ABBYY FineReader Add-in causing Office Programs to crash

Recently I installed Office 2013 on one of the machines running Windows 7. After the installation, during the first run itself, it started to crash and was not able to even start. All the Office Programs seemed to be affected as Word, Excel, PowerPoint crashed when I tried to start them.word2013 stoppedworking

First it displayed a message Microsoft Word has stopped working. Then it displayed a message saying that ABBYY FineReader add-in might be causing the problem. ABBYY FineReader is a popular OCR software for text recognition, which turns scanned documents, PDFs and digital photographs into searchable and editable documents. I did have ABBYY FineReader 11 and ABBYY PDF Transformer installed – but it did not cause any problems in the earlier installation of Office 2010. So the next step was to disable them, as they run on Startup of Office Programs.

In this way we can identify if ABBYY FineReader add-in is causing the problem. So we run the Office programs in the Safe mode.

ABBYY FineReader Add-in crashes Office Programs

In Windows 7 , Start > Run and in Windows 8 , go to your Start Screen and type the command  and hit Enter to start Word 2013 in Safe Mode.

winword /safe

Check if it opens in Safe mode. If the Office application doesn’t start  even in Safe Mode, then it is not any add-in that is causing problems.If it opens, then it is some Add-in that is causing the problem.

So I disabled disable the ABBYY FineReader Add-in by following these steps:

Click File > Options > Add-in  To manage the Office Add-ins. You will be able to see the ABBYY add-ins listed.

ABBYY FineReader Add-in

To manage, select ‘COM Add-ins’ from the drop down list  and click on Go…

Word COM Add-in

Now Uncheck the Add-ins related to ABBYY to disable them and click OK. And restart Word 2013 in Normal mode and it should start normally. If it doesn’t, then this is not a problem caused due to the ABBY add-in. If Word 2013 starts normally after disabling ABBYY Ad-in, follow similar steps for other Office programs too.

Use the commands,  excel /safe , Outlook /safe, Powerpnt /safe and mspub /safe for Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Publisher respectively and disable the ABBYY Add-in from these programs too.

After disabling this ABBYY Add-in, all my Office 2013 programs are working fine.

ABBYY in its System Specification has mentioned that “Compatibility with Microsoft Office 2013 is not guaranteed till the next update of the product”, so if you are using  ABBYY products, keep looking for updates for the same.

You can see more suggestions to troubleshoot Office programs have stopped working, if you get to see such messages:

  • Microsoft Excel 2013 has stopped working
  • Microsoft Outlook 2013 has stopped working
  • Microsoft Word 2013 has stopped working
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 has stopped working
  • Microsoft Publisher 2013 has stopped working.
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Posted by on , in Category Office with Tags
The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.


  1. Janis Mori

    Thanks! you saved my life 🙂

  2. andrea b

    Thanks a lot! Your information was very helpful und explained perfectly!

  3. E. Colpitts

    Thank you!

  4. Ronka

    Thanks … great support … I worked just as you said … 🙂

  5. Juan Pablo Marichal Catalán

    You saved my life today. Thank you!

  6. This saved my relationship with my sister .Thanks! 🙂

  7. toyebird

    thanks to Microsoft sending me to this help page, they saved my life today and I could have lost a huge amount of work !!.. worked first time and sorted all of my office apps

  8. RM

    I could not found how to safe mode in windows 10, so after days of installing and uninstalling Microsoft office home & student 2013, I eventually uninstalled ABBYY fine reader 9.0 sprint and immediately I was able to open word and excel to begin a project. Worried if having no ABBYY Fine reader installed, I will see if there are problems later with other apps, but I am much happier to have a paid Microsoft Office working. We should not have to have these problems, for what we pay you do not get free support in turn.

  9. BaLee

    Thank You! I must fix it wery quickly and your solution helped for me. ABBYY PDF Transformer add-in caused the problem, o/

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