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How to Troubleshoot Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office is a pre-eminent software package that has been helpful for users in distinct sectors. From School to Work, Microsoft Office is used everywhere.

Apart from its exceptional and breathtaking features, users complain of certain Microsoft office problems that needs troubleshooting.

To obtain a brief knowledge concerning Microsoft Office Troubleshoot and acknowledge some easy fixes or workarounds for recent Office issues, take a thorough look down below.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processing application that is utilized for editing, typing, and printing any textual data. Thus, at first, we will be discussing MS Word and the problems correlated with it. 

For Windows

If you have been confronting issues while starting or using Word on your Windows PC, then make sure to follow the method below in order to acquire an easy fix.

Method 1: Disable Startup Folder Add-ins

Add-ins and templates get automatically loaded within the Startup folders while trying to start MS Word. However, the issues affecting add-ins can cause problems with Word as well. Therefore, for such situations, it is recommended to check if the problem is associated with items of the Startup folder. This can be done by disabling the registry settings for these add-ins by following steps

  1. Close all the Office Programs.
  2. Go to Start and launch Windows Explorer by typing “Windows ex” within the search box. Press Enter.
  3. Type the commands according to the version of Word you are using and it’s installation type. Then, hit the Enter button.
    1. Word 2016
      64-bit C2R installation: %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\root\office16\Startup\
      32-bit C2R installation: %programfiles% (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\office16\Startup\
      64-bit MSI installation: %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\office16\Startup\
      32-bit MSI installation: %programfiles% (x86)\Microsoft Office\office16\Startup\
    2. Word 2013
      64-bit C2R installation: %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\root\office15\Startup\
      32-bit C2R installation: %programfiles% (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\office15\Startup\
      64-bit MSI installation: %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\office15\Startup\
      32-bit MSI installation: %programfiles% (x86)\Microsoft Office\office15\Startup\
    3. Word 2010
      %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office14\Startup\
    4. Word 2007
      %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office12\Startup\
    5. Word 2003
      %programfiles%\Microsoft\Office\Office11\Startup\
  4. Rename the folder by right clicking on any one file within the folder and clicking on Rename option.
  5. Insert .old after the file name and hit the Enter button. Start Word again.
  6. If the problem gets resolved then the add-in you selected was causing the problem. However, if the problem still persists then repeat this process for each file within the folder.

Method 2: Replace the Normal.dot or Normal.dotm global template file

By replacing the global template file, you can save Word from getting affected by AutoText, macros, and formatting compiled within it. Here is how you can perform this method

  1. Close all the Office programs and then search for cmd within the Start search box. Press Enter.
  2. Type the following command according to your Word Versions

Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, or Word 2007

    1. ren %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dotm OldNormal.dotm  

Word 2003

    1. ren %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dot OldNormal.dot    
    2. ren %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dot OldNormal.dot    
  1. Type exit and hit the Enter button. Restart MS Word again.

Method 3: Use /a Switch

The /a switch is an easy approach to manage and troubleshoot problems within Microsoft Word. It inhibits add-ins and global templates from loading automatically. Hence, using it can resolve issues easily.

  • Within the Start Search box, type Run and then hit the Enter button.
  • Type “winword /a ” inside the Run dialog box and press Enter.

For Mac

The problems of Microsoft Word linked to Mac strongly to its launching, upgrading to Catalina, or while saving it to any online locations like Onedrive.

Apart from that, MS Word issues also originate while saving a particular document to any online location like Onedrive in PDF format, the file gets saved as .docx file.

Method 1: Change the File Extension to PDF

If you are facing a similar situation where your file got converted to .docx file then you can change it to pdf form by following the steps mentioned below

  • First, click on Microsoft Office Button located at the top left corner of the screen. Click on Save As and then select PDF/XPS.
  • Within the list of File Name, select or enter a document name. Now, in the Save as type, click on PDF. Click on Publish.

