Fix: “Microsoft Word has stopped working” error

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
16 minute read

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Probably one of the most popular Office applications is Microsoft Word. This text editor has millions of users, but the application also has few issues. Users reported Microsoft Word has stopped working error message and today we’re going to show you how to fix this problem on Windows 10.

How to fix “Microsoft Word has stopped working” error message on Windows 10?

Fix – “Microsoft Word has stopped working”

Solution 1 – Repair Office installation

According to users, this error appears whenever they try to open Microsoft Word on their PC. The error prevents them from starting Word, thus making it impossible to edit or create new documents. This can be a major problem if you need Microsoft Word to work on your school or work project. Although this is a big problem, you should be able to fix it by repairing your Office installation.

This is a relatively simple process, and you can perform it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter programs and features. Select Programs and Features from the list of results.
  2. When Programs and Features window opens, locate your Office installation on the list and select it.
  3. In the top menu click the Change button.
  4. Select the Repair option and click Continue. Bear in mind that newer versions of Office might have Online Repair or Quick Repair options instead.
  5. Follow the instructions to repair your Office installation.

This solution should work for all versions of Office. After repairing your Office installation, check if the error appears again.

Solution 2 – Disable Add-ins

In order to enhance their functionality, Word and many other Office tools support add-ins. These little applications allow you to expand the functionality of Word or any other Office tool with new features.

Unfortunately, not all add-ins are compatible with Windows 10 or with your version of Office. If certain add-in isn’t compatible with your version of Office, you’ll most likely get Microsoft Word has stopped working error message. To fix this problem you need to disable the problematic add-ins, and you can do that by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. Enter winword.exe /a and press Enter or click OK. In addition to winword.exe /a command, you can also use winword /safe to start Word in Safe Mode.
  2. Word should now start. Click the Office button and select Word Options.
  3. Select Add-Ins tab and then disable all add-ins.
  4. After doing that, try to start Word again and check if the problem is resolved.

We have to mention that add-ins can cause problems in any version of Office. Since this problem affects almost every version of Office, we highly recommend that you try this solution. To find a problematic add-in you’ll need to repeat previous steps and enable add-ins one by one. Keep in mind that after enabling an add-in you have to restart Word again. Repeat this process until you find the add-in that is causing this problem.

Users reported that ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Sprint add-in is the common cause for this error on Word 2016. If you have this add-in installed, be sure to disable it and check if that fixes the problem. Users also reported that update for ABBYY FineReader is available, and after installing the update the issue was resolved completely.

In addition to this add-in, Microsoft reported that KingSoft’s PowerWord and Dragon Naturally Speaking add-ins also have problems with Office 2013 and 2016. If you use any of these add-ins, we recommend that you disable them or update them to the latest version. Word 2013 users reported issues with Bluetooth add-in, but after disabling it the issue was completely resolved.

Solution 3 – Install the latest updates

Sometimes Microsoft Word has stopped working error can appear if your version of Office or Windows 10 isn’t up to date. Outdated versions might have few bugs or incompatibility issues, so it’s recommended that you update them. To download Office updates, do the following:

  1. Open any Office application and click File in the top left corner.
  2. Navigate to Account > Product Information > Update Options.
  3. In Product Information section select Update Options.
  4. Choose Enable Updates option. If this option isn’t available, it means that automatic updates are enabled.
  5. Select Update Options again and choose Update Now from the menu. Wait for Office to download and install the necessary updates.

If you have Office 2010 or older, you can check for updates by following these steps:

  1. Start any Office application.
  2. Go to File > Help.
  3. Select Check for Updates or Install Updates option.

Windows 10 performs updates automatically, but you can also check manually for updates. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens go to Update & security section.
  3. Go to Windows Update tab and click Check for updates.

