FIX: Microsoft Publisher won’t open on Windows 10

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
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  • Microsoft Publisher is a great program through which you can create newsletters, postcards, and other similar items.
  • You don't have to create them from scratch since the program gives you access to a wide variety of templates to work with.
  • For more articles regarding this amazing software suite, check out our dedicated Office 365 hub.
  • More software troubleshooting guides can also be found on our PC Software Fix page.
fix microsoft publisher

Microsoft Publisher is an application used for desktop publishing from Microsoft. It is different from Microsoft Word in that the focus is put on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing.

This makes Microsoft Publisher extremely common within businesses, and as such plenty of issues have been reported everywhere. Users have reported that they encounter problems with Microsoft Publisher, in that it doesn’t seem to launch at all.


How do I fix Microsoft Publisher launch issues?

1. Update your Microsoft Publisher installation

By default, all Microsoft Office components encounter an error when they are outdated and you try to launch them. You may update your Office apps by accessing this link.

This web-page will provide you with both the instructions on how to update Office. More so, it will guide you on how to troubleshoot it as well if the updates fail to initialize.


2. Launch Microsoft Publisher in safe mode

By opening these apps in Office Safe Mode will enable you can see if there are add-ins which may be causing issue with launching the app.

You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Find the shortcut icon for your Office application.
  2. Press CTRL key and double-click the Microsoft Publisher shortcut
  3. Click Yes when prompted to start the application in Safe Mode

Additionally, you can do the same by following these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button
  2. Click Run
  3. In the Run box, type mspub /safe
  4. Click OK


3. Use a third-party alternative to Microsoft Publisher

If you’ve grown tired of Microsoft Publisher, then you might as well go for a software tool that can do the exact same thing, maybe even more and better.

For example, Adobe InDesign is just as good of a desktop publishing as Microsoft Publisher, since it too can be used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks.

However, the main advantage is that Adobe InDesign can also take advantage of its innate compatibility with other helpful Adobe titles, such as Photoshop or Illustrator, through which it can access a wide variety of resources.

The UI is just as easy to understand, and the template library for creating your products is much larger than Publisher’s.

That being said, if you still can’t get Microsoft Publisher to works even after following all of the steps mentioned in this article, then going for Adobe InDesign is the right choice.

Download Adobe InDesign


4. Install a fresh copy of Microsoft Publisher

  1. Remove your old Microsoft Office installation
  2. Visit the Microsoft Office product page
  3. Buy the Office package of your choice
  4. Log in using your Microsoft account credentials
  5. Select Install Now to save the installation file on your PC
  6. Double-click on the downloaded file
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions of the setup wizard

If all else fails, you should consider performing a complete Windows re-install or contacting official Microsoft support.


FAQ: Learn more about Microsoft Publisher

  • What is Microsoft Publisher?

Microsoft Publisher is a program that lets you create professional documents such as newsletters, postcards, flyers, invitations, brochures, and more using built-in templates. If you have issues with the sharing component of this tool, see this guide on how to make it send emails again.

  • How can I fix Microsoft Publisher issues?

If you cannot open Microsoft Publisher, follow the steps written in this detailed guide.

  • How do I get access to Microsoft Publisher?

The latest version of Microsoft Publisher can be acquired through an Office 365 subscription.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019  and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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