There can be several reasons why a Word document may fail to open. In this video, learn how to troubleshoot Word startup issues using methods including inserting the document into another file, using the /a switch to start Word, deleting the Word data and options registry keys, and replacing the Normal.dot or Normal.dotm global template file.
- [Instructor] Sometimes you may experience issues when you're trying to open a Word document. If this occurs, the first thing that you should do is ensure that Windows and Office is up to date. But if the problem continues, follow these steps in order. Our first step is to insert the document that we are having problems with into another document, using this method leaves the last paragraph mark behind and this is important because the last paragraph mark contains information about that document and when you leave it behind you may be able to retrieve the text if that document was damaged. And this is a super simple process. First thing you'll need to do is open Word and select blank document. Then from the ribbon select insert and from the text box you'll select object, then crate from file, and then browse for the file. That is having problems opening, and select okay. As you can see, the text from that document was inserted into a new blank document. We can now work with this document or we can copy and paste the information that we need to another document. I'm going to go ahead and close Word, and I will not be saving this file. If this does not work and you still cannot open your file, then you can go ahead and start Word using the a switch. Using the a switch prevents add-ins and the global template from being loaded. This switch will also lock the file from being read or edited, giving you the opportunity to pull out data. You'll need to ensure that Word is closed. Next, use the run command (types) and instead of safe, you'll run winward.exe/a. And this will open Word for you and at this point you could go ahead and disable the add ins. To do so, you'll select options and then add-ins and there will be a number to choose from here. As you disable these add-ins, try opening up your document again. If the problem is still exist. Then our next troubleshooting step is to remove the Word dated registry subkey. This subkey contains the most frequently used options in Word. And deleting it forces Word to rebuild the key using the default values. Now, before we go any further, please understand that we are going to modify this system registry and if this is not done correctly, issues may occur. As before, we'll ensure that Word is closed and then to access the registry I'm going to use the run command and type regedit. You are now looking at the registry editor to find the key that we need to delete, we're going to search in HKEY_CURRENT_USER and then software, Microsoft, and then Office. I happened to be using Word 2016 therefore the corresponding folder that I will select will be 16. This will be different depending on the version of Word that you're using. I'm going to scroll down to Word and then data. Now, before I delete this key, I am going to make a backup of it. I'm going to right-click, and select export. (types) I'm going to call the registry key WordData backup or BK for short and it will be on my desktop, if I need it. I can now safely go ahead and delete this key. Again, right-click and then delete. Am I sure? Yes I am. And that key is now gone. At this point you will go ahead and restart Word and see if the issue is still continuing. If the issue does not continue, you don't have to do anything else. But if the issue does continue then you'll need to restore that key and to do so you'll need that backup. All you'll simply do is double-click the backup of the registry key. We're prompted, do we want to continue to add this data back to the registry? Yes. And it's now been added back to the registry. If you're still continuing to experience issues then we'll move on to the next step and again that will happen in the registry. We'll remove the options registry subkey. Back in the registry, you'll find options under the Word directory. As before we are going to export this first for safety. (types) I can now go ahead and delete this key. I am prompted. Yes, I'm sure. If Word stars normally then fantastic. You don't need to do anything else. If we're doesn't start, then you'll have to restore the key just as we did previously. And as before, we'll pop back to the desktop, double-click and say yes. If Word is still continuing to give you some problems. Our final step is to rename the normal.dot or normal.dotm templates. The first thing I need to do is close down the registry. And the easiest way to rename these files is to do so via File Explorer. And you'll find these templates in your profile folder which will be in this PC C drive users and you. This will be followed by selecting the app date of folder. If this folder is not visible, pop-up to view and select hidden items. Roaming, Microsoft and then templates. And you'll notice here that we have the normal.dotm template file. I'm going to rename this to old. The reason we delete or rename the normal.dot or the normal.dotm, is that this is the default Word template and it contains all of the formatting, auto text macros and other customizations. If you deleted, then Word is forced to recreate a clean template. Microsoft recommends that you rename it instead of deleting it. I'm going to go ahead and launch Word. I'm going to open up a blank document and now I'm going to close Word, and you'll notice that we now have a new normal.dotM template, and this is the clean template. For detailed steps and other helpful tips, tricks, and techniques. Please refer to the Word help center.