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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

    This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  WildBill 1 week, 3 days ago.

    • Author
    • #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, now in Group B!
      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)?

      Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

    • #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, now in Group B!
      Wild Bill Rides Again...

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