Microsoft Word Not Responding – 10 Foolproof Ways To Fix the Bug

The bug, Microsoft word not responding does not occur due to the internal failure of the software program “MS office” but many a time, by third-party applications. Spotting the trouble maker behind this bug will help you make the WORD stable again.

From the beginner who has just learned to operate the computer to the veterans, Microsoft word is being used by everyone. The reason is simple: This rich text editor comes with handy features that support the creation and editing of resumes, process manuals, project reports, and many. Although Microsoft word is often referred to as one of the most stable applications from the house of Microsoft, sometimes it crashes and throws an annoying error message “Microsoft word not responding”. As it freezes the window and locks up all the word functionality, the only option you will be left with will be none other than terminating the program and restarting it again via the task manager. Yes, you are right. It leads to a non recoverable data loss sometimes. In the worst cases, the word application tends to crash again and again. I have been there once too so I know how annoying it would be!

Before reaching the solution to this bug, it will be useful to know the culprits which contribute to the unexpected MS word crash.


It is suggested to enable the “Auto save” feature in Microsoft Office programs so that you can protect the work and avoid the data losses during

  • Unexpected power outages
  • Unexpected application crashes
  • Internal bugs occur in the Microsoft program itself

By enabling this option you can set your current working document to be saved automatically at an x time interval. For example, if you specify the time interval as 5 minutes, new data in your word file will be saved every 5 minutes once.

You can take up a step by step guide on how to enable auto save and recover in word by clicking here.

Why Is Microsoft Word Not Responding?

There exist several reasons which can crash Microsoft word abruptly and throw that “not responding status”. The major trouble makers are listed below

  • Despite of all the possible causes third party plug-ins are identified as the major trouble makers.
  • Virus and Malware Infections
  • You are using the Microsoft office program on a  mapped network drive which is currently offline. When the mapped drive is connected with a low resource running slow level computer then it may also create this issue.

Remember, whenever the window freezes and throws a “not responding” error, there are ways using which you can recover the unsaved data to a certain level but it may not become be possible on rare occasions.

Given below are some of the foolproof ways suggested by Microsoft and various forums to resolve the issue Microsoft word is not responding to. These are also tested by our team before made it to public.  

What To Do When Microsoft Word Not Responding?  

Trick 1: Disable the Add-ins In Safe mode

There may have been incompatibility issues with the third party Add-ins. Of all the causes, this one happens more frequently. To ensure whether it’s the case, check out the event log produced.

So far, many of the word 2013 users have come up with a “Microsoft word not responding” error with the below Add-ins.

  • Acrobat PDFMaker
  • ABBYY FineReader
  • Toshiba Book Reader
  • Fun Tools

If finally, you found add-ins as problem causing factors, try disabling all the add-ins in safe mode.

Here is how. Microsoft office program can be launched in “User initiated safe mode” in 2 different ways.   

Method 1: Using the Start Menu

Click Start–>All Programs–>Microsoft Office

Hold the Ctrl key+ Click the Microsoft office program of your choice.

In our case, Click on MS Word

It should open MS word in user initiated safe mode. If it doesn’t, try initiating the safe mode using method 2.  

Method 2: Using the Command Prompt

 Hold win key + R. It should open the Run Comment box.

Type WinWord /safe” without the quotes. There is a space between “Winword” and “/”

You should have been able to launch the word program in safe mode now. Disable all the third party plug-ins that work in sync with the word program.

Here is a simple how to.

  • Click on File–>Word Options.
  • In the appearing window click on Add-ins from the left pane.
  • At the bottom of the current window, you can see the drop down box with the label Manage. By default, you can see the value “.com Add-ins” as assigned to this box. Leave as it is and click “Go”.
  • It would trigger a window with the list of all add-ins.
  • Uncheck the check boxes which will disable them to all user accounts.
  • Click OK.

Check the word program and see whether the Microsoft word not responding issue persists. By activating the safe mode you can finish off the task whatever you were doing before the crash. Finish off and save your work. Sometimes, you may not figure out the trouble maker through the event log. At times, still you will want to identify the add-in which has crashed your work recently. To do this, try activating the add-ins one by one and check out the effect every time. Until you activate the problem causing add-in, everything will work fine and when it is activated; you will end up with the same problem once again. Make a note of this plug-in and never enable it again.

Now you can terminate the safe mode by clicking on File->exit program. When next time you re-initiate the program, it will be launched in the normal mode.

