8 Easy Fixes for Microsoft Word Has Stopped Working

Jean updated on Sep 16, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


When Microsoft Word has stopped working or Microsoft Word not opening to opening for a document on Windows 10/8/7, don't worry. You can use methods on this page to resolve Microsoft Word has stopped working issue and use EaseUS file recovery software to repair and recover deleted Word files with ease.

These suggestions apply to Microsoft Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2010, Word 2007, and Word for Mac.

There are eight methods in total for Microsoft Office Word has stopped working and Word file recovery and repair. These approaches can also be applied to fix similar issues on other Office apps, such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Disable Add-ins in Safe Mode Certain add-ins may cause compatibility issues that cause a "Word stopped working" error with Office apps...Full steps
Fix 2. Repair Office 2016 If Word is damaged or corrupted. Try a quick repair first, and if that doesn't work, try the online repair...Full steps
Fix 3. Install Latest Update Download and install the latest updates for your version of Office and Windows to fix Word not working ...Full steps
Fix 4. Insert Word into Another File Microsoft Word has stopped working error can occur while opening your previously saved documents...Full steps
More practical solutions Update old printer drivers; remove or delete word registry keys; uninstall and reinstall MS office...Full steps

Issue: Microsoft Word Has Stopped Working 2016/2013/2010/2007 

With the increasing fame of Microsoft Office, its applications like Word have gained worldwide users' favor. However, the more users there are, the more problems there are. "Microsoft Office Word has stopped working" is one of the top concerned questions for many Word users. 

microsoft word has stopped working

Usually, when Microsoft word stopped working error shows up, you have two available options to undertake: check online for a solution or close the program. When you choose to close the application, you may run into the problem that Microsoft word not opening.

If you are also facing Microsoft word not working issue in Microsoft Office Word 2016, 2013, 2010, or 2007, read on and check the provided solutions below. Depending on your situation, the solution may be different. We hope one will work for you.

Also read: How to fix Excel not responding error 

8 Useful Fixes for Microsoft Word Has Stopped Working Error in Windows 10/8/7

Once Microsoft Word stopped working, wait for the program to process firstly and try your best to save the editing document. If you've waited for a very long period with no progress, click "Close the program" on the pop-up window in Word and follow the methods to fix the issue effectively.  

Fix 1. Disable Add-ins in Safe Mode

Some incompatible add-ins may cause Word stopped working error with Office apps. A quick way to find out is by starting the Office app in Safe Mode and disabling the add-ins.

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys and type: winword.exe /a and hit Enter to open MS Word in Safe Mode without plugins. Or you can also use winword /safe to start Word in Safe Mode. If the Office Word cannot be launched in Safe Mode, the problem is not with add-ins. Try repairing Office or uninstalling and reinstalling it instead.

Disable Word add-ins

Step 2. If Word starts in Safe Mode, fix the problem by disabling the application add-ins and COM add-ins. Click "File" > "Options" > "Add-Ins".

Locate add-ins

Step 3. Click "Manage" at the bottom and select COM Add-ins, click "Go" to uncheck the problematic ones and click "OK" to confirm. Some out-dated add-ins are more likely to cause problems. Uncheck these add-ins first if they are in your list: Abbyy FineReader, PowerWord, and Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Uncheck add-ins to disable them and make word work

After this, restart Word to check if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 2. Repair Office 2016/2013/2010/2007

According to some experienced users, when Microsoft Office contains errors, it would prevent users from opening a Word or edit any files. Then, you will get the Microsoft word has stopped working or Microsoft word not opening error. 

The application would directly shut down no matter you want to create a new document or continue editing a file. The direct solution towards this issue is to repair Office installation with below steps:

Step 1. In Windows 10, 8 or 7, open Control Panel, click "Programs and Features" and click on "Microsoft Office".

Step 2. Locate and select your Microsoft Office, and click "Change" in the top menu.

Locate Office in programs and features

Step 3. On the window, click "Repair" and then "Continue". 

Repair Office installation

For Newer versions of Microsoft Office users, you can choose "Online Repair" or "Quick Repair" and click "Repair".

Repair not working Word

Step 4. Let the repair finish and restart your computer. 

Fix Office not working issue

When the repair process finishes, open your Word application to check if the error appears again.

