The last few versions of Microsoft Office have been stable and have hardly had any problems with them. However, sometimes you may find that Microsoft Word is not responding. It just stays on the same screen, no matter what you do.
Microsoft Word may not respond for many reasons. Maybe there are problems with the add-ons you have installed? Or maybe the document you are trying to open is corrupted and causing Word to freeze?
Fortunately, there are several ways to fix these Word problems on your computer.
Run Word in safe mode and disable add-ons
One way to fix when Microsoft Word is not responding is to use Safe Mode. This mode allows you to open Word with only the files you need, and it will help you troubleshoot any problems with application add-ins.
- Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click the Word shortcut on your desktop.
- You will receive a message asking if you want to open Word in Safe Mode. Click “Yes” to continue.
- Click the File menu at the top of the screen.
- Select Options from the left side panel of your screen. It should be at the bottom of the list.
- On the next screen, click the Add-Ins option in the left sidebar.
- Find the “Manage” drop-down menu in the right pane and click “Next” to it.
- Uncheck all add-ons on the screen and click OK.
- Start Word normally and it should open.
Repair Corrupted Word Document
If Word is malfunctioning or not responding with only certain documents, there might be problems with those documents. One way to fix this is to repair those damaged documents and then open them in Word.
- Open Word on your computer. Use safe mode if normal mode doesn’t work.
- Click the Open button in the left sidebar.
- On the next screen, click Browse to locate the problem document on your computer.
- Navigate to the folder where you saved the document, select it, click the arrow icon next to the Open button, and select Open and Restore.
- Word will open your document and correct it for you.
Repair Microsoft Office Suite
Problems with Microsoft Office applications, including Word, are common, so these applications come bundled with a troubleshooting utility. You can access the utility and select a recovery option that will fix any problems with the Office applications on your computer.
Use Control Panel
- Open Control Panel on your computer.
- Click the Uninstall a Program option. You are not deleting anything.
- Select Microsoft Office from the list and click Edit at the top.
- Select “Quick Repair” from the field on the screen and click “Repair”.
- If quick recovery does not fix the problem, select the online recovery option.
- Launch the settings application on your PC.
- Select “Applications” on the next screen.
- Find Microsoft Office in the list, select it, and click Change.
- Select the quick repair option to restore the Office suite.
Change your default printer
One of the reasons Microsoft Word is not responding is because your computer has a faulty printer set as the default printer. Word is tightly integrated with the printers on your system, and any problems with your printers can cause Word not to respond.
Selecting a different printer as the default printer should fix this problem.
- Open the Settings app on your PC.
- Click the Devices option on the next screen.
- Select “Printers & Scanners” from the left sidebar.
- Uncheck “Let Windows manage my default printer”.
- Find a working printer in the list, click it and choose Manage.
- Click the Set as default button to set the newly selected printer as the default printer on your computer.
Update your printer drivers
If your printer drivers are out of date, Word may not respond because the computer cannot communicate properly with the printer hardware. To fix this, you can update the printer drivers on your computer.
- Search for and open Device Manager by searching for Cortana.
- Select your printer from the list, right-click it and choose Update Driver Software.
- If you downloaded the drivers to your computer, select Find Drivers on My Computer.
- Select “Search automatically for updated driver software” if you do not already have drivers.
Turn off antivirus software
Some antivirus programs are known to cause conflicts with various applications. Therefore, we suggest that you temporarily disable your antivirus program and see if that fixes the Word problem on your system.
Most antivirus programs can be disabled by right-clicking their icons in the taskbar and choosing Disable, Disable Protection, or a similar option.
If Word starts to respond after you’ve disabled your antivirus, then your antivirus and Word are not communicating well with each other. You can uninstall your current antivirus program and replace it with another one.
Uninstall recent Windows and Office updates
If Word is not responding after updating Office or Windows, you can try uninstalling the update and see if that fixes the problem. This should work if the issue is caused by any of these updates.
- Launch Control Panel on your computer.
- Click the Uninstall a Program option.
- Select the View Installed Updates option in the left sidebar.
- Select the update that you think is causing the problem and click Remove.
- Click Yes at the prompt on the screen to uninstall the selected update.
Reinstall Microsoft Office on your computer
Finally, if nothing else works, you can completely uninstall Microsoft Office from your computer and then install it completely. This will fix all problems with Office applications and Word will have no more problems.
Use the settings
- Open the settings on your PC.
- Select Applications on the next screen.
- Find Microsoft Office, click it, and then click Uninstall.
- Click Remove again to remove Office.
- Download Office as usual and install it on your computer.
- Download and install the Uninstall Support Tool on your computer.
- Select your Office version and click Next.
- Check the box on the next screen and click Next.
- Restart your computer when prompted and let the tool uninstall Office completely.
Use the Removal Support Tool
Microsoft has a dedicated removal tool to help you remove the Office suite from your computer.
Microsoft Word has many features, but sometimes these features cause problems with the underlying software. If Word stopped responding on your computer, how did you solve the problem? Let us know in the comments below.