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Microsoft Word Won't Open Windows 10/Mac | Fixed Here!

If you are encountering a Microsoft Word won't open problem on Windows 10 or Mac, you can try to disable add-ins in Word, repair Office installation, fix corrupted Word documents with a file repair tool, etc. Follow this post to fix the Word won't open issue.


Table of Contents

User Case: Microsoft Word Won't Open

"When I click on Microsoft Word program or Word document on my Windows 10 computer, it shows "starting........." and Word does not open. Any advice on how to fix Microsoft Word won't open?

No matter which version of Microsoft Word you are using, Word 2019, 2016, 2013, or Word 2010, Word won't open issue can happen accidentally. To fix the problem, you should know why won't Microsoft Word open, and learn different ways to troubleshoot.

microsoft word won't open

Don't miss: How to recover unsaved and deleted Word Windows 10

Why Won't Microsoft Word Open

There are many possible reasons Microsoft Word won't start. According to the error messages reported by some users, the issue is often due to the following factors.

  • Add-in issues in Word.
  • The Word document you want to open is corrupted.
  • Problematic Microsoft Office installation.
  • A faulty printer is set as the default printer.
  • Third-party applications conflicts.
  • Windows and Office updates have issues.

In response to these causes, you can take the following solutions to solve Microsoft Word won't open on Windows 10 and Mac. They include turning off add-ins, using safe mode, repairing the corrupted Word document, etc. Try following one by one and see after every step whether it settle the matter.

Fix 1. Repair the Corrupted Word Document

If the Word application doesn't open with certain documents, there may be issues with those documents that might be corrupted. One way to fix this is to repair the corrupt Word documents and then open them with Word.  

How to fix corrupted Word documents? Use Stellar Toolkit for File Repair software. This tool enables you to repair files with simple steps. It can repair corrupted PDF files, Word documents, Excel files, and more with ease.

Download Stellar file repair tool and follow the steps below to repair corrupted Word documents.

Step 1. Select the file type.

Download and install Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. From the software's main screen, select "Repair Document" to repair the MS Office document which you wish to repair.

Select the file type

Step 2. Scan the corrupted documents.

From the next screen, select the corrupted files to be repaired. You may choose the "Select File" or "Select Folder" option to find corrupt office files on your system. Once the corrupted files have been selected, click "Scan" to initiate the scan.

Scan the corrupted documents

Step 3. Repair and save documents.

When the scan finishes all recoverable information will be displayed in the software's left-hand panel. Click on any item to preview it before repair. To save repaired data, click "Save" from the file menu, enter a destination of choice, and hit "OK"

Repair and save word documents

Except for file repair, Stellar Toolkit for File Repair also has a good reputation in data recovery. It can simply repair corrupted files with advanced algorithm technology. It not only works well in repairing corrupted Word documents but also supports other commonly used file types, including Excel, PowerPoint as well as PDF. It allows users to preview those corrupted files and documents before repairing them.

Fix 2. Start Word in Safe Mode to Fix Word Won't Open

Sometimes, Word not opening problem is due to conflicting add-ins. To figure it out, you can run Word in Safe Mode and see if the problem has gone away.

To start Word in Safe Mode in 2 ways:

  • Hold CTRL key and click on the Word icon and don't release the CTRL key till it asks you for Safe mode confirmation.
  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run utility. Type word /safe. Click "OK" to open Word in safe mode.

If the Word opens properly in safe mode, then, it could be some add-ins that cause the problem. You can troubleshoot by disabling add-ins.

Fix 3. Disable Add-ins in Word to Fix Word Won't Open

As mentioned above, if the Word doesn't open in Safe Mode, the problem isn't with add-ins. If Word does start in safe mode, try disabling your add-ins one by one and start the application again to determine the culprit add-in.

Step 1. Click "File" > "Options" > "Add-ins".

find add-ins in word

Step 2. Select "COM Add-ins", and click "Go".

Step 3. Uncheck all the add-ins in the list, and click "OK". Then restart Word.

disable add-ins word

Fix 4. Repair Microsoft Office to Fix Word Won't Open

If there is something wrong with your Microsoft Office's installation suite, you can use the repair utility bundled with Microsoft Office to repair any issues with the Word program on your computer.

Step 1. Right-click the Windows Start button, choose and open Control Panel. Click "Programs and Features".

Step 2. Click on "Microsoft Office" and then click "Change".

Locate Office in programs and features

Step 3. On the pop-up window, click "Repair" and choose "Continue".

Repair Office installation

If you are using the 2016 or 2019 version of Microsoft Office users, you can choose "Online Repair" or "Quick Repair" and click "Repair".

Repair not working Word

Step 4. Wait for the repair process to finish. Then, restart your computer and Word to check if it can open now. 

Fix Office not working issue

Fix 5. Remove or Update Printer Drivers 

Some users reported that Microsoft Word won't open issue can be caused by an old print driver on your Windows computer, which is not compatible with the latest operating system.  

If your printer drivers are out of date, they may make Word become unresponsive because the computer will not be able to communicate with the printer hardware properly. To fix this problem, you can remove the old printer driver or update the printer driver on your machine.

Fix 6. Check Third-Party Applications Conflicts

Some third-party applications may conflict with the Word application. You can check your recently installed programs, try to close or uninstall them to see whether it helps.

Fix 7. Install the Latest Microsoft Office Update

Microsoft Word not opening may occur because of the issues of Office update. Therefore, update your Microsoft Office to the latest version.

For Office 2013 and newer versions:

Step 1. Open the Word application. Click "File" > "Account" > "Product Information" > "Update Options" .

Step 2. Click "Enable Update" and then select "Update Now".

Note: If the Enable Update button is not available, it means that the automatic update feature is enabled.

Check Office update

For Office 2010 or older versions:

Step 1. Open your Word program.

Step 2. Click "File" > "Help". Click the "Check for Updates" or "Install Updates" option.

Find Office update in old version

To Sum Up

Microsoft Word won't open is a common problem that plagues many Windows and Mac users. You don't need to be panic when you are encountering Word not opening. Read this in-depth tutorial and try these methods. We hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with Microsoft Office Word. 

If you encounter the problem of Word document damage or loss in your work, you can use Stellar Toolkit for File Repair software to help you repair and restore the lost damaged documents.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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