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Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close

Solutions to 'Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close' error on Windows and Mac are both covered, do it yourself to fix the issue in order to open Word properly without showing blank page.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Table of Contents

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Solutions for Windows 10 Open Windows Explorer > click "Program Files" > "Microsoft office" >"Office". Right-click "Winword.exe"....Full steps
Fix 2. Solutions for Mac
  • Run Repair Disk Permissions on Mac
  • Reset Word for Mac preferences
  • Create a new user account...Full steps

"Microsoft word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

Microsoft has encountered a problem and needs to close

The full error messages "Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close" may occur when you open a document in Word 2003/2007/2010/2013/2016. When you see this on Windows PC or Mac, it suggests that something serious has happened, and you're no longer able to open the Word file properly!

The causes of this problem may be:

  • Word application crashes
  • Corruption of user account profile
  • Word compatibility
  • Corruption of Word preferences

So, how to fix such a Microsoft error without losing Word contents? Here, solutions to the 'Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close' problem on Windows and Mac are both covered, try the methods to resolve it and open Word without showing a blank page. Besides, in the end, get to know powerful Word file recovery software in case you need it to recover deleted or lost Word document.

Read also how to fix Microsoft Word has stopped working.

Fix Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close in Windows 10/8/7

There are 2 options available for users who choose to proceed, which is "Send Error Report" or "Don't send". Actually, neither options are effective in resolving the problem. Click either of the options, you'll be brought to safe mode. Sometimes entering into safe mode would revive Word, but most of the time it doesn't solve the problem. In this part, we will show you the step-by-step guide to completely remove the error and lets you open the Word document without shutdown.

  • Open Windows Explorer > click "Program Files" > "Microsoft office" >"Office".
  • Find and right-click "Winword.exe" > choose "Properties".
  • Click "Compatibility" and press to clear all the check boxes and at last hit upon "OK".

Fix Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close on Mac

You may see this error when start Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 or 2008. Altogether, you have 3 ways to rectify the problem and prevent Word closing.

Run Repair Disk Permissions

The "Repair Disk Permissions" is available in 10.2 or later versions on Mac. You can use it to figure out the reasons for the “Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close” on Mac error and fix it.

On the Go menu, please click "Utilities" > "Disk Utility" > choose the primary hard drive for your Mac > click "First Aid" > "Repair Disk Permissions".

Once the scan is over, open Word again and check is the error occurs. If this method doesn't work, move to the next one.

Reset Word for Mac preferences

As said before, corrupted Word preferences are one of the main reasons for "Word has encountered a problem". So you can troubleshoot by resetting Word preferences.

  • Click "Go" > "Home" > "Library". (Click "GO" > hold down the "Option" key on keyboard > click "Library" for OS X 10.7 or above versions)
  • Open the "Preferences" folder and drag "com.microsoft.Word.plist" to the desktop. If you can't find the file, in the Preferences look up for Microsoft folder, and drag com.microsoft.Word.prefs.plist to the desktop.
  • Now If you have Service Pack 2 installed, open "Application Support" > "Microsoft" > "Microsoft". Then, you can open a Word and check whether the error appears or not. 

Or, try another alternative method.

  • Click "Go" > "Home" > "Library".
  • Open the "Application Support" folder > "Microsoft folder" > "Office folder" > "User Templates" folder.
  • Find the Normal.dotm file in the "User Templates" folder, and drag it to the desktop.

Create a new user account

If the problem is caused by a corrupted user account, you can try to create a new user account to fix the issue.

  • In "System Preferences", click "Accounts".
  • Click the Plus sign [ + ] in the lower left corner to open the new account window- Enter the word Test for the username and leave the password box blank. Click the "Create Account" button. When you receive a warning, click "OK".

Good luck if the at least one method works, otherwise you got no choice but to remove or reinstall Office for Mac.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Deleted/Lost Word Document on Windows and Mac

Word document loss happens from time to time due to accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, virus attack, application crashes, etc. It is a disaster to deleted a Word file that you have been working for a very long time. If you have this problem on a regular basis, don’t worry anymore, now, you have EaseUS data recovery software to help you. With this tool, it will be quite easy for you to recover the lost document, photos, audios, videos, email, and other 200+ files from HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, Pen drive, CF/SD card, etc on Windows and Mac computer.

EaseUS Data Recovery is famous for its powerful capability for hard drive formatting recovery, RAW partition recovery, lost partition recovery, virus attack recovery, recycle bin emptied data recovery, and so on. Now, follow the tutorial below to recover Word document within three steps. 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Step 1. Choose the Word file location

Choose the drive or a specific folder where you lost Word documents and click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Locate your Word documents

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive. After the scan, click the "Documents" option in the left panel. Choose the target Word file from the scan results. Then, click "Preview".

scan and preview Word document

Step 3. Recover the deleted Word documents

After previewing, select the desired Word files and click "Recover". Remember, save the recovered documents in another location rather than original place. 

select word documents and recover

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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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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