Microsoft Word won’t open- Step by Step Guide to solve the problem

Microsft word, It’s an Microsoft office product that is used for creating, editing, and managing word documents that were previously doing on Notepad. Mainly user’s of Microsoft word face issues like Microsft word won’t open in their windows 10.

This problem user faces in Microsoft word 2016 or in the previous version 2013. It sometimes creates a big problem because we use it on daily basis for our personal or professional purpose. If you’re facing the same issue,  below I have given a few solutions to help you.


Microsft Word is a word processor that is developed by Microsft. It was firstly released on 25 October 1983. In the beginning, it was known as Multi-tool Word than in the future, It was developed more for several other platforms like IBM PCs running on DOS, macOS, and many other platforms.

Microsoft word commercial version is licensed as a standalone product or we can say as a component of the Microsft office suite. It provides the windowed word processor with autocorrect spelling, the ability to undo, redo and display bold, italic, and underline text and It is the most widely used word processing program in the market.

Microsft word’s native file formats are denoted either by a .doc or .docx filename extension. It provides many features that help user’s to optimize the text like font, color, style, etc. It has an inbuilt spell checker which helps you while writing any mail or letters with correct spelling.

Microsoft word provides different templates for creating letters, newsletters, assignments, notes, and articles. It is mostly used by college students to edit manage or write assignments properly.

What are the causes for Microsft’s word won’t open on Windows/Mac?

Microsoft Word won't open
Microsoft Word won’t open

According to some problems reported on the Microsoft community related to the word, the issue appears due to the below circumstance.

  • Word/windows upgrade or update: According to some comments, the issue came in the beginning after they have upgraded to the latest version of the word and some reported that it started after upgrading to Windows 10.
  • The corrupted installation file of the word: Sometimes a corrupted installation of Microsft office causes the problem. In this situation, you need to repair the installation.
  • Word add-ins: In some cases, the add-ins can be the imposter which is causing the MS word to not startup. In this case, you can try removing ass-ins.

The below guide solutions can fix the issue, you can try applying the solutions. For getting the expected problem-solving result kindly follow the exact steps in the same order as provided.

Solution1: Repair or reinstall

Microsoft word repair or Re-install
Microsoft word repair or Re-install

Firstly, If you’re facing any issue with your windows 10, try using this repair feature. You can access this inbuild access feature by opening Control Panel > Programs and Features > locate Microsoft Office and select Change from the top menu.

In the popup window that appears, choose the option as Repair and follow the instruction to repair the MS office. If still the issue appears try installing the Microsft office and re-install it as a fresh program.

Solution2: Open Task Manager

Microsoft Windows Task manager
Windows Task Manager

Whenever you trying to open windows and it’s not starting up, Just open windows task manager and see if the MS word is showing in the task list or not.

For opening windows task manager, Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click on the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager. In the process Tab inside task manager, you can see if the MS Word as WINWORD.EXE is in the list of open tasks or not.

If you are able to see the process in the task list, this means that your windows think that the word program is open and it won’t do anything about it.

In this case, select the WINWORD.EXE task and on this bottom right corner, you’ll see the bottom as End Task, click on the End task and try reopening the Microsft word again.

In some cases, this method has proven useful and might help in other software opening issues also.

Solution3: Use Safe Mode

Try installing the Office in safe mode, It can help in solving the Microsoft word not opening issue, Starting MS word in safe mode is pretty easy.

Just open the windows run by pressing ( Windows Key + R ) on the keyboard and type in the “word/safe” and hit the enter button.

Microsoft windows safe Mode
Windows Safe Mode

Solution4: Install windows update

Update Microsoft windows
Update Windows

As you know the window is the product of Microsft only, Microsft regularly releases updates for the Microsft office through the windows update.

Sometimes you forgot to update windows and that can be the main culprit in this situation. It happens that the previous version has some bug that fixed in the latest version after the update, mainly chances are that the issue gets resolved after updating the latest version.

Maybe other programs also interfere in MS office processes and preventing you from accessing it. In all cases, updating the windows and resolve the problem.

Solution5: Disable Add-ins

Disable Add-Ins in Word
Disable Add-Ins

Follow the below steps to disable Add-ins in windows.

Step1: Open the Microsft Word app.

Step2: Go to File -> Options.

Step3: Click on the Add-Ins, and disable all add-ins you see.

Step4: Restart the Microsft word and open it again without add-ins enabled.

Sometimes add-ins may block the MS office products ( Word/Excel/Powerpoint ) from opening.

Hence you can’t be sure that which add-ins are actually creating the problem, I recommend uninstalling all of them and then install everything one by one again so that you won’t face the same issue in the future again.

Solution6: Uninstall Windows updates

Uninstall windows update
Uninstall Windows Update

Follow the below steps to uninstall the windows update.

Step1: Go to Windows Settings.

Step2:  Now, Click on update and security -> Windows Update.

Step3: Go inside update history -> Uninstall updates.

Step4: There you can find the latest MS office update installed on your PC/Laptop, right-click on it, and Uninstall.

Step5: Restart your PC/Laptop.

Now, in the above solution, we have tried solving the problem by uninstalling the latest update. Asin, in some cases degrading the update, can solve the problem.

Final Words:

Microsft word is a widely used word program all over the world for writing and managing documents. As people use it most we face many problems while using, Microsoft word which won’t open is one of them. Above I have written all the possible causes for the same problem and possible solutions also which can help you.

Yashwant Yadav

Yashwant Yadav is a full-time Software Engineer at Capgemini India. He is the Founder of Cyberkyosco.

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