[SOLVED] Microsoft Word Keeps Crashing

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used computer programs in the world. It is also one of the most reliable. However, sometimes it does crash and sometimes people find that it also crashes repeatedly.

When it does crash, users are usually faced with one of these two error messages:

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

We’re sorry, but Word has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly. Word will need to be closed as a result. Would you like us to repair now?

Some minor glitches can cause Word to crash as a one-off event. When it keeps crashing this is often a sign that something needs to be fixed. This article will tell you what to do.

Why does Microsoft Word keep crashing?

Microsoft Word can crash repeatedly for a number of reasons.

Usually, it is because:

  • There is a problem with your version of Word
  • The settings are wrong on your computer
  • There is an issue with your computer
  • You are overloading the application
  • A virus is causing a crashing issue

The cause of this problem is often different on Mac and Windows. On Mac, Word is third-party software and this often causes a different set of problems.

If you are on Mac, try our things to do first and then skip to the last section on how to repair this issue on Mac. If you are on Windows, try our things to do first and then go straight to the next section.

Things to do first

Before you do anything, check that there isn’t a simple reason why Microsoft Word keeps crashing.

Run virus scan

Viruses and malware can interfere with MS Word. You should regularly run virus scans anyway and so it’s worth checking that a virus or malware is not causing an issue. Run a virus scan and remove anything which might be causing the error.

If you do find any viruses or malware on your computer, then return to Word and see if it crashes again.

Restart your computer

You should restart your computer to check that a minor bug is not causing your Word document to crash. Restart your computer and go back to your Word file and see if it crashes again.

Check that you’re not just overloading Word

MS Word is designed to handle relatively simple documents. If you are trying to create a complex document with lots of data then you may just be overloading the program. Large image files are an example of something which can cause the Word application to crash. If you think this might be the case, then you should use a program designed to handle large amounts of data, such as Microsoft Publisher.

How do I stop Microsoft Word from crashing on Windows?

Word crashes on Windows are just as common as on Mac, despite the fact that it is not a third party software application. If you’re on Windows, try these fixes…

Use the Office repair tool

The in-built Office online repair tool may be able to discover why Microsoft Word keeps crashing and fix the problem automatically. This is often the best option on Windows 10.

When Word crashes, if you are given the option of fixing it now, then choose this. The repair tool will launch and try to find the cause of the error. Follow the prompts on-screen to repair Microsoft Office. After you have finished, relaunch Word and see if it crashes again.

If you are not given this option, then you will need to do it manually:

  1. Search for Control Panel in the Search bar
  2. Go to Programs and Features
  3. Go to Microsoft Office
  4. Click on Repair and then click on Continue
  5. Choose Online Repair and click OK
  6. Allow the Office repair tool to run. This will take some time

After it has finished, restart your computer. Return to Word and see if it crashes again.

Note: You can use a quick repair, rather than an online repair. This will often resolve the issue and take less time. It is, however, less effective.

Disable add-ins

If you have add-ins running that are incompatible with MS Word, this may be why Word keeps crashing. Disabling add-ins will fix this problem.

  1. Open Word
  2. Go to File
  3. Go to Word Options
  4. Go to Add-ins
  5. In the drop-down menu next to Manage, select Word Add-ins
  6. Click on Go
  7. In the next window, select the tick-box next to Disable Add-ins
  8. Click OK and restart Word

Return to the document that you were working on and see if disabling add-ins stops Word from crashing.

Update Word

If your version of MS Word is out of date or an update has become stuck in the process of updating, then updating Word may resolve the issue.

  1. Open Word
  2. Go to File and then Account
  3. Look for Product Information and then click on Update Options
  4. Double click on Update Now
  5. Allow the update to finish

Close and then reopen Word and return to the document which was crashing. See if Microsoft Word keeps crashing.

Run Word in safe mode

Running MS Word in safe mode can allow you to resolve errors on your document.

  1. Find your Word shortcut or the Word file in My computer
  2. Press the Ctrl key and then click on it to open it in safe mode
  3. Follow the prompts on screen and you will enter Word in safe mode
  4. Work on your document and save it in safe mode

After this, close and then reopen MS Word. Return to your document and see if Word keeps crashing.

Fix with Windows registry

If a Windows registry word file is corrupted this can cause MS Word crashes.

  1. Close Word
  2. Search for Run in the Search bar and open the Run application
  3. Type Regedit and click OK
  4. Find your registry subkey
  5. Select Options and then File 
  6. go to Export and name your file and save it
  7. Delete the data subkey and choose Yes

Return to the Word application and see if it crashes again.

Delete temporary files and the user template

Deleting temporary files and the user template can help Word to run more efficiently and prevent Word crashes.

  • Search for Run in the Search bar and open the Run application
  • Type ‘%temp%’ and click OK
  • A window will open
  • Select all temporary files and choose delete
  • Close the window
  • Open Word
  • Go to Options and click on File Location and then open the User Template.
  • Delete the User Template

Return to Word and return to your previous Word document. See if your Word crashing error is resolved.

Reinstall Office

If none of the above fixes have worked for you, then you can try uninstalling and then reinstalling Microsoft Office. This is the best way to solve a crashing issue with a lot of programs and should resolve any issues with your Office application.

Make sure that you install Office at 64 bit if your operating system is 64 bit and also check that you don’t have a pirated version of Word.

How do I stop Microsoft Word from crashing on Mac?

Update Word

The same as with Windows operating systems, if your software is out of date then get up to date and see if this will recover the application.

Usually, Mac updates are found in the top menu. Click Help or Word Options and then Check for Updates.

Run your computer in Safe mode

Running a Mac computer in safe mode can help to fix issues with word documents, word files, and the whole Word application.

  1. Restart your computer and press the shift key during the bootup process to open it in safe mode
  2. Reopen the Word file that was previously crashing
  3. try to save it in safe mode
  4. Restart your computer and then go to the file

Safe mode may have been able to repair any issues with the office application which were causing it to crash.

Clear your Autorecover data

Clearing the Autorecover data folder may allow Word to operate more efficiently and stop it from crashing.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac
  2. Click on Go and then Go to Folder
  3. Type ‘~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery/’
  4. Click on Go
  5. The AutoRecovery folder on your Mac will open
  6. Delete any auto-saved files

Return to your Word document that was previously crashing and see if it crashes again.

Reset your preferences

If you have the wrong preference settings for word documents, this can cause a Word document to crash.

  1. Select the Word icon on the desktop
  2. Go to Word and then Preferences
  3. Click on the File Locations
  4. File Locations will open
  5. Click on User templates and choose Reset

After you have finished reopen Word and see if it crashes again.

Delete and then reinstall Word

If none of the above options work on Mac, then you can delete and then reinstall Word. Make sure that you save a backup of any Word document or Word file that you need to keep before you do this.