Method 2: Get the Latest Update for Microsoft Word

Besides, Microsoft Word might not launch due to it not being updated to the latest version. To get the latest update, follow the steps given below orderly

  • First of all, open Word and then go to the top menu.
  • Click on Help and then Check for Updates.
  • Now, click on Update to both download and install the new update.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft Excel

When it comes to naming some of the most useful applications of Microsoft Office, MS Excel definitely tops the list. However, there are certain issues and errors associated with it which require troubleshooting.

For Windows

Common problems correlated with Excel usually involves it’s hanging or freezing. For such conditions, here are some of the troubleshooting methods you can try.

Method 1: Repair Office Through Control Panel

To obtain a repair tool and troubleshoot problems through it, make sure to follow the steps given below sequentially

  • Go to Start and right-click on it. Click on “Apps and Features” from the pop-up menu that appears on your screen. Choose the Microsoft Office product for repairment and then click on Modify.
  • If your Office copy is Click-to-run, then inside the “How would you like to repair your Office Programs” window, click on Online Repair and then Repair. 
  • For MSI-based install, Select Repair from “Change your Installation” window. Click on Continue.   
  • Follow the on screen instructions to successfully complete the repair process. 

Method 2: Start Excel in Safe Mode

By starting MS Excel on Safe Mode, you are very less likely to experience any startup problems. You can do so by two methods. Here are both of them listed for you consecutively.

CTRL key
  • Locate the shortcut icon for Excel and then press and hold the CTRL-key.
  • Double click on the Excel shortcut and click on Yes (when prompted to start 

Excel in Safe Mode)

/safe Option
  • Go to Start and right-click on it. Click on Run.
  • Type the following commands within the Run box

excel/safe 

  • Click on Ok

Method 3: Look for Issues with Add-ins

Add-ins are responsible for conflicting with Excel many times. For such cases, it is recommended to launch Excel without add-ins by following the steps given below

  • Start Excel in Safe mode by following the process given in method 2.
  • If the problem resolves, go to File>Options>Add-ins.
  • Click on COM Add-ins and then select Go.
  • Remove all the checkboxes within the list and then click on Ok.
  • Close Excel and Start it again.

If the issue does not occur on restarting Excel, enable add-ins one by one until it does. Doing so will help you determine which add-in is generating the issue.  

For Mac

Problems concerning Word on Mac is usually correlated with its fonts and slower performance. For such scenarios, we have listed some fixes to get rid of such situations.

Fix 1: Unexpected Prompt To Grant Access While Opening or Saving a File

Although this issue is under investigation for a resolve, we recommend you to follow the steps in order to acquire an easy fix.

  • On your Mac, Close Excel and then navigate to the Finder.
  • Press SHIFT+CMD+G and paste the path given below within the “Go to” dialog box
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences
  • Click on Ok. Locate the  com.microsoft.Excel.securebookmarks.plist file and transfer it to Trash.
  • Once done, restart Excel. 

Fix 2: Change the Fonts (Font Issues of Excel)

Users that are using 16/9 version of MS Excel may face issues with their font. The texts may appear in other font and may not able to load some fonts as well. 

Many times you may have multiple fonts within your system. As a result, Excel would not be able to load them all. To get rid of it, choose the fonts you need, that are not prioritized fonts. Here are the steps by which you can change or select fonts on Excel

  • Choose the cell containing text whose font you want to change
  • Click on the down arrow beside font field of format bar
  • Select from the fonts installed on your computer. Click on the font of your preference to change it.

Moreover, look for all installed fonts within the system. Ensure that the latest version of the font is active if you have more than one version.

Fix 2: Update the Excel Version

Besides, In Excel for Mac, you may confront slow-moving while scrolling through the cells. For such cases, it is recommended to update it to the new version. To perform this method, follow the steps given in order

  • First of all, open Microsoft Excel.
  • Go to the Help option and then click on Check for Updates.
  • Click on Update.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft PowerPoint

The problems correlated with PowerPoint usually involve hanging, freezing, or PowerPoint not responding  Thus, it is extremely important to get rid of it by some of the solutions mentioned below.

