Fix: Microsoft Word not Responding

Microsoft Word is a word processor developed by Microsoft and it is probably the most used word processor around the globe. This software was initially available only on Windows OS, but recently, it is supported on many platforms.

While this may be the most popular word processor, it is still only software and isn’t without its bugs and technical difficulties. One of these problems includes a scenario where the software fails to respond when launched. This may be because of plenty of reasons such as incorrect add-ins etc. We have put together all the solutions with an increasing level of difficulty. Start with the first one and work your way down.

Solution 1: Disable Add-ins

One of the leading factors due to which Microsoft word gets into a ‘not responding’ state is where third-party add-ins are loaded onto the software while they are not even supported. You can disable all the add-ins one by one and troubleshoot which one might be causing the problem. You can remove it permanently afterward.

  1. Open Microsoft Word and click “File” present at the top-left side of the screen.

  1. Now click on the tab “Options” present at the navigation bar on the left side of the screen.

  1. Select the tab “Add-ins” in the left navigation pane. All the add-ins will now be listed on your right. Disable all third-party add-ins and restart Word after ending it properly using Task Manager.

  1. Now check if the problem at hand got solved.

Solution 2: Disabling Antivirus Software

All Antivirus software constantly monitors your computer’s activity in order to provide real-time protection against all threats to your computer. With that being said, there are cases where the antivirus conflicts with a specific software either causing it to crash or making it go to an unresponsive state. We have listed the ways on how to disable the antivirus by covering as many products as we can. Some specific Antiviruses which was noted to cause the problem were McAfee and Malwarebytes. Nonetheless, you should disable your antivirus software no matter what it is.

After disabling your Antivirus, restart your computer and see if this made any difference. If it didn’t, feel free to enable the antivirus software back on.

Note: Disable your antivirus software at your own risk. Appuals will not be responsible for any damage caused to your computer.

Solution 3: Repairing Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is a software that is included in the Office bundle along with other office applications too such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc. There is an inbuilt mechanism in Office that allows you to repair the installation. This process will target corrupt files from your installation and try to repair them by either replacing them or fixing them individually. Do note that you might require administrative privileges to perform this solution.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. All the different applications installed on your computer will be listed here. Search for your Office Suite. Right-click it and select “Change”.
  3. After another window pops up, click on “Repair”.

  1. After the repair process, restart your computer completely and check if the problem at hand got solved.

Solution 4: Launching Word in Safe Mode

If all the above methods don’t work, you can try launching the word processor in the safe mode. Safe mode is a mode designed specifically for troubleshooting purposes. In safe mode, all third-party services and applications are automatically disabled and kept from running. If Microsoft Word works as expected in its safe mode, you can slowly start distinguishing the process due to which the problem occurs.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “Microsoft Word”. Now press CTRL key and click the application. This will launch it in the safe mode.

  1. After the word application is launched, start your work and check frequently if Word is running as expected. Also, consider doing a restart if these steps don’t work on your computer.

Solution 5: Changing the Default Printer

Another technical error that seemed to conflict with Microsoft Word was the printer settings. As stated by Microsoft itself, we can try changing the default printer to some other except ‘Microsoft XPS Document Writer’ or ‘Send to OneNote’. These printers are not actual printers; they are there to facilitate the user into sending documents to some other application or on some other file type.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “control panel” in the dialogue box and open the application.
  2. View Large icons by changing the option at the top-right side of the window. Now select “Devices and printers”.

  1. Now select another printer excluding the ones mentioned above and select them as default by right-clicking and selecting the option.

  1. Restart your computer and check if the problem at hand got solved.

Solution 6: Using Microsoft’s Fixit Solution

Microsoft has officially acknowledged this absurd behavior with Office applications and has released numerous ‘fixit’ solutions on their official website. These solutions are lines of code designed to diagnose your computer under certain conditions and fix them accordingly. Navigate to the official website, search the knowledge base of your problem and after downloading the solution, run it.

Note: Microsoft also provides quick fixes, for example, they have fixit programs for instantly disabling add-ins or for quickly uninstalling the office application by removing everything (including all the registry values).

If all the above solutions don’t work, we are left with no choice but to reinstall the software. You can still try other solutions such as disabling hardware acceleration or checking the error log for interference with third-party applications. If are going to perform a fresh installation of Microsoft Word, make sure that you have the credentials which were used to activate it. Only proceed with the installation if you have all the information at hand.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.