Fix: Word Can’t Do This Because a Dialog Box is Open

Try out some great fixes created by our experts

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Nothing is more annoying than seeing a repeating notification when trying to save or close a document.
  • The worst part about this issue is that there's no way to fix the error pop-up.
  • Thankfully, this guide mentions some of the most effective solutions that will help you resolve the error.

Sometimes, 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 repeatedly.

Do not worry; this error is elementary 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.

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What does it mean when Word says a dialog box is open?

This error could arise for several reasons, which we have listed below.

  • There is another instance of the same Word document open.
  • Check whether or not multiple instances of Winword.exe are present in the Task Manager.
  • An add-in in MS Word is causing the issue.
  • The protected view option is turned on.
  • Some important Office files are missing.
  • A virus or malware is causing the problem.

You might also want to know what to do if Word is not going to the next page but now, let’s see how we fix the dialog box issue.

How do I fix the Word can’t do this because a dialog box is open error?

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.

2. Disable the Add-ins

  1. Launch Microsoft Word on your computer.
  2. Click File at the top left corner.
  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, and select OK to finalize.
  9. Close and restart word to confirm if this approach worked for you.

3. Disable protected view

Note icon NOTE
Before you begin to disable Protected View, know that this method might open your computer to viruses. So you will use this method at your own risk if you still wish to continue. 
  1. Launch Microsoft Word.
  2. Select the 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. Uncheck the boxes.
  8. Click OK.

Why is my Word document not closing?

  • Add-ins conflict with the app.
  • Your antivirus might be blocking the app.
  • The latest Office update might be buggy.
  • A corrupt or missing system file on your PC can also cause this problem
  • The template file is causing the issue, which you can locate with the following path: %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\

How to close a Dialog Box in Microsoft Word?

  • Try pressing the X from the upper right corner or Cancel.
  • If the pop-up keeps appearing, close Word and rename the file.
  • Press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys to open Task Manager and end the Word process.
  • Click on the Power button and select Restart.

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.

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