How to Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding Error

If Microsoft Word has stopped working or stopped responding on your computer, below are the steps to fix Microsoft Word not responding issue.

Microsoft Word is not responding

Most Word users have experienced the problem of Microsoft Word not responding, freezing and refusing to work on their computers.

When this happens, Microsoft Word cannot open the requested file and often the Microsoft Word program crashes and displays the following error message.

“Microsoft Word has stopped working – A problem caused the program to stop working properly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available”.

In most cases, disabling add-ins, repairing program files, and other methods as outlined below can fix the problem.

1. Change default printer

Microsoft Word may stop responding if it cannot communicate with the printer attached to your computer.

So, follow the steps below to change the default printer on your computer to Microsoft XPS Document Writer and see if that helps resolve the issue.

1. Open settings > click Printers & Scanners.

Printers and scanners in Windows settings

2. On the next screen, click Printers & Scanners in the left pane. In the right pane, click Microsoft XPS Document Writer and click Administer.

Manage Microsoft XPS Document Writer

3. On the next screen, click Set as default Possibility.

Set Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the default printer

After setting Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the default printer, open Microsoft Word and check if the problem is resolved.

2. Repair Microsoft Word

The problem of Microsoft Word not responding can be due to corrupted program files.

1. Right click on the beginning click and click To run.

Open Run Command in Windows

2. In the Run Command window, type the following appwiz.cpl and click OK.

Run the appwiz command in Windows

3. On the next screen, right-click MicrosoftOffice and click the repair option in the displayed menu.

Repair the Microsoft Office program

Note: If the Repair option is not available, right-click change > select repair in the popup and click Continue.

Wait for the repair utility to restart Word and repair the Microsoft Office program.

3. Run Word in Safe Mode

Opening Microsoft Word in Safe Mode disables all plug-ins and add-on programs installed on your computer.

1. Right click on the beginning click and click To run.

Open Run Command in Windows

2. In the command window, type run winword.exe /safe and click OK to start Microsoft Word in safe mode.

Open Microsoft Word in Safe Mode

3. Now try to open the unresponsive file Word file back on your computer.

If this solves the problem, you can follow the next method to disable active plug-ins one by one to identify the add-in that is causing the problem on your computer.

4. Disable plugins and add-ins

External plugins, either installed by you or sometimes added automatically, can interfere with the proper functioning of Microsoft Word.

Therefore, follow the steps below to disable the Microsoft Word plugins (if any) installed on your computer.

1. Open Microsoft Word program on your computer and open a empty document.

Open a blank Word document

Note: Open Microsoft Word in Safe Mode if you cannot open the Word program.

2. Once in Microsoft Word, click the file Tab.

Microsoft Word File tab.

3. Scroll down the menu that appears and click options.

Microsoft Word Options tab

4. On the Word Options screen, click add-ins in the left pane. Select in the right pane Word add-ins and click the Walk… Button.

View Microsoft Word add-in programs

5. On the Add-Ins screen, disable that small box next to the active add-ins and click OK to save the change.

Disable Microsoft Word add-ins

After disabling Word add-ins, restart Microsoft Word and check if the Microsoft Word not responding issue is resolved.

As mentioned above, you can try to isolate the specific add-in that is causing problems on your computer by disabling add-ins one by one.

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