How to Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding: Step-by-Step Guide

Having trouble with Microsoft Word not responding? Fear not, for it’s a common issue with several easy fixes. Whether it’s a one-time glitch or a recurring problem, this guide will walk you through the steps to get Word up and running again. So, let’s get started!

Step by Step Tutorial to Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, know that these steps aim to resolve the unresponsiveness of Microsoft Word, so you can get back to work without losing your precious data.

Step 1: Wait and See

Give it a minute – sometimes patience is key!

When Microsoft Word stops responding, it’s tempting to immediately close the program or restart your computer. However, it’s worth giving it a little time. Sometimes, Word is processing a complex task, and it might just need a moment to catch up.

Step 2: Use Task Manager to Close Word

If patience doesn’t pay off, it’s time to take action.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager, find Microsoft Word, and end the task. This will force Word to close, which can sometimes resolve the issue. Be aware that you might lose unsaved changes, so always save your work frequently!

Step 3: Restart Your Computer

Sometimes a fresh start is all you need.

Restarting your computer can clear out any temporary glitches that might be causing Word to hang. This is a good step to try early on as it can often resolve many different types of software issues.

Step 4: Disable Add-ins

Add-ins can add problems – let’s turn them off.

To disable add-ins, open Word in Safe Mode by holding the Ctrl key while opening the program. Then go to File > Options > Add-ins, and disable them. Add-ins can enhance functionality, but they can also cause conflicts, especially if they’re outdated or not compatible with the latest version of Word.

Step 5: Repair Microsoft Office

If all else fails, repair the Office installation.

You can repair Microsoft Office from the Control Panel. Go to Programs and Features, select Microsoft Office, and click on “Change.” Then, choose between a Quick Repair, which is faster and fixes most issues, or an Online Repair, which is more thorough.

After completing these steps, Microsoft Word should be running smoothly again. If the problem persists, it might be time to contact Microsoft Support for additional help.

Tips for Preventing Microsoft Word Not Responding

Now that we’ve tackled the issue, let’s ensure it doesn’t happen again.

  • Save your work frequently to avoid losing data.
  • Keep your Microsoft Office suite updated to patch any bugs.
  • Regularly check for and install Windows updates.
  • Avoid opening too many programs at once, which can overload your system.
  • Consider a hardware upgrade if your computer is older and struggles to run newer software smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Microsoft Word to stop responding?

Several factors, such as software conflicts, outdated add-ins, or system glitches, can cause Microsoft Word to freeze or become unresponsive.

Can I recover unsaved Word documents after a crash?

Yes, Word usually offers a Document Recovery option when you reopen the program after a crash, which can help you recover unsaved work.

Should I reinstall Microsoft Word if it keeps not responding?

Reinstalling should be a last resort. Try the steps in this guide first, as they are often sufficient to resolve the issue.

How can I avoid Microsoft Word not responding in the future?

Regular updates, saving work frequently, and minimizing the use of unnecessary add-ins can help prevent Word from becoming unresponsive.

Is it necessary to update Windows to fix Word not responding?

While not always necessary, keeping Windows updated can resolve compatibility issues and improve overall software performance, including that of Microsoft Word.


  1. Wait for Word to respond.
  2. End the Word task using Task Manager.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Disable any Word add-ins.
  5. Repair the Microsoft Office installation.


In conclusion, Microsoft Word not responding can be a real headache, especially when you’re on a tight deadline or in the middle of important work. However, with the steps outlined above, you should be able to tackle the issue with ease and prevent future occurrences. Remember, the key is to save your work frequently, keep your software updated, and be mindful of add-ins and other programs running simultaneously.

If you’ve followed this guide and still face issues, it might be a sign of a deeper problem. In such cases, reaching out to Microsoft Support or a professional IT specialist might be your best bet. But don’t worry; most of the time, Microsoft Word not responding is a minor hiccup that you can fix in no time. So keep calm, follow the steps, and you’ll be back to typing away in no time!