How to Fix Microsoft Word WinWord.exe Application Error

WinWord.exe - Application Error

winword.exe is the executable file name for Microsoft Word which is used when Word is launched. The word WinWord stands for Windows Word (Microsoft Word). This software component is also used by other applications such as Outlook when attachments are to be viewed either in Outlook or in another window in Word.

winword.exe Application Error in Microsoft Word
winword.exe Application Error

The application error of ‘winword.exe’ is common amongst Microsoft Office users and refrains users from using the application. This error was even officially recognized by Microsoft and an official update was released to fix this issue. Furthermore, repair packages were also developed by the team to help repair the Office suite. Another form of this error is ‘The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000715). Click OK to close the application’.

What causes winword.exe Application Error?

This application error can occur due to a variety of different reasons. Some of them are:

  • Corruptions in the Office suite installation.
  • Issues with the User Profile. Each user profile has its own set of configurations stored locally so each user can have a customized experience. If any of this is corrupt, you will not be able to launch the application.
  • Antivirus software can also sometimes consider the Office suite as a false positive and block its operations.
  • Each Microsoft component has several DLL If any of these are corrupt, you will not be able to launch any of the suite’s applications.
  • If any of the components of Microsoft Office suite are outdated or missing, it may prompt the winword.exe application error.
  • There are also instances where malware disguise as this error message and target the user. In this case, an extensive Antivirus scan might be needed.

There are several workarounds for fixing this error message with the most effective one to reinstall the Office suite. We will save that to the last. Make sure that you have a good internet connection and have administrator privileges before proceeding with the solutions.

Solution 1: Repairing Office Installation

Before we move with other alternatives, to repair the Office Installation. Microsoft Office is long known to cause issues when some of its installation files are either corrupt or missing. The repair mechanism will scan the installation of your Microsoft Office and check against any discrepancies.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the application manager, locate the entry of Microsoft Office. Right-click it and select Change. If there is an option of Repair here, you can click it directly.
Repairing Office Installation - Application manager in Windows 10
Repairing Office Installation – Application manager
  1. Select the option of Repair from the following windows and press Continue.
Initializing Microsoft Office Repair in Microsoft Windows
Initializing Microsoft Office Repair
  1. Now follow the on-screen instructions and when the process is complete, restart your computer and check if the error message is solved.

Solution 2: Check for problematic software

Another reason why you might experience the winword.exe application error is problematic software installed on your computer. These software packages might induce issues with the permissions or other aspects of your installation and block the Office suite.

Uninstalling Problematic Software in Windows
Uninstalling Problematic Software – Application Manager

If you recently started to get this error message, recall and check if you installed any recent application on your computer. There were some users who reported that Adobe Acrobat was clashing with the Office suite and caused the error message. Navigate to the application manager as in the previous solution and uninstall the application. Make sure that you restart your computer after making the necessary changes.

Solution 3: Restarting the ‘winword’ Process

If both the above solutions don’t work, we can try restarting the ‘winword’ process from the task manager. In older versions of Windows, you will see the process name as ‘winword’ but in a newer version, you will just see Microsoft Word. In either case, you need to end the process completely and launch the Office application again.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “taskmgr” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the task manager, locate the process, right-click it and select End Task.
Ending Task of Microsoft Office application
End task – Microsoft Word
  1. Now try launching the Microsoft Office application and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 4: Updating Windows

Like mentioned earlier, Microsoft has officially recognized this error message and even released a Windows update to fix the issue. If you are holding back and not updating Windows, you should update it right away. There are some components which are only fixable by Microsoft engineers and because of this, bug fixing updates are forcefully pushed for the users own ease.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “Update” in the dialogue box and open the Settings application.
Launching Windows Update Settings
Launching Windows Update Settings
  1. Select the option Check for updates and let Windows check. Make sure that you have an active internet connection before proceeding.
Check for updates in Windows 10
Check for updates – Settings
  1. After the update is installed, restart your computer and launch Microsoft Office again.

Solution 5: Reinstalling Microsoft Office

If all the above methods fail to work, you can reinstall the Office suite. The methods we just executed should fix any small discrepancies here and there worth fixing. If they don’t, you need to proceed and uninstall the currently installed package completely. Then after removing all the temp files, you can proceed with a new installation.

Note: Make sure that you have your activation key at hand. Since we will be reinstalling the application, you might be required to enter it again.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the application manager, locate the entry of Microsoft Office, right-click it and select Uninstall.
Uninstall Microsoft Office - Application Manager
Uninstall Microsoft Office – Application Manager
  1. Proceed with the onscreen instructions and completely uninstall Office.
  2. Now either insert your Office CD or launch the installer. Install the Office suite and after restarting your computer, check if the issue is solved.

Note: Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator before proceeding with the uninstallation.


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.