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The Add-In Template Is Not Valid in Word? 4 Fixes Here!

Do you know why does Word keep popping up 'The add-in template is not valid' error message whenever you try to open a file? On this page, we'll explain why does this error occur and how to fix and repair your Word document to work normally again.


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Every time I open Word, I get a message add-in template not valid. How do I solve this?

Don't worry if you cannot open a Word file but received an error message, telling you that 'The add-in template is not valid'. On this page, you'll learn what this error is and how to fix it on your own. Now, follow the guide here to repair your Word files to work normally again.

Error: Microsoft Word The Add-in Template Is Not Valid

Error Message 1: "Microsoft Word. The add-in template is not valid. (C:\ysers\......\....\....dot)".

Error Message 2: "Microsoft Word. The add-in template is not valid. (C:\...\STARTUP\.....dot)".

Word add-in template is not valid error

When you get either message popping up on your computer, it means that you can neither open the Word file nor access its content. 

Cause: Usually, when one of the add-ins in the startup folders is not compatible with Word, the add-in template is not valid error will occur. 

How to Fix 'The add-in template is not valid' Error in Microsoft Word

To solve this issue, here is a list of tips that will tell you what to do and what not to do when the Microsoft Word file becomes un-openable with add-in template invalid error.

Dos:  Don'ts:
  1. 1. Back up all important Microsoft word files to another secure location immediately.
  2. 2. Follow the fixes below to fix the Word file and make it work again.
  1. 1. Stop using the Microsoft Office Program and Microsoft Outlook.
  2. 2. Don't use or open the problematic Word file.

4 Ways to Fix Word File Add-in Template Not Valid Error

  1. #1. Use Microsoft Word Repair Tool 
  2. #2. Change Microsoft Word Startup File Location
  3. #3. Disable In-Valid Word Add-in 
  4. #4. Reinstall Microsoft Office Word & Install Add-in Templates
Editors' Pick:
Both Method 1 and 2 are officially provided by the Microsoft support team that you can directly give it a try.
As for corrupted or unopenable Word files, you can turn to Method 3 for help.

Let's get started now.

Method 1. Use Microsoft Word Repair Tool

Mostly, when you have an add-in template not valid error on your Word file, it could be the document itself having an error. In this case, you'll need a Word repair tool for help.

Here, Stellar Toolkit for File Repair with its repair feature can help:

  • Repair Microsoft Office Documents
  • Repair a Corrupted PDF File
  • Repair Office Files in a Batch
  • Preview the Repaired File

Let Stellar Toolkit for File Repair software scan and repair the unopenable Word file now:

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

Method 2. Change Microsoft Word Startup File Location to Fix Word Add-in Not Valid Error

Source: Microsoft support team


Step 1. Follow the paths to open the Word startup location:

  • Word 2016: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\Startup
  • Word 2013: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\Startup
  • Word 2010: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Startup
  • Word 2007: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Startup
  • Word 2003: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Startup
  • Word 2002: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Startup 
  • Word 2000: Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup

Step 2. Move all files in the Startup folder to your desktop.

Step 3. Open the following folder:

  • On Windows 10/8: C:\user\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup
  • On Windows 7/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup

Change Word startup location to fix add-in template not valid error

Step 4. Move all the Microsoft Word startup files from your Desktop to the target folder.

Step 5. Restart Word.

Method 3. Disable In-Valid Word Add-in

Step 1. Open the Word application, and go to "File" > "Options" > "Add-ins".

Open add-in in Word

Step 2. Click "Manage" at the bottom of the dialog, select "Word Add-in".

Step 3. Click "Go" and see if you can find the problematic add-in in the first category.

Open Word add-ins

Step 4. If yes, uncheck the Add-in to turn it off.

If not, go to the next category in the Manage drop menu. Go through the categories until find and turn off all the problematic add-ins.

Disable Word Add-ins

Step 5. Click "OK" to save all changes and restart the Word application. 

After this, you can open and view the Word file on your computer again.

Method 4. Reinstall Microsoft Office Word & Enable Add-in Templates

As explained, when the Microsoft Word file add-in template becomes not valid, it could be a compatibility issue between the template and the Word application.

The last way that you can try is to reinstall the Microsoft Office Word application and install add-in templates:

#1. Uninstall Old Microsoft Office

Step 1. Find your Office activation key and save it to a new location.

Step 2. Copy all useful Word, Excel, etc., files to another location.

Step 3. Search Control panel in the search box and click "Control Panel".

Step 4. Go to "Programs" >"Programs and Features" > right-click on Microsoft Office and select "Uninstall".

Uninstall Microsoft Word

#2. Reinstall Microsoft Office Word

Step 1. Go to Microsoft Account Dashboard (https://account.microsoft.com/) and sign in with your account.

Sign in Office account

Step 2. Select "Services and subscriptions" at the top of the page, and find the Office product, click "Install".

Step 3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installing process and activate it with your license key.

#3. Add & Enable Word Add-ins

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Word application and go to "File" > "Options".

Step 2. Click "Add-ins". 

Step 3. On the new window pop up, click "Manage" from the bottom menu and select "Word Add-ins", and click "Go".

Disable Word add-ins

Step 4. On the Templates and Add-ins window, click "Add" and browse to select add-ins on your computer with the .dotm file extension. Click "OK".

Select template to add into Word add-ins

Step 5. Then click "OK" to confirm.

After this, restart Microsoft Word and open your file to see if the problem gets resolved.

IMPORTANT: If you've tried all the above fixes, but none of the methods worked, you have the last option which is to contact the Microsoft support team and ask for help.

Invalid Word Add-in Template Error Is Fixable, Follow to Make Your Word Work Now

On this page, we explained the cause of the Word add-in template is not valid error and offered 4 methods for help. How to pick an effective method? 

Here is Editor's Pick:

Among them, you should first try Method 1 and Method 2 that is officially recommended by the Microsoft support team. 

If you tried them all, but the Word file seems still not openable or corrupted, take Stellar Toolkit for File Repair with its Word Repair feature for help.

Last, we suggest you always create a timely backup of important Word document files to an external storage device. Whenever errors happen to you, you can always rescue the Word file immediately.

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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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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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