4 Ways to fix Microsoft Word not Responding on Windows & Mac

microsoft word not responding mac

Have you ever tried to write when suddenly your Microsoft Word not responding?

One of the most annoying moments when working with Microsoft Word is that every time you are in the middle of a task and in a hurry, suddenly the whole program crashes and the screen goes blank and an error message appears Microsoft Word not responding .

Sometimes, the error appears while saving or even while typing. You will notice that you cannot type letters or click on anything. The worst part is that the file may be lost when you close the application and you may have to redo everything.

This error can be caused by many factors and this is what we will discuss today in this article. We appreciate how much you need to get your job done, so it’s only fair that you understand why this error is occurring, what the potential reasons might be, and what you can do to fix Microsoft word stopped working.

Part 1. Restore lost files with data recovery when Microsoft Word Not Responding

Lost computer files are hard to recover than your cell phone, just like the file you were saving to Microsoft Word before it didn’t respond. Even if it saves a copy of the last file you created by default, you might have a hard time navigating that folder and sometimes just to find out, it wasn’t saved at all.

The best option you can do is to install Data Recovery Software. It performs a thorough scan of your computer and quickly recovers lost files, including those of Microsoft Word. This recovery program offers recovery of important files such as documents, images, videos, audios, recycle bin and more.

How to use Data Recovery Software?

If this is your first time using this program, follow this guide on how to quickly recover lost Microsoft Word file:

  • Open Data Recovery Software on your computer. Follow its on-screen prompt on how to download and install the software.
  • Choose the desired file to recover. For this example, select Documents and select the hard drive where Microsoft Word is located; this will make the scan faster. Otherwise, select all listed drives. Click Scan.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and find the recovered files in .docx format
  • Mark the document (s) you want to recover and click the Recover button to save them to your computer.

If, for example, the exact file you were looking for was not found in the quick scan results, you can try again and select the deep scan method.

That’s all! Now you can proceed with saving or printing said Microsoft Word file and send it by the deadline!

Part 2. Three other effective ways on how to fix Microsoft Word not Responding Windows

Microsoft Word not responding problem is actually a simple error if you know where and what to do if you want to know how to recover and fix this problem, we have listed 3 other effective ways. Check.

microsoft word not responding windows

Solution 1. Access the repair tool

When Microsoft Word becomes unresponsive while saving or opening a document, you can reset the program using the repair tool on Windows. The process on each version of Windows may be different but the steps are similar.

Here’s how to access and fix Microsoft Word:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your computer. You can do this by typing control panel on the search bar next to the Start button (Windows icon).
  2. When the Control Panel window opens, find and click on Apps and Features
  3. Switch to Microsoft Word among the listed apps and features on your computer, then right-click and select Change.
  4. Select Repair on the Setup Wizard screen and follow the on-screen prompt to complete the repair and restart Microsoft Word
  5. When the application restarts, check if you are able to save the file and continue from where it left off.

Solution 2. Disable / Remove Add-ins on Microsoft Word

Another option to fix your Microsoft Word is to disable add-ons. These add-ins are custom features added to MS Word and, at times, may cause problems when accessing or using the program.

How to disable add-ins on MS Word?

  • Log in to Microsoft Word and go to File and click on Options. Find and select add-ons
  • Scroll down to Manage and click Go
  • Choose the add-ons you want to disable listed in the dialog box. Uncheck the box to disable the desired add-ons
  • However, this solution is quite technical, especially when you are not familiar with add-ons. You might end up messing up the whole application in case you disable them without proper knowledge of add-ons.

Solution 3. Locate the Microsoft Word backup file

If the previous solutions did not solve the problem, you can restore the Microsoft Word backup file. Like what I mentioned earlier, Microsoft Word creates an automatic backup file by default so you can recover any lost files, however the application will have problems.

Usually, when MS word application becomes unresponsive, it will immediately freeze and close. When you reopen the program, an automatically restored file is displayed in the left pane. There is none, you can search for the backup file instead.

To search for the backup file, follow this guide:

  1. If you were able to save the file, you can go to the folder path and search for files with the .wbk extension. These are extensions used by the program to make copies of the .doc file format in case it is damaged or deleted.
  2. After searching the folder and no files were found, you can try entering * .wbk into your computer’s search box and press Enter. This will require the entire computer to search for all files with the same extension. A list of all documents will appear on the screen, look for the missing file in this list.
  3. Once you’ve located the missing document, go to the File menu and click Open
  4. Select All files and choose the backup file you found earlier and select Open

If by any chance this method doesn’t work, you can try to automatically restore the Word document.

  1. Open Task Manager and go to the Processes tab. You can access Task Manager by right clicking on the taskbar menu or you can use Win + Run and enter taskmgr
  2. Find Winword.exe or Microsoft Word and click Finish. You have to do this for all the file extensions you see in this tab until you have closed all the file extensions
  3. Exit Task Manager and try to open MS Word again. Upon opening MS Word, there will be an automatically restored file on the left side of the application. Choose the correct document and double-click on it. After opening the recovered file, you can go ahead and click Save As and find the right destination folder

Part 3. Bonus Tip: Fix Microsoft Word Not Responding on Mac

We have provided you with the detailed solutions on how to fix Microsoft Word not responding on a Mac computer. However, we haven’t provided any solutions to those Mac users yet, so as a bonus, we will provide you with quick fixes on Mac.

microsoft word not responding mac

The first thing you can do is to force quit Microsoft Word when you see the error message on the screen. Next, try the following methods:

Method 1. Delete Auto Repair Folder

  1. Click Home from the Go To menu and open microsoft User data found in documents. From here you can view the automatic recovery folder.
  2. Open this folder and find the missing Microsoft Word and copy the file to another folder of your choice.
  3. Restart Microsoft Word and see if it works and responds

Method 2. Remove the MS Word preference files

  1. Enter ~ / Library from the Go To menu and navigate to the Preferences folder
  2. Locate Microsoft.Word.plist and copy or move it to another folder or to the desktop
  3. Try logging into Microsoft Word again and see if you are able to use it now

But what if the file is no longer found, what should your next steps be? Remember, when you can’t find the missing Word document, you can always rely on Data Recovery . This program works on both Windows and Mac computers.

Part 4. Summary

In this article, we can provide you with 4 ways to fix Microsoft Word not responding problem. This problem is a common scenario for those users who use this application on a daily basis. Usually, this error occurs when saving the document or accessing the file.

Among the solutions we have collected, using Data Recovery is the best method as you will no longer have to spend a lot of time researching and troubleshooting your computer just to recover the missing file.

Apart from this, we have also listed other solutions that may help you to overcome this error on your Windows and Mac computers. I hope this article has provided you with the complete guide and help you to fix this problem in no time.