How to Repair Word: Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Microsoft Word Issues

Fixing Microsoft Word can be a hassle, but it’s doable if you follow certain steps. Whether Word is crashing, freezing, or simply not opening, a few troubleshooting techniques can usually get it back on track. This guide will help you repair Word by walking you through step-by-step instructions and providing useful tips to prevent future issues.

How to Repair Word

Here’s what we’re going to do: we’ll start by identifying the problem, apply some basic troubleshooting steps, and then move on to more advanced solutions if needed. By the end of this guide, you should have a fully functional Microsoft Word. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Restart Your Computer

Rebooting your computer can often solve a lot of problems with Word.

Sometimes, simply restarting your machine can clear out any temporary glitches or conflicts causing Word to misbehave. It’s the first line of defense and the quickest fix.

Step 2: Open Word in Safe Mode

To see if the issue is related to add-ins, start Word in Safe Mode by holding down the Ctrl key while opening the program.

In Safe Mode, Word disables add-ins and custom settings, allowing you to check if these are causing the problem. If Word works fine in Safe Mode, you know the issue is likely with an add-in or custom setting.

Step 3: Disable Add-ins

Go to File > Options > Add-ins, and disable them to determine if one of them is causing the issue.

By turning off add-ins, you can isolate the problematic one. Re-enable each add-in one by one to identify which is causing the issue.

Step 4: Repair Office Installation

Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features, find Microsoft Office, click Change, and select Repair.

Repairing the Office installation can fix corrupted files or settings. The process is automated and usually takes a few minutes to complete.

Step 5: Update Microsoft Word

Ensure that Word is up-to-date by going to File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.

Updates often include fixes for bugs and improvements, so keeping Word current can prevent and resolve issues.

Step 6: Delete the Normal.dotm File

Find and delete the Normal.dotm file, which resets Word to its default settings.

The Normal.dotm file stores default settings and templates. Deleting it forces Word to create a new, default version, which can resolve many common problems.

Step 7: Reinstall Microsoft Office

As a last resort, uninstall and then reinstall Microsoft Office from scratch.

Reinstalling Office can resolve issues that other steps haven’t fixed. It’s a more time-consuming solution, but it ensures you have a clean installation.

After completing these steps, Microsoft Word should be functioning correctly. If it’s not, you might need to look into more specific issues related to your system or seek professional help.

Tips for Repairing Word

  • Backup Your Files: Always back up your documents before performing any major troubleshooting steps.
  • Check for Updates Regularly: Keeping your software updated can prevent many issues.
  • Use Safe Mode for Diagnostics: Safe Mode can help isolate the problem by disabling add-ins and custom settings.
  • Disable Unnecessary Add-ins: Only keep essential add-ins enabled to reduce potential conflicts.
  • Consult Online Resources: Utilize Microsoft’s support forums and resources for additional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Word keep freezing?

Word might freeze due to add-ins, corrupted files, or insufficient system resources. Try starting Word in Safe Mode to diagnose.

How do I start Word in Safe Mode?

Hold down the Ctrl key while opening Word. You’ll be prompted to confirm if you want to start in Safe Mode.

What if repairing Office doesn’t work?

If repairing Office doesn’t solve the issue, try updating Word, deleting the Normal.dotm file, or reinstalling Office.

Can I recover unsaved documents after a crash?

Yes, Word usually has an AutoRecover feature that can help you recover unsaved documents after a crash.

Is it safe to delete the Normal.dotm file?

Yes, deleting the Normal.dotm file is safe. Word will create a new default version the next time you open it.


  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Open Word in Safe Mode.
  3. Disable add-ins.
  4. Repair Office Installation.
  5. Update Microsoft Word.
  6. Delete the Normal.dotm file.
  7. Reinstall Microsoft Office.


Repairing Microsoft Word doesn’t have to be daunting. By following these steps, you can often fix the issues yourself without needing technical support. Remember, the key is to start with the simplest solutions and work your way up to the more complex ones. Always keep your software up-to-date to avoid potential problems.

If you’ve found this guide helpful, make sure to bookmark it for future reference. And if Word still isn’t working after trying everything, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Fixing Word can be a bit like solving a puzzle – with patience and the right steps, you’ll get it working again in no time.