FIX: Microsoft Publisher won’t open on Windows 10

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
Last update:
Affiliate Disclosure

  • Microsoft Publisher is a great program for designing printed material, but many reported that Publisher won't open for them.
  • In case you’re having issues with Publisher, there are many better alternatives that you can try.
  • One way to fix these issues is to update the Publisher to the latest version and check if that helps.
  • If Microsoft Publisher won’t work at all on Windows 10, reinstalling it might be the best option.
publisher won't open
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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 can 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By default, all Microsoft Office components encounter an error when they are outdated and you try to launch them.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.

By updating Office, you’ll also update Microsoft Publisher on Windows 10, so be sure to try that.


2. Use a third-party alternative to Microsoft Publisher

If you’re having issues with Publisher for Windows 10, 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.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is the world’s best software for designing printed material, and it’s a perfect alternative to Publisher.
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3. Launch Microsoft Publisher in safe mode

  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

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.

Hopefully this should help you fix the problems with Microsoft Publisher for Windows 10.


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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

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

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

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