Update drivers automatically (suggested)

After you have checked your drivers, we recommend to update them automatically. Downloading and installing drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions of your system.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows computer is by using an automatic tool. We strongly recommend Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

Here is how it works:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      tweakbit driver updater scanning drivers windows 10
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

If any updates are available, Windows 10 will download them and install them. After updating both Windows 10 and your version of Office, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 4 – Modify your registry

According to users, Microsoft Word has stopped working error can appear due to problems with your registry. There’s a Word key in your registry, and by deleting it you’ll force Word to recreate it, thus fixing the problem.

We have to mention that modifying the registry can be potentially dangerous, so it’s highly recommended to create a backup in case anything goes wrong. To edit your registry, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. Once Registry Editor opens, go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0Word key in the left pane and expand it. Keep in mind that your key might be different depending on the version of Office that you have.
  3. Locate the Data subkey. Right click it and choose Delete from the menu.
  4. After deleting the key, close Registry Editor and try to start Word again.

Word will automatically recreate the deleted key, and the problem should be resolved. We have to mention that this solution should work with almost any version of Word, so be sure to try it out.

Solution 5 – Remove old printer driver

Few users reported that this issue is caused by old printer driver. According to them, to fix the problem you need to have the latest printer driver installed. Updating printer drivers is relatively simple, and you can do it by visiting your printer manufacturer’s website. Just select your printer model and download the latest driver for it. After installing it, the issue will be resolved.

Some users are recommending to remove your current printer driver in order to fix Microsoft Word has stopped working error. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Device Manager from the list.
  2. When Device Manager starts, locate your printer, right click it and choose Uninstall.
  3. Click OK to confirm that you want to remove the driver.

After deleting the driver, restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved. If removing the driver solves the problem, download and install the latest driver for your printer.

Solution 6 – Remove any recently installed software

Third-party applications can interfere with Word and cause Microsoft Word has stopped working error to appear. To fix this problem, you’ll need to uninstall any recently installed software. If you added any new hardware to your PC, such as a printer or scanner, you might want to try removing its driver and software and check if that solves the issue. If not, you might want to remove any tools that you installed in the past few weeks.

Solution 7 – Reinstall Office completely

If the Microsoft Word has stopped working error still persists, you might have to reinstall Office to fix it. To uninstall Office 2013, 2016 or Office 365 from your PC, you’ll need to download this tool. This is Microsoft’s tool for Office removal and it will remove all files and registry entries associated with Office. After downloading the tool, start it and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstall. Now you just need to restart your PC and install the same version of Office.

If you have Microsoft Office 2010 or older, we recommend that you download the appropriate removal tool from Microsoft’s website.

Solution 8 – Insert your document into another file

Microsoft Word has stopped working error can sometimes appear while trying to open your previously saved documents. If that’s the case, you might want to try inserting your document into another file. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the File menu and then select New > Blank Document.
  2. Go to the Insert tab and click on Object in the Text group. Now select Text from File.
  3. Select the desired file and click Insert.

This is a simple solution, so be sure to try it if you can’t open your documents due to Microsoft Word has stopped working error.

Solution 9 – Delete the Word Options registry key

If Microsoft Word has stopped working error still persists, you might have to delete one key from your registry. Keys in your registry can get corrupted, and if that happens, you’ll need to remove them manually. Removing keys from registry can lead to instability issues, therefore we advise you to create a backup of your registry, just in case. To delete this key from the registry, do the following:

  1. Open Registry Editor. For detailed instructions on how to do that be sure to check Solution 4.
  2. When Registry Editor opens, in the left pane navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice16.0WordOptions key. Bear in mind that this key might be slightly different depending on the version of Office that you’re using.
  3. Right click the key and choose Export from the menu.
  4. Save the file as Wddata.reg and save it on your Desktop.

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  6. Now go back to the Registry Editor, right click the Options key and choose Delete from the menu.
  7. Close Registry Editor.

After doing that, try to start Word again and check if the problem is resolved. If the problem still persists, run Wddata.reg on your Desktop to restore the deleted key.