For Windows

If the PowerPoint hangs, freezes, or does not respond on your Windows PC then try some of these solutions stated below to resolve it

Method 1: Change Printer Defaults

Powerpoint loads a default printer and it is important to change its setting for a quick resolve. Here are the steps through which you can do so

  • Go to Control Panel and then launch Hardware and Sound.
  • Once the list of the printer appears, click on “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” or “Send to One Note.”
  • Click on the “Set as default printer” option.

Method 2: Issues with Add-ins

Add-ins are said to clash with the Powerpoint sometimes and thus in order to fix it, you need to start powerpoint without add-ins. Here is how you can perform the step easily.

  • Go to Start and type “PowerPoint/safe”. Click on Ok.
  • If the problem resolves, click on “Options” from the File menu. Then, click Add-Ins.
  • Choose COM add-ins and then click on Go.
  • Click to clear all the checkboxes from the list. Once done, click on Ok.
  • Restart the PowerPoint. 
  • If the issue still does not occur, repeat the process and enable the add-ins one by one till the issue occurs. 

Additionally, you can also try the Office Repair process mentioned in the Excel section for a quick fix.

For Mac

On the other hand, PowerPoint on Mac causes permission problems or it might just stop responding. For such cases, follow the fixes to resolve it immediately

Fix 1: Check Hard Disc Name

If PowerPoint has stopped responding on your Mac then check your hard disc name. This is because many times the issue can be correlated to that. To check and rename your Hard Disc name follow the steps given below

  • Close all the Applications.
  • Within the Go Menu, click on Computer. You should see your hard drive listed within it. 
  • Select the hard disk. Go to the File menu and click on Get Info.
  • Within the Name & Extensions( like Macintosh HD), type the new name. 
  • After doing so, click on the red circle button on top. 

Fix 2: Make Use of Repair Disk Permission

Besides, not working issues, Powerpoint also causes permission problems. To get rid of it, you can use Repair Disk Permissions through the given steps

  • Click on the Go menu and then on Utilities.
  • Launch the Disk Utility Program
  • Select the primary hard disk drive of your system.
  • Now, go to the First Aid tab and click on Repair Disk Permissions.

Fix 3: Remove PowerPoint Preferences

By removing the PowerPoint preferences, all the customizations made by you will be reset. This involves changes within the toolbar, keyboard shortcuts, custom dictionaries, etc. To perform this fix, follow the steps in order

  • Close all Office for Mac programs.
  • Navigate to the Go menu and click on Home.
  • Open Library>Preferences Folder. Look for a file named com.microsoft.powerpoint.plist.
  • If you can see the file, transfer it to the desktop. Start the Powerpoint again and see if the issue persists. However, if you dont, then most probably the program is using default preferences.
  • If the problem persists, close PowerPoint and restore the files to their original location. On the other hand, if the problem resolves, transfer the com.microsoft.powerpoint.prefs.plist file to the trash.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is an outstanding email application that is helpful to send/ receive emails on both Windows and Mac respectively. Besides, its efficient features, Microsoft Outlooks has some issues as well. To troubleshoot its common problems, follow the solutions below

For Windows

Outlook for Windows usually causes issues that inhibit it to run or work properly. Now, to get rid of such problems, follow the fixes mentioned below

Fix 1: Make a New Outlook Profile

Now to troubleshoot issues with Outlook and it might not run for some reason, then make sure to follow the steps below

  • Go to the Control Panel and then select Mail
  • Click on Show Profile and choose the profile which you want to remove. Then click on Remove.
  • After that, click on Add. Within the Profile name section, enter a new profile name. Now write the user name, primary SMTP address, and password. 
  • Click on Next, once done. Enter your login details and then click on Ok.
  • Once the Setup gets finished, click on Finish. 

