How to fix WINWORD.EXE Application Errors

By: Matthew Adams
6 minute read

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

Winword.exe 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.

Solution 1 – Run Anti-Virus Scans

Winword exe runtime error

Sometimes winword.exe application error can occur if there’s a malware infection on your system. However, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender that works as a built-in antivirus, so you should be able to easily detect any malware.

However, if you want maximum security that won’t interfere with your system, perhaps you should consider using a third-party solution such as Bitdefender. This tool offers great protection, and it won’t reduce your PC performance, so be sure to try it out.

Solution 2 – Scan the Registry

In some instances, winword.exe application error can appear because certain entries in your registry are corrupted. If this happens, it’s required that you find and remove those entries. Doing this manually can be quite a tedious task, but you can clean your registry using third-party tools. One tool that can help you with this issue is CCleaner, and you can use it by following these steps:

  1. Press Download on this website page to save the CCleaner installer to Windows. Run the installer to add the software to Windows, and then open the CCleaner software.
  2. Click Registry on the left of the window to open the registry cleaner.
  3. Select all the registry cleaner’s checkboxes for a more extensive scan.
    Winword.exe application error office 2016
  4. Press the Scan for Issues button to run the registry scan.
  5. Select all the registry issues listed on the CCleaner window.
  6. Press the Fix selected issues button to fix the registry.

Solution 3 – Run a System File Checker Scan

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 SFC scan. To do that, follow these steps:

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

If SFC scan didn’t fix the issue, you can always use DISM scan. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Run the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
    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.

Solution 4 – Check for Windows Updates

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.

However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When 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

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.

Solution 5 – Repair MS Office Software

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 can open that repair tool as follows.

  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.

Solution 6 – 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 the 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. If you’re looking for a good uninstaller software, we would have to recommend IOBit Uninstaller.

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

Solution 7 – Undo System Changes With System Restore

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.

To perform a System Restore, you need to do the following:

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

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 recurring. Check out this article for further details about how to repair MS Word.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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