Solution 10 – Replace the Normal.dot global template file

Word stores formatting and macros in a global template file, and if your global template file is corrupted you’ll get this error message. To fix Microsoft Word has stopped working error message, you need to rename the Normal.dot file. We have to warn you that by altering this file you can lose your customization options such as styles, macros, etc. If you want to preserve those settings, we highly recommend that you copy the customization from one global template to another by using the Organizer. To replace Notmal.dot file, you need to do the following:

  1. Make sure that all Office programs are closed.
  2. Press Windows Key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. When Command Prompt starts, enter ren %userprofile%AppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplatesOldNormal.dotm Normal.dotm and press Enter to run it.
  4. Wait for the command to finish and then close Command Prompt.
  5. After that, try to start Word again.

Solution 11 – Disable Startup folder add-ins

Another way to fix this problem is to disable Startup folder add-ins. This is relatively simple, and you can perform it by following these steps.

  1. Locate Office installation directory on your PC. By default it should be C:Program FilesMicrosoft Officeoffice16. Keep in mind that the exact location might differ depending on the version of Office and Windows.
  2. Navigate to Startup folder.
  3. A list of files should appear. Rename one file by adding .old at the end of its name. Be sure to remember the original file name because you’ll need to revert the changes later.
  4. Try to start Word again. If the issue appears again, repeat Step 3. Be sure to rename a different file this time. After that, try to start Word again. Repeat this step until you rename all files in Startup directory.
  5. If you manage to start Word after renaming one of the files, it means that the last renamed file was causing this error. Rename all files except the problematic one to their original names and check if Word still works. If so, you’ll need to update the problematic add-in or remove it.

If the problem still persists, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter %userprofile%AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWordStartup. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. After the folder opens, repeat steps 3-5 from above.

Solution 12 – Delete COM add-ins registry keys

If you’re getting Microsoft Word has stopped working error message, you might want to temporarily disable COM add-ins. To do that, you need to edit your registry by following these steps:

  1. Close all Office programs and start the Registry Editor.
  2. In the left pane navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOfficeWordAddins key.
  3. Right click on Addins and choose Export. Save the file to desired location.
  4. Right click Addins key again and choose Delete from the menu.
  5. In the left pane navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftOfficeWordAddins key.
  6. Export the key like we showed you in Step 3.
  7. Delete the Addins key.
  8. Close Registry Editor and start Word again.

If the problem is resolved, it means that COM add-ins are causing this issue. To fix the problem, you need to find and disable the problematic COM add-in. First, you need to restore the deleted keys by running the exported .reg files. After that, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File menu and choose Options.
  2. Click Add-Ins.
  3. In the Manage list click COM Add-Ins and then click on Go.
  4. If a certain add-in is listed in the COM Add-Ins dialog box, clear the check box next to its name. If you have multiple COM Add-Ins available, be sure to repeat this step for all available add-ins. Keep in mind that you’ll need to disable a single add-in at a time in order to find the problematic one.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Now select File > Exit.
  7. Start Word and check if the problem is resolved. If the issue still persists, repeat the steps until you find the problematic add-in. After finding it, disable it or try to download the latest version.

Solution 13 – Change the default printer

As we previously mentioned, your printer drivers can interfere with Office and cause Microsoft Word has stopped working error to appear. However, sometimes you can fix this problem simply by changing the default printer. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter devices and printers. Select Devices and Printers from the list of results.
  2. When Devices and Printers window opens, go to the Printers section.
  3. Right click MicrosoftXPS Document Writer. Select Set as default printer option.
  4. Close Devices and Printers window and try to start Word again.

If the error message doesn’t appear, it means that your printer was causing this problem. To fix the problem, we advise that you update your printer drivers and check if that solves the issue.

Solution 14 – Create a new Windows profile

Several users reported that they managed to fix this problem by creating a new Windows 10 user profile. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Accounts > Family & other people.
  3. In Other people section click the Add someone else to this PC button.
  4. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  5. Now select Add a suer without a Microsoft account.
  6. Enter username and password for the new user account and click on Next.

After making a new user account, switch to it and check if the problem is resolved. If Word is working properly, you might have to continue using the new user account if you don’t manage to find another working solution.