Apart from that, you can also follow the Office Repair method and investigate issues caused by add-ins in the Excel section provided above. (Open Outlook instead of Excel)

For Mac

Outlook usually freezes or does not open on a Mac system. In such conditions, you can follow the fixes listed by us to acquire an easy resolve

Fix 1: To Retaliate Outlook Freezing on Mac

Outlook might suddenly freeze on Mac and this has concerned a lot of users lately. However, in order to fix this issue, we have provided you an easy troubleshooting method, following which you will be able to get rid of this scenario

  • Go to the “Utilities” folder and look for Terminal App on your Mac. Open the app and enter “defaults write com.microsoft.Outlook DisablePreviewForSMIME 1”. Press Enter.
  • Now, type “kill all cfprefsd” and press Enter again. Close Outlook and restart your Mac.
  • Open Outlook and see if the freezing issue got resolved.

Fix 2: Check for Updates

Sometimes Outlook might not open on your Mac, no matter what you do. For such scenarios, it is important to check for any updates and install them eventually. To do so, follow the steps provided below 

  • Launch Microsoft Outlook and go to Help.
  • Click on Check for Updates.
  • Choose “Automatically download and Install” when prompted for “How would you like updates to be installed?”
  • Select Check for Updates.

Fix 3: Rebuild the Outlook Database

A corrupted database can be rebuilt by using Microsoft Utility. This, in return, might solve the problem that is stopping Outlook from opening on your Mac. Here is how you can perform this fix

  • Close all the Applications of Microsoft Office
  • Hold the Option key and then choose Outlook from the dock. This will open the Microsoft Database Utility.
  • Choose the database identity which you want to rebuild and then select Rebuild.
  • Once done, Restart Outlook.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is an excellent digital notebook that stores and syncs notes as your work. The issues related to OneNote are mostly with its syncing for both the Windows system and Mac.  

Fix 1: Issues Related to Syncing of OneNote

OneNote users mostly complain of syncing issues while using it and therefore they keep releasing new updates for it every now and then. To troubleshoot syncing issues on OneNote, follow the steps listed below

For Windows

If the notebook that does not sync is stored on OneDriver or the current version of SharePoint, open the notebook in OneNote for the web.

  • In OneNote, click on File and then Info. 
  • Right-click on the URL displayed under the name of the notebook that is affected. Click Copy.
  • Within the Web browser, paste the URL that you copied.
  • Hit the Enter button to load a notebook within Onenote for Web. 

If the notebook is opening successfully in OneNote for web version then the problem might be correlated with the desktop version of OneNote. For such issues, follow the steps mentioned below

  • Within the OneNote, click on File and then Info.
  • Just beside the affected notebook name, click on Setting and then click on Close.
  • Go back to the Notebook in OneNote for the web and click on Open in OneNote on the ribbon. 


If you are not able to open and see the notebook in OneNote for the web, the problem might be correlated with the server. For such cases, if your notebook is stored on OneDrive, go to the official website of Microsoft and look for any outrages within the Service Status page. However, if it is stored on SharePoint, you need to contact your administrator.

If the notebook is opening and viewed in OneNote for the web, but the changes are not visible, it is very likely that the information did not get synced. To check for any error in the sync status, follow the steps given below

  • Click on File and then Info, within the OneNote.
  • Click on the View Sync Status button.
  • Look for any errors inside the dialog box. 

For Mac

Try to launch the notebook in OneNote for web, if the notebook causing syncing problems is present within OneDrive or  newer versions of SharePoint 

  • Go to the toolbar in OneNote for Mac and then select Notebooks. Again go to the Notebooks and then click on “copy the link to Notebook”.
  • Within your Web browser, paste the copied URL and then press Enter to load notebook in OneNote for Web. 