Fix 3. Install Latest Windows Update or Office Update

When your Office version or Windows system is out of date, Microsoft Office Word may stop working and even crashes. Here are the steps to install the latest updates of Windows or Microsoft Office:

# 1. Install Latest Windows Update

Step 1. Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings. 

Step 2. Click "Update & Security" and select "Check for updates" under Windows Update.

Check Windows update

Step 3. If a new Windows update window pops up, click "Install Now" and follow the instructions to install the available update.

# 2. Install Microsoft Office Update

For Office 2013 and newer versions:

Step 1. Open an Office application - Excel or Word, click "File".

Step 2. Click "Account" > "Product Information" > "Update Options" .

Step 3. 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 an Office application - Excel or Word, click "File" > "Help".

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

Find Office update in old version

Follow the instructions to finish the process. After this, you can re-open a Word document or create a new Word file again.

Fix 4. Insert Word Document into Another File

Microsoft Word has stopped working error can sometimes occur while trying to open your previously saved documents. In this case, you can try inserting your document into another file to fix the issue. Do it by following these steps:

Step 1. Run Microsoft Office Word, and create a blank new file.

Step 2. Click "Insert" from the top ribbon menu, click "Text".

Insert not working Word document in new file

Step 3. Click "Object" and select " Text from File".

Set to insert word in new file

Step 4. Select the target Word document which is unopenable or not working, and click "Insert".

Select not working Word file to insert content to new file

Step 5. Check the document content and save it as a new file on your PC.

Fix 5. Remove or Update Old Printer Drivers

Your printer drivers can interfere with Office and cause Microsoft Word has stopped working error to arise. So, sometimes you can fix this problem simply by removing or updating the default printer. To do that, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open Device Manager, and locate your printer.

Step 2. Right-click on your printer drivers and select "Uninstall" or "Update drivers".

Uninstall old printer driver

Step 3. Uninstall or update the old printer drivers.

  • For uninstalling driver - click "OK" and restart PC. 
  • For updating driver - click "Search automatically for updated driver software" and follow the instruction to finish the process, and restart PC. Or, you can download a relative driver form your printer website and install it on your PC.

Fix 6. Remove or Delete Word Registry Keys

Some users have reported that Microsoft Word has stopped working error can appear due to problems with your registry. There is a key in the registry that stores frequently used options in Word. If you delete the key, Word rebuilds it the next time you start Word by using the default settings, thus fixing the problem.

Deleting the registry can be potentially dangerous, so we highly recommend you create a backup in case anything goes wrong. 

Step 1. Bring up Registry Editor by typing regedit in the search bar and hit Enter.

Step 2. Click "Yes" to open Registry and follow the path to locate the Word options key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word\Options.

Step 3. Locate and right-click the key, and select "Export".

Remove not working Word registry keys

Step 4. Save the Options key as "Wddata.reg" and save it on your Desktop.

Step 5. Go back to Registry Editor and locate the Options key, and delete it from the menu. 

Step 6. Exit Registry Editor.

After this, restart your Word and check if the problem is resolved. If the problem still exists, run the Wddata.reg on your Desktop to restore the deleted key.

Fix 7. Replace the Normal.dot Global Template File

Microsoft Word stores formatting and macros in a global template file. When the global template file is corrupted, you'll get the Microsoft word stopped working error message. To resolve the problem, you need to rename the Normal.dot file. 

Note: Modifying the global template file will lose some customization features, such as styles, macros, etc. To keep previous settings, you can copy the customization from one global template to another by using the Organizer. Do the following to replace Normal.dot file.

Step 1. Press Windows + X and select "Command Prompt (Admin)". Sign in if the program requires administrator permission.

Step 2. Enter the command below and hit Enter:

Click to copy

Step 3. Wait for the command to finish and exit Command Prompt.

After this, restart your Word application to check if you can use it to edit documents or create new files again.

Fix 8. Uninstall and Reinstall MS Office

Note: This fix may cause your activation key invalid after the reinstallation of MS Office. Make sure that your activation key can be used twice before taking the below steps.

Step 1. Keep your MS Office activation key and save it to another secure device.

Step 2. Open Control Panel, click "Program and Features", then locate and select Microsoft Office.

Step 3. Click "Uninstall" in the top menu.

Uninstall Office.

Step 4. Re-install Microsoft Office on your PC and activate it with your serial key.

If your old key fails to activate the newly installed MS Office, please contact the Microsoft support team for help: https://support.microsoft.com/contactus.

