Word Not Responding Or Open? Here’s How To Fix It

Microsoft Word is a great platform to write, edit, and share your documents. But sometimes, it can fail to respond and can cause issues like lags and freezes, ruining your experience on the app.

Factors like corrupted data files, add-ins, antivirus software, and so on can cause Word to stop responding. 

So, in this article, let us dive into learning more about the causes and how to fix Word not responding.

Why Is My Word not Responding?

Some of the common causes for your Word not responding to your device are listed down below:

  • Incompatible Add-ins and Extensions 
  • Corrupted Data Files
  • Outdated Microsoft Word
  • Faulty or Outdated Printer Drivers 
  • Outdated Operating Software
  • Antivirus Software

How to Fix Word not Responding on Windows?

Before we move on to the following fixes, please make sure that your Windows operating system and Office are both up-to-date.

Now, without further ado, let’s move on to the measures you can take to fix your Microsoft Word not responding issue on your Windows devices.

Check Task Manager

A quick fix for Word not responding is to close the application entirely. Sometimes, restarting your application can help solve minor issues occurring on the application. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can exit the application through the Task Manager. 

  1. Use the Shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open your Task Manager. 
  2. Navigate to the Process tab and select Microsoft Word. 
  3. Right-click on the application and click on End Task.End-Task
  4. Now, head over to the Start menu and make sure you run the application as an Administrator.

Use Safe Mode and Disable Plugins 

Sometimes, the add-ins and extensions installed on your device might be causing issues to your Word application. To check for this issue, you can use the Safe Mode. With this mode on, you can temporarily exclude all add-ins from running on your device.

Here is how you can enable it. 

  1. Use the shortcut command Ctrl + R to open the Run command. 
  2. Enter the winword /safe path. 
  3. Click on the OK button. Word-In-Safe-Mode

Try opening your Word application again. If you don’t face any further issues with your application, we can be sure that the problem is in the Add-ins and extensions of your device. 

So, to disable the function, here is what you can do. 

  1. Open your Word application. 
  2. On the top left, click on the File menu. 
  3. Click on Options
  4. From the left panel, select Add-ins. 
  5. Under the Manage section, select the COM add-ins and click on Go.Disable-Add-Ins-In-Word
  6. Uncheck the boxes for all the add-ins.
  7. Finally, click on OK. 

Repair Microsoft Office 

In some cases, there might be issues within your Microsoft Office apps. But, Thankfully, all installed Microsoft apps come with a built-in Repair function. But, before we start the repair process, please make sure you have closed all Microsoft apps.

  1. Head over to the Start icon and select Settings.  
  2. From the left-side panel, click on Apps. 
  3. Choose the App and Features option. 
  4. Find the Microsoft Office app. 
  5. Select and click on the Modify button. Repair-Office
  6. Click on the Repair option. Microsoft-Repair
  7. Microsoft will detect and fix the issues automatically. 

Change the Default Printer

Your Word application might become unresponsive if you have set a defective printer device as your default printer. Since the Microsoft Word application is closely integrated with the printers on your system, any issues that arise in your printer can cause Microsoft to become unresponsive. 

So, you can fix this issue by switching to another printer and setting it as the default printer. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Go to your Start icon and select Settings.
  2. Click on the Devices option. 
  3. From the left-side panel, choose Printers and Scanners. 
  4. Find and select a working printer from the list of options. 
  5. Click on the Manage button. 
  6. Select the set it as a default option. 

Update Printer Drivers

Another cause for Microsoft Word not responding on your computer device is your outdated printer drivers. To fix this issue, you can update your printer drivers. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Head over to the start icon and type in Device Manager and click on it.Device-Manager
  2. Under the Print Ques section, select your printer from the list. 
  3. Right-click on it and select the Update Driver option.
  4. Chose the Search automatically for updated driver software option.

Turn off antivirus

In some cases, some antivirus software may not be compatible with Microsoft apps. So, a quick fix for this problem is to disable the software temporarily. You can easily disable these software programs by right-clicking on the program icon on the system tray and selecting the disable option. 

If your Word application starts to function, you may want to uninstall or remove the program from your device. We would also suggest you use a different antivirus program that is compatible with Microsoft apps. 

Note: Please be aware of the risks that may arise after disabling the antivirus. However, it is better to add the app to the exclusion list of the antivirus. 

Replace the Normal.dot Global Template File

A global template file in  Microsoft Word contains all the AutoText, macros, and formatting functions. But, when this file gets corrupted, your Word application may fail to respond. To fix this issue, you can change and rename it into a Normal. dot file. 

