How to Reset Microsoft Word to Default Settings [3 Ways]

Here's how to restore Word to default settings

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you're having problems with Microsoft Word, you may need to reset the program.
  • Resetting Microsoft Word is usually a last resort after other troubleshooting steps have failed.
Easily get rid of Windows errors Fortect is a system repair tool that can scan your complete system for damaged or missing OS files and replace them with working versions from its repository automatically. Boost your PC performance in three easy steps:
  1. Download and Install Fortect on your PC.
  2. Launch the tool and Start scanning
  3. Right-click on Repair, and fix it within a few minutes
  • 0 readers have already downloaded Fortect so far this month

Microsoft Word is one of the best word processors that can be used on computers and mobile devices. The program is jam-packed with features, so it’s no surprise that people sometimes run into problems using it.

Resetting Microsoft Word settings is a great way to troubleshoot problems with your computer, especially if you suspect an application conflict. If you’ve been wondering how to reset it, we show you how in this article.

Is there a way to reset Microsoft Word settings?

Yes. There is a way to reset Microsoft Word settings. Like any other program, you can restore its settings to default. 

You may wonder why anyone would want to reset the Word application, but there are some compelling reasons to do so, including:

  • Word is no longer working – If you notice that your Word application is no longer opening, is slow, or unresponsive, it may be time to reset it.
  • Corrupt files – Sometimes, when you work on a file, you may have trouble opening it later because it has become corrupted. If so, you may need to reset Microsoft Word.
  • Unable to add plugins – We can all admit how Microsoft Word add-ins add functionality to the program. However, you may have trouble installing them, or the ones installed no longer work. This is a sign that it may be time to reset Microsoft Word.
  • Accidentally changed settings – Microsoft Word offers a wide range of features that can be customized to meet your needs. However, you may find that sometimes these features don’t work because you unknowingly changed some settings.
  • Compatibility issues – If you’ve been having trouble opening or saving files in Microsoft Word, it could be due to compatibility issues between the newer versions of the application and older ones.
  • Virus infection – If you don’t have a reliable antivirus, your computer can be infected by a virus or malware. It may be best to reset the Word settings on your computer so that the virus or malware will no longer be able to affect them.
  • Other troubleshooting options don’t work – Resetting an app is usually a final step after attempting other repairs, and they have proved futile.

How do I restore Microsoft Word?

Before you reset the settings, ensure you perform the following:

1. Use Settings 

  1. Hit the Windows key and click on Settings.settings windows 11
  2. Click on Apps, then select Apps & features.
  3. Find Microsoft Office, click on the three ellipses, then select Advanced options.
  4. Scroll down and click on Reset.

2. Use File Explorer 

  1. Hit the Windows + E keys to open File Explorer.
  2. Paste the following path on the address bar: C:\Users\AppData\ Roaming\Microsoft\Templates
  3. If you can’t find the folder, you must first show hidden files.
  4. Find the or Normal.dotm file depending on your version of Windows, right-click on it, and select the Rename icon.
  5. Rename it to a new name different from the original one e.g

Expert tip:


Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to corrupted repositories or missing Windows files. If you are having troubles fixing an error, your system may be partially broken.
We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
Click here to download and start repairing.

The Normal.dotm template is a hidden file that stores information about all the default formatting in Word. Deleting this file will not affect your ability to create or edit documents in Microsoft Word.

If you delete it, Word will automatically regenerate a new one the next time you open a new document.

3. Use the Registry Editor

  1. Hit the Windows + R keys to open the Run command.
  2. Type regedit in the dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following location depending on your Office version: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word
  4. Right-click on the Word key then hit Delete.
  5. Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC. When you open Word, it should be back to the default settings.

Before making any edits to the Registry, ensure you have created a restore point and a backup of your Registry in case something goes wrong.

If you cannot reset or are still experiencing these problems, you can use Word in your browser

You can also consider other word processors that offer similar features as Microsoft Word. 

Let us know if you have been able to reset your Microsoft Word to default settings.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

This article covers:Topics: