How to fix WINWORD.EXE application errors

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft Word is a component of the Microsoft Office Suite and acts as a dedicated text editor. 
  • Issues are bound to appear with the executable file, so check out the below troubleshooting steps.
  • See below how o repair MS Office, run an SFC scan, check for Windows updates, and more.
  • We provide step-by-step instructions for all possible solutions and give our best recommendations for third-party software that can help.
fix winword.exe issues

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WINWORD.EXE is the MS Word process listed on Task Manager. Other Microsoft software, especially MS Office applications, also rely on the WINWORD.EXE process.

For example, WINWORD.EXE will run with the Outlook software when you’ve configured Word as Outlook’s default email editor.

This application error can sometimes prevent you from running Word, and speaking of this issue, here are some similar problems that users reported:

  • Winword.exe application error office 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007
    • This issue can affect any version of Office, and regardless of the version that you’re using, we advise you to try all solutions from this article.
  • Winword.exe application error the application was unable to start correctly
    • Sometimes this issue can be caused by your antivirus.
    • To fix it, temporarily disable your antivirus and check if that helps.
  • Winword.exe application error Windows 10, 8, 7
    • This issue can appear on any version of Windows, and you can apply most of our solutions to any version of Windows.
  • Winword.exe crash wwlib.dll
    • Sometimes certain DLL files can cause this problem to appear.
    • To fix the issue, reinstall or repair your Office installation.
  • Winword.exe runtime error
    • This error can occur due to missing updates, and if you encounter it, be sure to update your PC to the latest version.

Thankfully, all these issues can be overcome in just a few steps. The root of the problem may vary, so you can find below several tips and tricks for multiple possible causes of this error.

Some of the most frequent issues that cause WINDWORD.EXE application errors are caused by corrupt application files, issues with your registry, an outdated operating system, or virus infections.

Users of Microsoft Word can fix the problem either manually with the help of built-in Windows utilities, but they can also speed up the process with dedicated applications that automate the process.

How do I fix WINWORD.EXE issues in Windows 10?

1. Repair MS Office Software

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Programs and Features section.
    Winword.exe application error the application was unable to start correctly
  2. Then you can right-click a specific Microsoft application listed there and select Change to open the window shown directly below. Alternatively, you could select the Microsoft Office suite instead.
    Winword.exe application error Windows 10
  3. Now select Online Repair to fix the selected software. That’s more likely to fix WINWORD.EXE as it reinstalls the software.
  4. However, you can also select Quick Repair to fix corrupted files.

The more recent MS Office suites include diagnostic tools that you can fix their applications with.

The diagnostic tool can repair Office software that isn’t working correctly, so it might also resolve the EXE error you are complaining about.

If you lack the time to try out potential repairs, you can rely as well on third-party software that will help you repair Word errors rapidly.

Repair software help with problematic applications, operating system errors, performance issues, and more. They are easy to use and are a time-saving alternative to manually figuring out what is causing PC errors.

2. Run a System File Checker Scan

  1. Open Win + X menu by using the Windows Key + X shortcut.
  2. Now select Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the list.
    Winword.exe application error office 2013
  3. When Command Prompt opens, run the sfc /scannow command.
    Winword.exe crash wwlib.dll
  4. SFC scan will now scan your system. This can take about 10-15 minutes, so don’t interfere with it or cancel it.

Another cause for winword.exe application error can be file corruption. If your installation or system files are corrupted, you might encounter this error message.

However, you can fix the problem simply by performing an SFC scan.  If the SFC scan didn’t fix the issue, you can always use a DISM scan. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Run the following command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    Winword.exe application error the application was unable to start correctly
  3. DISM scan will now start. Keep in mind that this process can take about 20 minutes or more, so don’t interfere with it.

Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem is still there. If you want, you can repeat the SFC scan just in case and the problem should be resolved.

3. Check for Windows updates

  1. Open the Settings app.
    • You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When the Settings app opens, go to the Update & Security section.
    Winword.exe crash wwlib.dll
  3. Now click the Check for updates button.
    Winword.exe application error Windows 7

Sometimes missing system updates can cause winword.exe application error to appear. To fix this issue, it’s advised that you keep your system up to date at all times.

By default, Windows 10 downloads the missing updates in the background, but sometimes you might miss an update or two.

If any updates are available, they will be downloaded in the background and installed as soon as you restart your PC. Once everything is up to date, check if the problem is resolved.

4. Run an antivirus scan

There are times when the winword.exe application error occurs if there’s a malware infection on your system.

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However, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender which works as a built-in antivirus, so you should be able to easily detect any malware.

Also, if you want to get specialized antivirus services and upgraded protection tools, you can certainly switch to more effective antivirus software for Windows 10.

Reliable antiviruses are capable to keep your system protected without interfering with other applications. We suggest you use a full-featured tool based on multi-layered protection such as ESET NOD32.

5. Reinstall the Software That Needs Fixing

If winword.exe application error keeps appearing on your PC, the problem might be a corrupted installation.

If that’s the case, it’s advised that you find and reinstall the application that is giving you this problem.

There are several ways to uninstall an application, but the most efficient one is to use uninstaller software.

Using uninstaller software you can remove any application from your PC along with its files and registry entries.

By doing so, you’ll completely remove the application from the PC and ensure that the issue doesn’t reappear.

Some of the best uninstaller software on the market also include PC optimization and performance assessment features, so make sure to check out the market and get one that caters to your needs.

Once you remove the application using this tool and install it again, the issue should be completely resolved.

Need more info on System Restore? Read this handy guide to learn more.

6. Undo System Changes With System Restore

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type system restore.
  2. Choose Create a restore point.
    Winword.exe application error the application was unable to start correctly
  3. A new window will now appear.
  4. Click the System Restore button.
    Winword exe runtime error
  5. When System Restore window opens, click Next.
    Winword.exe application error office 2010
  6. Check Show more restore points option if it’s available.
  7. Now you just need to choose the desired restore point and click Next.
    Winword.exe application error Windows 10
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

In some cases, the only way to fix this problem is to perform a System Restore.

In case you’re not familiar, System Restore can revert any recent changes to your PC and fix issues such as winword.exe application error.

Once you restore your PC, check if the problem is still there.

So there are numerous potential fixes for the WINWORD.EXE application error. Aside from fixing the EXE error, some of the above fixes might also prevent it from recurring.

This article is part of our Troubleshooting EXE File errors section. Feel free to bookmark it.

For more great and helpful articles like this one, take your time and visit our dedicated .EXE Hub.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • WINWORD.EXE is the name of the executable program for Microsoft Word, and that is exactly how it will appear if you run the program and look at it in the Task Manager.

  • Since WINWORD.EXE is the executable file for Microsoft Word, the location varies based on where you installed this Microsoft Office component. By default, the location should be in C:/Program Files (x86).

  • The most common cause usually is a corrupted Microsoft Word installation, so use this guide to fix WINWORD.EXE application errors.

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