[3 Solutions] Fix Word Not Opening on Mac

Jean updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

On this page, we have collected three practical solutions that can help fix the "Word Not Opening" error on Mac. And if you mistakenly removed a Word file on Mac, let reliable Mac file recovery software as recommended here for help. Check out how to fix the not opening Word file to accessible again:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Repair Disk Open Disk Utility > Select the primary hard disk on Mac and select "First Aid" > Click "Run"...Full steps
Fix 2. Remove Word Preference Open "Library" > Open "Preferences" > Copy com.microsoft.Word.plist file to desktop...Full steps
Fix 3. Open and Repair Word Start Word > Click "Open" on the File menu > Click "Repair" on the Open button...Full steps
Fix 4. Recover Lost Word Run EaseUS Mac file recovery software > Scan mac drive > Restore lost Mac word file...Full steps

"Word 2016 on my Mac won't open. It flashes immediately by double-clicking and then closes unexpectedly. I didn't do anything or any change. How to fix it if Microsoft Word won't open at all?"

In addition to this situation, most users are also faced with these errors:

As Microsoft Word is widely used among people, owning some basic Word troubleshooting is recognized as an essential skill. Today you're going to learn three tricks in solving Word not opening on Mac. The given workarounds are applicable to all Word editions such as 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 2016.

1. Run Repair Disk Permissions

Step 1: On the "Go" menu, click "Utilities". Start the Disk Utility program.

open disk utility on mac

Step 2: Choose the primary hard disk drive for your computer. Then, click the "First Aid" tab.

click first aid on mac

Step 3: Click "Run" to repair the disk volume errors and permissions. When it finishes, click "Done".

run the repair process and repair the disk error

2. Remove Word Preferences

Step 1: Open "Library". Usually, click "GO" > "Go to the folder", then type ~/Library

enter the mac library

Step 2: Locate a file named as "Preferences".

open the preferences folder

Step 3: Find a file named com.microsoft.Word.plist. Move the file to the desktop.

find the microsoft,com file

Start Word, and check whether the problem still occurs.

If the problem still occurs, exit Microsoft Word, and then restore the "com.microsoft.word.prefs.plist" file to its original location. Then, go to Step 4.

If the problem seems to be resolved, you can move the file to the trash.

Note: If you do not locate the file, the program is using the default preferences.

Step 4: Exit all Microsoft Office for Mac programs. Then, Click the Word icon. On the left, click "Preferences".

open word prefernces

Step 5: Click "File Locations".

select mac word file locations

Step 6: Select "User templates".

select user template

Step 7: Locate the file that is named Normal, and move the file to the desktop.

locate and move normal file to desktop to fix the word not opening

You can also find the file named as Normal through this way: "Library" > "Application Support" > "Microsoft" > "Office" > 'User Templates" > "Normal"

Start Word, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem seems to be resolved, you can move the "Normal" file to the trash.

3. Try to Open and Repair Word

Step 1: Start Word. On the File menu, click "Open".

open word dialogbox

Step 2: In the Open dialog box, select the file that you want to open. Click the down arrow on the Open button, click "Open" > "Repair".

repair the word error

Recover Deleted and Missing Word on Mac

Do not worry if the "Word not opening" issue causes data loss disaster, you can recover unsaved Word document on Mac from its Temporary folder and AutoRecovery save. While for a deleted Word document on Mac, the easiest way of recovery is using a third-party Mac data recovery software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac also recovers Word document that is missing, deleted or lost due to formatting, virus infection and other misoperation, and the best part of using the software to recover Word is being able to preview the file entirety. 

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) on macOS Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and the latest Sonoma. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your Mac to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from the Mac backup, and your computer can wirte new data again.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

In the scan results, select the file(s) to preview and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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