Fix – “Microsoft Word has stopped working” 2013

Solution 1 – Set Word to Power Saving mode

Users reported that Microsoft Word has stopped working error occurs with users that have switchable graphics cards. According to them, Word 2013 was set to High Performance mode and that was causing this error to appear. To fix the problem, go to your switchable graphics control panel and set Word 2013 to work in Power Savings mode. After doing that, try to run Word and check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 2 – Check your graphics card driver

This issue can sometimes appear due to problems with your graphics card driver. Users reported that they had problems with Nvidia drivers, and according to them, they fixed them by renaming the NVWGF2UM.DLL to NVWGF2UM.old. Renaming the driver files isn’t the best solution, especially since it’s hard to find the problematic driver file. To fix this problem, we advise you to update your graphics card driver and check if that solves the issue. If the problem still persists, you might want to remove your driver and use the default driver from Microsoft.

Solution 3 – Disable your dedicated graphics card

Many laptops and some desktop computers have both integrated and dedicated graphics cards. According to users, they experienced Microsoft Word has stopped working error because Word 2013 wasn’t compatible with their AMD graphics card.

To fix this problem, you need to temporarily disable the dedicated graphics card from the switchable graphics menu. After doing that, try to start Word 2013 and check if the problem is resolved. If the issue is fixed, you’ll need to download the latest drivers for your dedicated graphics card and check if that solves the problem.

Solution 4 – Disable Hardware Acceleration

Many applications use hardware acceleration in order to achieve maximum performance. However, several users claim that this feature causes Microsoft Word has stopped working error in Word 2013. To fix this problem, you need to disable Hardware Acceleration feature. You can do so by following these steps:

  1. Open any Office application.
  2. Select File > Options > Advanced.
  3. Locate Hardware Acceleration option and disable it.
  4. After doing that, try to start Word 2013 again.

If you can’t open Word 2013 at all, you can disable hardware acceleration using Registry Editor. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. In the left pane navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0Common key.
  3. Right click the Common key and choose New > Key from the menu.
  4. Enter Graphics as the name of the new key.
  5. Now right click Graphics key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value DisableHardwareAcceleration.
  6. Double click DisableHardwareAcceleration value and set its Value data to 1. Click OK to save changes.
  7. Close Registry Editor and check if the problem is resolved.

We have to mention that modifying the registry comes with certain risks, so we strongly advise you to create a backup of your registry before making any changes.

Solution 5 – Delete any add-in leftover files

According to users, Microsoft Word has stopped working error can appear due to leftover files. Sometimes when you delete a certain add-in, its files might remain in Office Startup folder. Users reported problems with Mendeley add-in and leftover files. According to them, one file associated with this add-in remained in Office Startup folder and that caused the error to appear. After finding and removing the file, the issue was completely resolved.

Keep in mind that almost any leftover file from add-ins can cause this problem to appear, so be sure to check Office Startup folder. We already explained how to enter Office Startup folder in one of our previous solutions, so be sure to check that solution for detailed instructions.

Fix – “Microsoft Word has stopped working” 2010

Solution – Uninstall your Bluetooth driver

Users reported issues with Bluetooth add-in in Office 2013 and Office 2010. If you have this problem in Office 2010, and you can’t disable the Bluetooth add-in, you might have to uninstall the Bluetooth driver or update it.

If you use Bluetooth frequently and you don’t want to uninstall the driver, you might be able to fix the problem by renaming two files. According to users, they renamed btmoffice.dll and btmofficea.dll thus disabling the Bluetooth add-in. Regarding renaming, you can simply add .bak and the end of the file name to safely rename your files. As for those files, you should be able to find them in C:Program FilesMotorolaBluetooth folder. Keep in mind that the location of these files can be different on your PC, so you might have to search for these files on your own.

Microsoft Word is the most popular text editor, but it has its flaws. Microsoft Word has stopped working error will prevent you from using Word, but we hope that you solved the problem by using one of our solutions.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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