Word cannot do this because a dialog box is open [Solved]

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

  • There is nothing more annoying that seeing a repeating notification when trying to save or close a document.
  • The worst part about this issue is that it seems that ther's no way to reach the pop-up, but this guide will help you.
  • Explore our thorough Microsoft Word Hub for more useful tips, and tricks.
  • Don't hesitate to bookmark our detailed Microsoft Word issues section for more in-depth guides.
Fix word can't do this because a dialog box is open

On some occasions, when you launch MS Word and want to perform a task, you get the error Word can’t do this because a dialog box is open. You click OK, but you keep getting that same error message again and again.

Do not worry, this error is very easy to troubleshoot and fix, and it’s usually caused if you have another word window open in your Startup folder.


Read through this guide to see proven methods that will resolve this issue once and for all.

How to fix the Dialogue box is open error?

Word can’t open a file while a dialog box is open

1. Use the keyboard 

  1. Click Ok when you see the error message.
  2. Press the Alt+Tab keys and cycle through the open windows.
  3. Repeat this action until you find the window which is causing issues.

Note: The hidden window will most likely be found behind another open window.

2. Disable the Add-ins

  1. Launch Microsft Word on your computer.
  2. ClickFile at the top left corner of your screen.
  3. Choose Options.word-can't-do-this-because-a-dialog-box-is-disable-add-ins
  4. Click on Add-Ins.
  5. Select the Manage tab below the Word Options window.
  6. Choose COM Add-Ins from the list.
  7. Click the Go button.
  8. Uncheck, and stop all the Add-Ins you feel might be causing the error.
  9. Click OK when you’re done.
  10. Restart Microsoft Word.

If you still get the error, follow the next step to disable all Add-Ins with Trust Center.

  1. Launch Word, and click on File.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Select Trust Center.
  4. Click Trust Center Settings.word-can't-do-this-because-a-dialog-box-is-open-trust-center
  5. When the Trust Center window pops up, choose Add-ins.
  6. Check the box next to the Disable all Application Add-ins option.word-can't-do-this-because-a-dialog-box-is-open-disable-all-app-add-ins
  7. Next click OK.
  8. The word Options window will redisplay, select OK to finalize.

Close and restart word to confirm if this approach worked for you.

3. Disable protected view

Note: Before you begin to disable Protected View, know that this method might open your computer to viruses. So you will be using this method at your own risk if you still wish to continue. 

  1. Launch Microsoft Word.
  2. Select File menu at the top-left corner of your PC screen.
  3. Click on Options.
  4. Select Trust Center from the menu to the left side.
  5. Click the Trust Center Settings at the bottom left corner.word-can't-do-this-because-a-dialog-box-is-open-protected-view
  6. Click the Protected View option.word-can't-do-this-because-a-dialog-box-is-open-uncheck-boxes
  7. Deselect the boxes.
  8. Click OK.
 Note: After performing the steps launch Word to see if error is still showing. If it does, follow the next methods.

How to close a Dialog Box in Microsoft Word?

  1. Try pressing the X from the upper right corner or Cancel.
  2. If the pop-up keeps coming up, close Word and rename the Normal.dot file.
  3. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys.
  4. Click on the Power button and select Restart.
  5. Check to see if this method has resolve your system’s problem.

Hopefully, methods one to four discussed in this article will get rid of the word can’t do this because a dialog box is open error.

As you can see, the methods and steps are not hard to apply, because this error is not much of a big deal. Feel free to leave comments below.

FAQ: Learn more about Microsoft Word errors

  • How do you fix the command Cannot be performed because a dialog box is open?

To fix this annoying issue, check out our thorough guide on this topic.

  • Which is the shortcut key to open the Library dialog box?

Opening the Libray dialog box can be done by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + O keys.

  • What is Ctrl + L?

The Ctrl + L key combination is a shortcut in Microsoft Word that allows you to left-align a paragraph.

Was this page helpful?
Thanks for letting us know! You can also help us by leaving a review on MyWOT or Trustpillot.
Get the most from your tech with our daily tips
Tell us why!