  1. Use the command shortcut Windows + R key to open up the run utility.
  2. Enter cmd and hit on OK. Run-CMD
  3. Type in the following command of the field.
    ren %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dotm OldNormal.dotm  
  4. Wait for the command to finish and exit Command Prompt.
  5. Now, restart your Microsoft word to make changes.

Remove or Delete Word Registry Keys

The registry stores most of your frequently used Word options in its key. In some instances, your Word application can stop responding on your device if there are problems with the registry.

A quick fix for this issue is to delete the key. This action reverts the registry subkey to its default settings and might fix your problem. Firstly, make sure you exit out of all Office Applications. 

  1. Go to the Start icon and type in Regedit.Regedit
  2. Select the Yes button to open the registry.
  3. You can follow the given paths to locate the Word options key depending upon your Microsoft Word version. 
    • Word 2016: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word\Options
    • Word 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Word\Options
    • Word 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\Options
  4. Find the key and right-click on the Options Folder.
  5. Click on the Export option. Word-Registry
  6. Now, save the file to your Desktop and rename the options key as Wddata.reg
  7. Head back to the Registry Editor and find the options key. 
  8. Delete it from the menu bar. 

Lastly, close the Registry Editor. 

After following these steps, restart your Word application and see if this method fixes the problem. If the issue is persisting, open the Wddata. reg icon from your Desktop and restore the Registry key.   

Reinstall your Office App 

If the above fixes don’t work for you, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling your Microsoft apps. Sometimes, there might be faulty bugs and errors on the existing version that may cause issues on all your Microsoft Word application. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Go to your Settings. 
  2. Click on the Apps option.
  3. Go to Apps and Features. 
  4. Scroll down to find Microsoft Office and click on the three dots on the right side.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button.Uninstall-Office  
  6. Click on the Uninstall option again to confirm your action.
  7. Reinstall it back again and see if it works.

How to Fix Word not Responding on Mac?

Your Mac device can equally have issues with the Microsoft Word application not responding. The causes are similar to that of Windows. Let’s look at the solutions. 

Force Quit Mac application

The first thing Microsoft recommends is to close out the application. If you are unable to do so, you can use the force quit application function on your Mac. This option allows you to close out all unresponsive applications like your Microsoft Word.

Here is how you can do it. 

  1. Press the shortcut command Ctrl + Option + Esc.
  2. Select Microsoft Word from the list of applications. 
  3. Click on the Force Quit button.Force Quit Application

Disable Add-ins

If you installed additional add-ins on your Word application, check to see if they are causing the issue. In some instances, bugs and errors might get attached to these plug-ins, which can cause the application to become unresponsive. 

You can follow these steps to disable your add-ins. 

  1. Open up your Word Document. 
  2. On the Tell Me section, type in Add-ins.Word Add-ins  
  3. Click on the three dots next to the add-in. 
  4. Select the Remove option.Remove Add-ins  

Clear out the Auto Recovery Folder

With the help of the AutoRecover feature on Mac, you can retrieve lost and deleted files. But, in some cases, corrupted or damaged files may stay in the system and can cause the Word application to not respond. To fix this issue, you can try to delete the AutoRecovery Folder from your Mac.     

  1. Open your Finder and Navigate to the Go menu. 
  2. Select the Go To Folder option.Go to Folder mac
  3. Type and enter this following path: ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/
  4. Delete the Files on the AutoRecovery Folder.    

Use Safe Mode 

While booting up in Safe Mode, it runs system checks on your Mac device and may diagnose and fix problems occurring on your applications. This mode is also going to boot without using third-party applications. It also doesn’t install anything but the basic system fonts.

Apple M1 Processor 

  1. Exit out of your Word application and Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press and continue to hold on to the Power button to open the Startup options window. 
  3. Select your Startup Disk. 
  4. Then, hold the Shift Key and click on Continue in Safe Mode option.
  5.  Log back into your account.

Intel processor

  1. Shut down your Mac and wait for 5-10 seconds.
  2. Turn on your Mac by pressing the power button, and immediately press the Shift key.
  3. Keep holding down the Shift Key until you see the login screen.
  4. Log back into your account. 

Check the Document Name 

In many instances, if you have named the Word File with symbols and special characters, it may not open on your Mac device. To fix this, rename the file without adding symbols and special characters. 

Reinstall Word 

If the above fixes don’t work out for you, you can try reinstalling the application. This method might help you reset your Word settings and remove  Here is a step-by-step guide. 

  1. Open your Finder and click on Applications from the left panel. 
  2. Navigate and select the Microsoft Word application. 
  3. Drag the application and move it into the Trash. 
  4. Empty the Bin. 

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