Causes of Microsoft Word Has Stopped Working Error 

Except for finding the right solutions to solve the Microsoft office has stopped working error on Windows PC, it's highly necessary to know the reasons that cause your Word malfunction. Here are the main reasons:

  • Office edition isn't compatible with the current OS on your PC.
  • Word is out of date.
  • The device driver is out of date.
  • Word Add-in issue. 
  • Word file issue.

How to Recover Lost or Unsaved Word Documents 

Another big issue that concerns users the most is the lost or unsaved Word file when Word stopped working. If you're editing a Word document when it happens, you're likely to lose documents that haven't been saved. In this section, you can learn how to recover unsaved Word documents with useful tips. What's more, a renowned file recovery tool is introduced to help you repair and recover lost Word documents in the simplest way. 

How to Restore Unsaved Word Documents

If you lost unsaved Word documents due to Word crash, Word not responding, Word stopped working, Word keeps freezing, or other Word problems, there are three ways for you to recover unsaved Word documents in Windows 10. Link to the page to see details. 

  • Fix 1. Recover from Temporary Files
  • Fix 2. Recover from AutoRecover
  • Fix 3. Use Document Recovery

For a Mac user, check this link to see how to recover unsaved Word document on Mac

How to Restore Lost/Corrupted Word Document with File Recovery Software

If the Word has stopped working error lead to file corruption or if you have deleted some crucial Word documents and need to get them back, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a great choice. This software will not only help you recover lost files but also help you repair damaged documents during the recovery process. 

Download EaseUS file recovery tool to recover lost or corrupted Word document on HDD, USB flash drive, external hard drive, and more in only 3 simple steps.

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing "Documents" from the drop-down list in "Filter". 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

Useful Tips to Back Up and Protect Word File

If you are looking for a reliable method to fix "Word has stopped working" error, solutions included in the above two parts are capable to help you out.

If you prefer a more comprehensive plan to protect your precious Word documents, stay here. Two reliable Word backup tips are available here for you to try:

# 1. Enable Auto-Save Feature in Word

Applies to: Back up and save editing Word document.

Step 1. Open MS Word application and create a new file, click "File" > "Option".

Step 2. Click "Save" and check the below two boxes:

  • "Save AutoRecover information every * munites" (set a time for autosave - every 2 or 5 minutes will be good)
  • "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving"

Enable Auto-Save feature to backup editing Word file.

Step 3. Click "OK" to confirm.

# 2. Back Up Saved Word File with File Backup Software

Applies to: Back up saved Word file on your local drive.

Reliable file backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup can help you effectively back up important files including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. on a local drive with ease.

The back up will be a lifesaver to immediately bring your hard word back once you lose it due to unknown reasons.

Download and follow below 3 steps to safely back up your Word file with ease:

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

FAQs About Microsoft Word Has Stopped Working

Here are a few questions related to Microsoft Word has stopped working. If you also have any of these problems, you can find the methods here.

1. How do I fix Microsoft Word has stopped working?

When MS word has stopped working, you can fix it by repairing Office installation.

Step 1. Open Control Panel, click “Programs and Features" and click on "Microsoft Office".

Step 2. Locate and select your Microsoft Office, and click "Change" in the top menu.

Step 3. On the window, click "Repair" and then "Continue". For Newer versions of Microsoft Office users, you can choose "Online Repair" or "Quick Repair" and click "Repair".

Step 4. Let the repair finish and restart your computer.

2. Why is my Microsoft Word not opening?

When there are a few corrupted documents, or you have an issue with a Word or 3rd party add-on, your Word maybe not opening.

3. How do you restart Microsoft Word?

Step 1. Go to the Tools Menu, then Customize, then click options.

Step 2. Choose the option for the Reset menu and toolbar usage data. This will put your toolbars back to the original settings. If you would like to reset your settings further, move on to the steps below.

4. Why has my office 365 stopped working?

When Microsoft Office 365, 2016 or 2013 stops working or not opening on your PC, you can also use the Office repair feature to get the problem fixed in Windows 10/8/7: right-click on Office 365, Office 2016 or Office 2013 > Select Change; click Online Repair > click on Repair button.

5. How do I fix Outlook has stopped working?

When you happen to encounter Outlook 2016 Not Responding in Windows 10, you can try to fix by using Outlook recovery software; start Outlook in Safe Mode; install Outlook updates; repair Office program, or repair Outlook data files.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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