Troubleshooting Microsoft Word


Clearing the Default Template

One of the more common reasons why Word might crash is corruption in the default template.  That can happen because of a virus, or because of a bad sector on a hard drive or a variety of other reasons.  The solution is pretty simple, with Word closed, find normal.dot (or normal.dotm for Word 2007 or 2010) and either rename it or delete it.  Next time you go to start Word it will create a clean new default template for you.

Note, you will lose any customizations you may have made to the default template, but realistically not that many of you do that on purpose, in my experience.

Safe Mode

If Word is crashing for no obvious reason one thing to try is to start the program in Safe Mode.  To do that just press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard while you click the icon to start Word.

If the problem doesn't appear when you're running in Safe Mode then it's probably a misbehaving add-in that's causing the issue.  Go to File |  Options | Add-ins (Word 2010) and see if there's anything there you can disable. 

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