• Word opens multiple new blank documents on reboot

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    I’m not sure where this should be posted so am starting here since MS Word documents are what are being created whenever I reboot my computer.

    I am running the latest version of Win10 Pro along with Office 365. I remember this being an issue some years ago but not lately. When I reboot, Word begins opening many blank word document files. Today, the reboot resulted in 21 files being opened. Sometimes it’s less. I have no clue what may be causing this to happen but it’s been within the last week or so and I have not installed any new updates during that time period. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #2257316

      Close all documents, discarding any changes.
      Close 365.
      Do you still see blank documents?

      Check what is started at boot.
      Right click on the Task Bar and select Task Manager.
      Click the Start-up tab. If you can’t see the Start-up tab click More details at the bottom of the window.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2257671

      Okay, I closed all Word documents but I’m not sure what you mean by “Close 365”. There is no task or service with any label that looks like it is related to Office 365.

      Also, looking at that start-up tab of Task Manager shows only normal programs and nothing that appears to be related to Office 365.

      However, when I reboot the system after closing all open documents, it starts opening new blank word documents again. This last time, it opened 17 documents. Task Manager shows all of the newly opened word documents in the Apps section of the Processes tab.

      Other than this issue, everything else is running just fine with no other strangeness that I can see.

      Any other thought or things I should look at?

    • #2257735

      Open regedit.exe and check these two locations for any references to WINWORD.EXE


      If found, remove those entries that contain WINWORD.EXE . . . (Do not remove the run and runonce folders!)

      Additionally check your Task Scheduler references to the same.

      Feel free to post what you find if you need further advice.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by NetDef.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2257740

        Bingo! There where 17 copies of the winword.exe in the RunOnce folder. I deleted all of them and the issue disappeared. Now, I am seeing a large number of in the runOnce folder that are related to One Drive. As the system reboots, I see something flashing on the screen like the Word documents that makes me think there shouldn’t be all of those One Drive lines in that folder. I just couldn’t see them before due to the Word documents flashing on the screen too. So, I may have two issues but don’t want to take a chance on messing something up until I hear back from this forum.

        Thanks for the help on finding the Word issue. I wonder what would have caused that problem in the first place?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2257741

          You can and should zap the Onedrive references in RunOnce as well. In theory, for RunOnce, you can remove all entries inside of it safely – its supposed to be used mostly for uninstall cleanups for older programs.

          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

        • #2257743

          I wonder what would have caused that problem in the first place?

          As for the why: there is at least one virus that called itself WinWord. My theory is you may have been recently infected, and your AV caught up with the executable but did not clean out the traces. If a RunOnce entry refers to Winword without a “/recover” or “/restore” option it might be a leftover from that.

          Search on “W32.Kangero.A” for more info about one of the malware variants that use this method . . .

          In the meantime, perhaps scan your system?

          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

    • #2257742

      RunOnce is supposed to do what it says, run something once. After running the entry is deleted by Windows.
      Why you still had those entries is the question – that may never be answered.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2257866

      I have deleted all of the OneDrive entries in the RunOnce folder and then rebooted the system. The reboot was much faster than it has been in the past few weeks and there was no flashing of windows opening during the reboot as was seen previously. After reboot, I looked at the RunOnce folder again and it was clean. I’ve attached a screen capture of what the RunOnce folder looks like now. I should have captured it with all of the entries in it…

      As for a virus or malware, I am running Malwarebytes Premium and have for many years. It runs clean. I also run a McAfee suite that should catch anything else. It too runs clean. I keep my systems pretty well protected and clean so I’m not too worried about stuff getting through and causing me problems. This one may have just been a one-off problem that I will never see again. Only time will tell.

      Again, I want to thank everyone who chimed-in on this issue. I do appreciate the rapid responses and all of them were on-target.

      I have marked this issue as RESOLVED but will monitor to see if anything comes back.

      Best regards to all – Don



      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2261573

      Well, the problem is back with multiple word documents opening on a reboot. Checking the RunOnce registry item and I found, once again, multiple winword.exe /restore entrees.


      There were also some other entries but I don’t think they were causing any issues, at the moment.

      Guess I’ll just have to live with this as all of my anti-virus and malware routines run error-free.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by IDDon.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by IDDon.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2264120

        This is starting to look like a symptom of a different problem.

        On a hunch: clear all the RunOnce entries. Then BEFORE shutting down or logging off, close Word, and check Task Manager for any “hung” instances of Word (winword.exe). If any exist, then force close them.

        Betting that

        a) if you do that experiment (not intending that you make this a permanent process) that the entries will not return.

        b) we’re looking for reasons why Word is hanging in the background when you close it.

        Things to look for: A bad NORMAL.DOT Word template. Corrupt fonts. A corrupt Office install. Bad sectors on the hard drive.

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

    • #2261687

      Use Nirsoft RegFromApp and /or MS Process Monitor to look at what app is making those registry changes.

      cheers, Paul

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