If Notebook is opening in OneNote for web and changes appear then the problem might be related to OneNote for Mac. To reset the connection, closing and reopening the notebook might help. To do so, follow the steps given below orderly

  • Within the OneNote for Mac menu bar, click on Notebooks>Notebooks. Select “Close This Notebook.” 
  • Go back to the notebook in OneNote for the web within the web browser and then click on Open in OneNote on the ribbon. 

If you are not able to open and view the Notebook in OneNote for web, then the server is causing the sync problem. So, if your notebook is stored on OneDriver, go to the Service status page on their official website and look for any outrages.However, if it is stored on Sharepoint, contact the administrator to resolve the problem.

If the Notebook is opening and is viewed in OneNote for the web, but the changes are not visible, the information isn’t synced yet. To check the sync status for any error, follow the steps given below

  • Select the Show Notebooks button to see the notebook list.
  • Check the error by moving the mouse cursor to the warning trigger beside the notebook’s name. 

Fix 2: Synchronization Conflicts

While editing or changing the same paragraph at the same time, two users can face synchronization conflicts. Once this happens, OneNote may generate multiple copies of the page to avoid any data loss thereby causing an error message. To fix such merge conflicts, follow the steps below orderly

For Windows

  • Navigate to the page displaying merge conflict errors and click anywhere within the page. Click Edit and then Select All.
  • Press Command+C to copy the selection and then paste it by pressing Command+V where you want. 
  • After examining the sync conflict or any made changes, delete the pages with the error by clicking in the Delete version. 

For Mac

  • Go to the page with merge conflicts error and click anywhere within the page. Click Edit and then Select All from the menu bar.
  • Press Command+C to copy the selection and then navigate to the main page version. Paste the content that you copied.
  • Click on the Delete Version button to delete the page after reviewing sync conflicts and changes made within it.

Troubleshooting Problems Associated With Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is an information management tool that is helpful for a user to save information for different purposes like reference, analysis, or reporting. The issues related to it are mostly regarding its slow performance or its effect on Access features and add-ins.

Fix 1: Use Compact and Repair Tool

The Compact and Repair tool is an effective tool that solves the database issue and provides a normal database. To run this tool, follow the steps given below

  • Close any Access database.
  • Go to the tool menu and choose Database Tools>>Compact and Repair Database.
  • Select Compact and Repair Tool. On doing so, a Database to Compact From pop up will display. Choose the database file for repairing and click ok.

Fix 2: Convert MS Access MDB to ACCDB

If you encounter errors that say Cannot Open Access Database, then or such conditions you need to export the MDB file to the ACCDB format. To perform this fix, follow the steps given  below

  • Launch Microsoft Access and then go to the File tab. Click on Open.
  • Once a dialog box opens, select the Access MDB file which you want to export to aacdb file format.
  • Now, go to the File tab and click on the Save & Publish.
  • Select Access Database from the Database File Types.
  • Click on Save As to save the database file type settings and then follow the on screen instructions to save it successfully. 

Common Microsoft Office 365 Problems With Solutions

Office 365 is not compatible with Windows XP and Vista, thus it is important for the user to use Windows 7 or above version. Similarly, there are other problems correlated with Office 365 as well. Some of them are listed below

Office 365 Sign-In Problems

Problems while Signing in to Office 365 occurs either due to incorrect password or corrupted login services. Thus it is extremely required to insert the correct username and password on your Windows PC. However, if the Sign in keeps failing, click on “Can’t Access Your Account”. Follow the on screen instructions to verify your account and then change your password. 

Dysfunctions Install Button

Besides, the install button can freeze in Office 365 thereby causing an issue when installing. You can fix a dysfunctional install button by resetting the browser settings or getting rid of the temporary internet files and other extensions, plugins, or add-ins of the browser.

Taking Time to Install

Also, if Office 365 is taking too much time to install then see whether you have an older version of Office installed on your system. If yes then it will take more time to complete the installation. Besides, you can also try turning off your antivirus temporarily. 

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