• Word Is Crashing


    A customer’s Word 2016 component of Microsoft Office (Click to Run, Windows 10) recently became barely useable:  I could start a new document or open an existing document, but it crashed if I tried to save it.  It also crashed if I tried to access “Options” or “Account” (he was signed in with his Microsoft account).  Updating Office didn’t help, nor did the two repair options in Control Panel (I tried both more than once).  BitDefender and MalwareBytes found no viruses or other malware.  Restoring his computer to a date 10 days before Word started misbehaving didn’t help.  I tried uninstalling Office and replacing it with the 2019 version, but no joy.  Other Office components like Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint work just fine.

    Here’s everything I’ve tried with 2019; after each individual action, I tried Word again, but no luck (I couldn’t remove any add-ins, because that crashed Word):

    1. Removed all Word-related temporary files,
    2. Updated Office,
    3. Repaired Office,
    4. In a Command Prompt window, ran SFC /SCANNOW, then DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, then SFC /SCANNOW again,
    5. Started Word in safe mode – it still crashes,
    6. Deleted the Normal template,
    7. Deleted the Word Options and Data subkeys in the registry,
    8. Uninstalled and re-installed Office,
    9. Used Microsoft’s “SetupProd_OffScrub.exe” app to remove every trace of Office and then re-installed it (twice),
    10. Switched the default printer from a networked printer to a directly connected printer.

    I’ve been an IT professional since before Windows – back when WordPerfect for DOS was the king of the word processor jungle – and I’ve rescued a lot of hopeless cases.  I thought about nuking and paving his computer, but that’s not a real option (I’ve moved 3,000 miles away from him, and I don’t want to try something like that by remote).

    I don’t often ask for help, but this is one of those times. I would be deeply thankful for any suggestions anyone might have.

    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #2503041

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    • #2503114

      Since it crashes sometimes when started it may be left over unsaved document fragments causing the problem. Easy to find out.
      With Word closed. Go to Word’s folder in the app data usually at:
      “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word” (need to display hidden files)
      Also open the STARTUP folder that is in that Word folder and move any files there (these could be add in templates causing the problem – I’ve seen Avery label templates cause such a problem).
      That Word folder should only have the STARTUP folder and the STARTUP folder should be empty.

      It may not work (not sure if the reinstalls actually would delete such unsaved files), but easy enough to try.

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2503170

      Was Malwarebytes installed prior or after the issue started? We had somewhat the same issue a few years back on a few machines. Disabling all protections in MBAM didn’t help so on a gut feeling uninstalled it. No more issues. Led me to uninstall the lifetime license on about 50 machines eventually.

      Never Say Never

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