Trick No 2: Update Your Graphics Card To A Newer Version

Having the outdated graphics card on your system may also cause the bug, MS word not responding. Check whether your computer runs the updated version, if it’s outdated, update the driver from the manufacturer website or contact the vendor.

Check whether it helps resolving the issue.

Trick No 3: Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration

If your Microsoft word crashes every now and then or it works fine only in safe mode, disabling the Hardware Graphics Acceleration may do the trick and solve the issue.

You can disable the hardware acceleration of graphics using UI or registry editor.  

Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration Using UI

Open a blank word document

Click on File–>Options

From the appearing word options window, choose the menu Advanced from the left pane.

Scroll down the window and under the section named display, enable the check box “disable hardware graphics acceleration”.

Click ok.

Using Registry Editor

  1. Open Run dialogue box by pressing the key combination, windows key + R. Type Regedit and hit Ok
  2. It will open the Registry editor.
  3. Expand the left pane of the registry editor window and navigate to the path
  1. Right click on common and create a subkey with the name “Graphics” by choosing New->Key.
  2. Select the Graphics subkey. On the right pane click on the blank space and select New->Dword Value. Enter the name of the new DWORD as “DisableHardwareAccelaration” as shown in the image.
  1. Double click on this key and set its value to be 1.
  2. Click ok
  3. Restart the system so the new changes will be effective.

If the problem remains unchanged then try repairing the Office program.

Trick 4: Repair Office Program

When the Microsoft office program crashes every now and then sometimes just restarting the application will do the trick. If it’s not, try repairing it and restart the computer. As this process resets all the registry changes made due to the third party Add-ins, it will bring the program to its stable state again.

  • Launch Control Panel
  • Click on the item “Program And Features “
  • Select the Microsoft Office application that needs to be repaired.
  • Complete the Reparation process
  • If this process does not resolve the issue, you may need to uninstall and re-install the Microsoft Office Package once.

Trick No:5 Fix The Issue By Disconnecting The Offline Network Drive

You might be using Microsoft office in a mapped Network. In such cases, if you get the error Microsoft office not responding, you may need to disconnect your system from all the network drives.

  • Right click on “My Computer” à click “Disconnect Network Drive”.
  • From the dialog box triggered, choose the drive that requires to be disconnected.
  • Click ok
  • Repeat the same until all the offline network drives are disconnected from your system.
  • Now launch Microsoft word and check whether the issue remains. In the most probable causes, your Microsoft office 2010 should start to work normally now.

Trick 6: Resolving the Bug with Microsoft Office Application Recovery

When the Microsoft office program throws not responding error, sometimes using the Application Recovery Tool offers a handy solution.

To utilize this feature, open Microsoft Office Application Recovery by clicking through Start-> Programs->Microsoft Office Tools

This will list all the currently running office programs with their current state (running, not responding, etc).

Though the multiple instances of the same program are running simultaneously, only one instance of the program will be displayed in the dialog box.

Now select the application you want to recover and click “Recover Application”. It will force the application to close and restart the application by recovering the unsaved data.

Trick 7: Delete the Word Data Registry key

If Microsoft Word is not responding or it does not work properly you take up the following troubleshooting procedure suggested by Microsoft.

Delete the Word Data Registry Key

Open the registry and spot the data word data registry subkey that corresponds to the version of your MS Office program.

  • Word 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\Data
  • Word 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Office\12.0\Word\Data
  • Word 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Office\11.0\Word\Data
  • Word 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft \Office\10.0\Word\Data
  1. Select Data on the left pane and click File à Save this file under the name “Wddata.reg” on your desktop.
  2. Delete it using the option EditàDelete from the file menu.
  3. Close the registry editor.

Launch the word program now. It’s great if the word works properly and does not cause any issue. If it’s not, restore the backed-up word data registry key from your desktop.  

Trick No 8: Keep The System Free From Threats

Changes in the original installed files may make the application hang. So whenever the programs linked with Microsoft word gets infected by virus or malware programs, it will lead to frequent application crashes. In such cases, keeping the system free from security threats becomes inevitable. Update the security software program and run the full system scans periodically.  

Trick No 9: Use Registry Cleaner

One of the most common reasons behind the bug Microsoft word not responding in the windows 7 operating system is damaged registry. As virus and malware infections change the registry values, restoring the registry settings to their original state by cleaning the registry will help resolve this issue.  

Trick No 10: Call Up The Microsoft Office Support

Are you running the licensed copy of the Microsoft office program? If your answer is yes, try contacting the Microsoft office customer support team. They will resolve this issue in a professional way.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here