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  • Word "Work File" Error Message

    Posted on WildBill Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Microsoft Office by version Questions: Microsoft Office Word "Work File" Error Message

    Topic Resolution: Resolved
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      • #1946579 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        When I start Word in Office 2013, I get the following dialog box: “Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable”. Once I click OK, it gives me a blank document as usual. Before someone says “It’s a bug from updating Office for August”, it started happening before I updated. I was on Office 2013 (C2R), version 15.0.5153.1001 (July updates). I backed up as usual with Macrium Reflect. Prior to the backup, whenever I opened Word, I didn’t get the dialog box. After the backup, I opened Word to enable & perform updates & got the box for the 1st time. I updated to version 15.0.5163.1000 (August updates) & I still get the dialog box.

        I looked at all the options for Word & didn’t see anything about a “work file” or a “temp environment”. Could this be due to a Registry entry that got clobbered somehow by the backup process? The dialog box error is a nuisance, but I wasn’t getting it before.

        Windows 8.1, 64-bit, back in Group A... & leaning toward Windows 10 V2004. As long as it's a Lot Less Buggy!
        Wild Bill Rides Again...

      • #1947276 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Looks like you’re missing a folder for File Explorer previews of Word docs (probably due to an update bug):

        “Word could not create the work file” error message when you save a document in Microsoft Word

        This article was updated during the last week; see also the two comments with corrections.

        I believe the correct answer may be to create a folder named “Content.Word” in folder %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\InetCache
        (same as %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache)

        But there’ a corresponding registry entry which also needs to be added or re-created for some:

        Fix “Word could not create the work file” error in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

        I would create the folder first and only tackle the registry correction if the error persists.

        If one or both of these don’t help, is your Office 32-bit or 64-bit (at File, Account, About Word)?

      • #1948603 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Turned out the AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word folder already exists. I created a restore point before running regedit. I navigated to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders. When I double-clicked on the Cache entry, I found it targeted a specific & different user than Word was doing. I changed the Cache entry to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache. Problem solved!

        Windows 8.1, 64-bit, back in Group A... & leaning toward Windows 10 V2004. As long as it's a Lot Less Buggy!
        Wild Bill Rides Again...

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1995731 Reply

        How would I apply this fix to all users on the local machine, or even throughout my domain?

      • #1996021 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        On a domain you use group policy to apply settings. To obtain those settings you need to use an ADM/X file via the Group Policy Editor.

        On a local machine you need to run a command to change the registry. The easiest is probably to put a command in the Windows default startup menu.
        What windows version do you have on the local machine, including home/pro etc?

        cheers, Paul

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