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Corruption issues in Microsoft Word are not strange at all. Compared with lost Word file recovery, which some professional file recovery software can do well, repairing a corrupted file asks for more patience and skills. The more severely the File gets damaged, the more complex the file content can be restored. Despite that, for a corrupted Word .doc/.docx file, there are still some fixable ways available. To help you fully understand how to recover severely corrupted Word files in Windows 10/8.1/8/7 with confidence, we divide the event into two scenarios followed by corresponding solutions:
|The Corrupted Word Does Not Open||Fix 1. Open the File in Draft mode...Full steps
Fix 2. Open with "Recover Text from Any File"...Full steps
Fix 3. Open the File in a new document...Full steps
|Able to Open but Data Corrupt||Fix 4. Use the Open and Repair Word Tool...Full steps
Fix 5. Copy content to a new document...Full steps
Fix 6. Start Word from default settings...Full steps
Fix 7. Adopt the document view...Full steps
What Makes A Word Document Corrupt - Badly?
Anytime you cannot open a file normally, you should suspect file corruption. In addition, even you can open the File, but data shows weried character or the File turns blank, indicating that the file data has been partially or entirely damaged. How did you note the file problem? Have you ever done the following things before the event? If yes, that's probably the reason.
- Abrupt Power failure or system shutdown while editing, downloading, or transferring the File.
- Change the Word file format too frequently from one format to the other
- Read/write the Word file on a hard drive with too many bad sectors
- The computer has been infected by malware and viruses
- The Microsoft Word application crashed or froze
How to Manually Repair Severely Corrupted Word with 7 Simple Tricks
There is no guaranteed way to 100% protect a computer file from being lost or ruined unless making a real-time backup. When you happen to receive an error reporting the File in Word has been corrupted, you should take the right action to repair the corruption without delay.
Scenario #1. The Word File Does Not Open from the start
The error followed by a Word file you cannot open at the moment is usually about "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened." The given four solutions are generally helpful to fix this kind of not opening issue.
Fix 1. Open the File in Draft mode
- Open Word and navigate to View and then Draft
- Select File > Options > Advanced
- First, find the Show document content section, check the box in front of Use draft font in Draft and Outline views, and Show picture placeholders.
- Go on scrolling down to the section of General, uncheck the options of Update automatic links at open and select OK and then close Word.
- Restart Word and select the damaged document to open
Fix 2. Open the File with "Recover Text from Any File"
- Do not use the double click method to open the File because it will prevent you from opening it correctly in Word. Instead, use the available feature in Word like this.
- Open Word and go to File> Open > Browse.
- Select the problematic Word document by navigating to its file location and select Recover Text from Any File (*.*) from the dropdown menu
- Click Open
Fix 3. Insert the File in a new document
This method takes two procedures of  creating a new Word file  Insert the damaged document content into the new document.
- Select the File menu, and then select New
- Select Blank document, and then select Create
- On the Insert tab, select Insert Object, and then choose Text From File.
- In the Insert File dialog box, locate and select the damaged document. Then, choose Insert.
Scenario #2. Able to Open the Word File but Data Corrupt
The other case is that you can open the File in a usual way in Word but stop by some unspecified errors. The content may consist of unreadable characters and the formatting and layout are in a mass. You must use different methods to tackle this kind of issue.
Fix 4. Use the Open and Repair Word Tool
- In Word, select File on the Ribbon, and then select Open
- In the Open dialog box, click once to highlight your Word document
- Select the arrow on the Open button, and then choose Open and Repair
Fix 5. Copy content except for the last paragraph to a new document
* Keep in mind one critical step: Copy only the text between the sections breaks if your document contains section breaks. Do not copy the section breaks.
- In Word, select File and then choose New
- Select Blank document, and then select Create
- Next, choose File and then select Open
- Select the damaged paper, and then select Open
- Copy the contents of the document, and then paste the contents into the new document
Fix 6. Start Word from default settings
Run Word using the default settings can exclude the factors of some add-in and NOrmal.dotm template issues that cause your Word file from constantly corrupting.
- Close all the Word documents on your PC
- Press Windows+R keys to open Run
- Type winword.exe /a and click OK
- Once Word opens up, go to File and click on Open
- Browse to the damaged Word file and click on Open
Fix 7. Adopt the document view to remove damaged data
If the pages of a document are truncated, it may help remove the damaged content by switching the document view. First of all, open the corrupted Word file and scroll down page by page to check which page number (try to write it down on a notebook) has damaged content that is causing the document to be truncated. Then, switch views to remove the damaged content as follows.
- On the View tab in the Document Views group, select Web Layout or Draft view.
- Scroll to view the content that was displayed before the document appeared to be truncated
- Select and delete the next paragraph, table, or object in the File
- On the View tab in the Document Views group, select Print Layout. If the document continues to appear to be truncated, continue to switch views and delete content until the File no longer seems to be truncated in the Print Layout view
- Save the document
Are you having more issues not mentioned on this page? Check the links for further help.
How to Fix A Word File Won't Open After Recovery
After reading through the article, you can easily find answers to how to recover severely corrupted Word files that can open or cannot open in Word 2003 ~ Word 2019 and Word included with Microsoft 365. The given methods are based on manual operations and Microsoft support without using third-party Word repair tools. If you wish to repair Word documents that won't open after recovering, use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC. It works primarily as a reliable Word file recovery utility, additionally, with the ability to repair the corrupted Word documents that cannot open or are seemingly broken after recovery.
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and then scan disk with corrupted documents. This software enables you to fix damaged Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files in same steps.
Step 2. EaseUS data recovery and repair tool will scan for all lost and corrupted files. You can find the target files by file type or type the file name in the search box.
Step 3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can repair your damaged documents automatically. After file preview, you can click "Recover" to save the repaired Word, Excel, and PDF document files to a safe location.
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Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.
Approved by Evan Galasso
Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition. Read More
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have 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. Read More
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair. Read More
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