford , to Document Recovery
Updated on Aug 21, 2020