Fixing Microsoft Word Crashes


MS Word.jpg

Everybody using windows has at some point has encountered applications crashing, unexplainable error messages, and even incoherent blue screen’s, but how can we fix these problems when they happen and how can we prevent them from happening in the future.

I have helped many people who have had similar problems with Microsoft’s premiere Office productivity suite MS Office (more specifically, Word), but understanding what’s causing Word to crash is often quite a difficult thing to do if you don’t know where to look.

There are 4-5 different things that will help you tremendously when troubleshooting problems with Microsoft Word:
– All global macros and settings are stored in a file called ‘normal.dot’
– Word has a startup folder (just like windows) which holds macros and your word plugins which startup automatically when word starts.
– Toolbars and other settings are recorded in a registry key called ‘data’
– There’s something else, i can’t remember lol.

Word Startup:
Most often if Word crashes when it first starts up, its usually becuase you have global templates or macros or something in your startup folder of Word which have become corrupt or damaged for some reason.
The default path for Office’s startup is: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\STARTUP”. This folder is empty when you first install MS Office so try empty out this folder and restart Word.

Addins:

Also it might be benifical to check out the folder “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\ADDINS”. If there looks like there’s something out of the ordinary in this folder, remove it and try again. If your unsure, try move all the contents from this directory into a temporary folder for now just to test.

Normal.dot problems?:
I spoke about Word storing its settings in a file called ‘normal.dot’. If there is a setting in there that is preventing Word from starting normally, you can try running word by opening the RUN box (START –> RUN) and type “Winword.exe/a” without quotes. This will launch word clean with no templates or addons loaded. If it starts fine, then there must be something wrong with the normal.dot file. (TIP: If you are using Windows XP, normal.dot is a hidden system file and may not be visible if you do not have ‘show hidden system files’ selected in the Folder Options of Windows).

if you are having issues with the normal.dot file, you can safely remove it and next time you run Word, it will create a new blank file and your problem may then be solved.

Word crashes after startup?
If word crashes when say you perform some function such as select to print, formatting text or changing some other option, then there might be an issue with some registry keys on your computer. If this is your issue, you should check out a great website http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/NNTWord.htm which is a great word troubleshooting site. That should solve your problem.

I hope this helps many of you out there who are having problematic issues with Microsoft Word or any Office Application (these steps can be applied to any office app, should be able to anyway).

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18 thoughts on “Fixing Microsoft Word Crashes

  1. Oh man Justin, your pictures are cracking me up! Great post of course, I need a … whatever you call it … Word-type program … you talked about em. Not like I have anything to write or anything …

  2. ROFL, yeah that picture is a classic. Thanks for the advice with Word, dont really use it much these days but im sure i will sometime and i no Blue Screens come unexpectally so now ill now where to look.
    Thanks Justin

  3. hey,
    you posted a comment on our class site. thanks for your concern. wut’s your aim sn if u have one?
    thanks
    i’m Pearl by the way.
    hope everything’s going well

  4. My Word applications keep crashing at startup on my Mac. Can anyone tell me what to do. I believe in the past this has happened and I reinstalled. Is that what you recomment. If not, I need some advise. Thanks to everyone. SueLynn

  5. Thanks for this post. Word’s been driving me mad for ages since I installed and removed Adobe Pro. I sort of fixed it but it reappeared after applying office sp3. Deleting normal.dot fixed it.

    Thanks a million!!

  6. Had the same problem.

    Let Word go into Safe Mode then back to normal – Word still crashed
    Tried system restore and that did not help. Word crashed.
    Let Word go into Safe Mode again and used the Detect and repair utility. Waste of time.
    Found this site, First two steps did not help. I copied the Normal.Dot file from another user via UNC to the computer with the problem. It works great!!!!!

    Many thanks. Your site save me a ton of work!!!

  7. Justin,
    You just made my day! Thanks for this post. Helped me track my Winword crashing issue which I’ve been trying to solve for months!

    Cheers
    alok

  8. I just fell in love with you!

    My word has been crashing none stop for the last two weeks. I did the office diagnosis many time and read everything on the website. It made writing paper a pain. And today, I couldn’t save without it crashing! And I just had to delete two files… It’s ridiculous.

    Thanks!

  9. Thanks.
    I’ve installed Office 4 times, and the problem continued.
    Then I read your comments, and rename Normal.dotm and Winword starts.
    Very usefull

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! After a frustrating day of uninstalling / reinstalling, running fix-it programs, searching the internet for solutions and trying said solutions, I came across your post. After deleting ‘normal.dot’ I was able to open up Word without it crashing. Such a relief!

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