[Solved] Word Is Waiting For An OLE Action To Finish

The OLE feature is extremely useful when you need to interact/communicate with other applications like Excel using Word. Moreover, you can insert an object and import data from other apps with it.

However, you can encounter the “Word Is Waiting for an Ole Action to Finish” error message because of the same feature.

Generally, the error occurs when you try to open/import data from other applications but get stuck waiting for the other app to receive the data in Word. Likewise, a corrupt add-in can also lead to this issue.

Sometimes, a simple restart of the Word app or the system resolves the issue. But in most cases, you need to apply several fixes to resolve the error message.

Nonetheless, you can go through various solutions in this article to eliminate the error message.

Why are you seeing “Word Is Waiting for an OLE Action to Finish”?

There are several factors that lead to the above error message. Here are the most common ones.

  • Installing corrupt Add-ins
  • Using an outdated version of the Office app
  • Conflicting apps running on the background
  • Office app installed inappropriately

How to Fix “Word Is Waiting for an OLE Action to Finish”?

Before moving on to the fixes, try all the three options in the above error message; Switch To, Retry, and Cancel. See if the error goes away.

But if the error persists, you can go through the following fixes.

Open Word in Safe Mode

Opening Word in safe mode runs the app with the most basic configuration and without the third-party add-ins. Also, you can run it in case Word fails to open or crashes.

To open Word in safe mode,

  1. Press Windows + X and select the Run option.
  2. Enter the command winword /safe and click OK.run-microsoft-word-in-safe-mode
  3. Alternatively, press and hold the Ctrl key while opening the Word app.

Close the Conflicting Applications

Since this error arises while Word interacts with other applications, you can close them to resolve your issues. 

For instance, if you were working with Mathtype, close its window. You can use the Alt +Tab keyboard shortcut to view open apps on your system.

But, in case you don’t find the open apps, you can directly close them using the task manager as follows.

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Then, under the Processes tab, select the application.
  3. Click the End task button in the bottom right corner.

For a Mac system, use the shortcut key Option + Command + Esc and select the apps you want to quit.

Note: Many people have faced the above error message while working with Adobe Acrobat. Therefore, close the program or look for a process name acrord32.exe and end it as mentioned above.

Remove the Add-In(s)

Add-ins are productive for various purposes and can assist you in performing a particular task easily. However, it can also cause the above error message as it can get corrupt and starts to interfere with the Word app.

So, you have to remove the problematic add-in from the Word app for it to work as expected. On the other hand, you can later re-add all the other ones.

  1. Launch the Word app.
  2. Click Options in the bottom left corner. Or, if you have opened a document, go to File > Options.
  3. Click the Add-ins tab.
  4. Now, select the options COM Add-ins next to the Manage field, and click the Go button.word-com-add-ins
  5. Uncheck the installed add-ins one by one to disable them and see if the Word app works as expected. Alternatively, you can disable all the add-ins at once from
  6. Then, once you find out the problematic add-in, select its checkbox and click Remove.

Repair the Office App

You can repair the Word app to resolve common Word issues and error messages. However, you need to repair the whole Microsoft Office package.

Nonetheless, here’s how you can do it.

  1. Press Windows + X and select the Apps and Features option.
  2. Then, click the Microsoft Office package installed on your system. Or, if you are using Windows 11, click the three vertical dots next to it.
  3. Now, select the Modify option.
  4. On the repair prompt, select Quick Repair and click Repair. Alternatively, you can also try the next option (Online Repair).
  5. Check if the error message is resolved.

Update the Word App

An outdated Word app contains several unresolved bugs and issues. Hence, it can result in such issues. Hence, update it to the latest version to avoid the error message. 

On Windows

  1. Launch the Word app.
  2. Click Account in the bottom left corner.
  3. Then, expand the Update Options and choose Update Now.Update-word
  4. Wait for the update process to finish.
  5. Relaunch the app and see if the error message is gone.

On Mac

  1. First, launch the Word app.
  2. Now, click the Help menu at the top and select the Check for Updates option.
  3. Then, click the Update button. Additionally, check the Automatically keep Microsoft Apps up to date checkbox to allow automatic Word updates.update-word-mac
  4. Relaunch the app and check if the error has disappeared.

Reinstall the App

If you didn’t succeed with the above fixes, you can reinstall the application to remove all the previous app data and its configurations. However, unlike on Mac, you cannot uninstall the Word app separately on Windows. You will need to uninstall the whole Office package.

Nonetheless, here’s how you can do it.

On Windows

  1. Press Windows + R, type control to open the control panel.
  2. Navigate to Programs > Programs and Features.
  3. Select the Microsoft Office package from the list of apps.
  4. Click Uninstall from the top bar and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.Uninstall-office-application

If you experience any issues while uninstalling, you can use the Microsoft Office Uninstall support tool. However, choose the correct Office version you are using on its prompt.

On Mac

  1. Open the Finder app.
  2. Under the Applications tab, select the Microsoft Word app.
  3. Right-click on it and select Move to Trash.

After uninstalling, you can download the Office package (including Word) from its official site. First, sign in with your associated Microsoft account and install it from there. 

For Mac, open the Microsoft Office installer.pkg or similar from the downloads folder and install it on your system.

Finally, launch the Word app and check if it’s working as expected.

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