If any of your Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Visio, etc.. are giving you problems while opening their respective Office files, you might need to start the Office program in Safe Mode. Doing this will help you troubleshoot and fix any problems you may be facing on your Windows 11/10 PC.
Start Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook in Safe Mode
To start Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or any Microsoft Office program, you can follow one of these ways:
- Press the CTRL key
- Then click on the Office file to open.
- You will be asked – Do you want to start Word in safe mode?
- Click Yes.
The Office file will open in safe mode.
Alternatively, you can use the
/safe parameter in the Run to open the file in safe mode. This is User-Initiated Safe Mode.
To open Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Visio in Safe Mode, open the Run box and execute the following:
- For Word: Type
winword /safe, and click OK.
- For Excel: Type
excel /safe, and click OK.
- For PowerPoint: Type
powerpnt /safe, and click OK.
- For Outlook: Type
outlook /safe, and click OK.
- For Publisher: Type
mspub /safe, and click OK.
- For Visio: Type
visio /safe, and click OK.
The following restrictions apply when you start Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Visio, etc. in User-initiated Office Safe Mode:
- No templates can be saved.
- The Office Assistant is not automatically displayed.
- Toolbar or command bar customizations are not loaded, and customizations cannot be saved.
- The AutoCorrect list is not loaded, and changes are not saved.
- Recovered documents are not automatically opened.
- Smart tags are not loaded, and new tags cannot be saved.
- All command-line options are ignored except “/a” and “/n”.
- Files cannot be saved to the Alternate Startup Directory.
- Preferences cannot be saved.
- Additional features and programs are not automatically loaded.
- Documents with restricted permission may not be created or opened.
Let us discuss Word Safe Mode in detail. A similar explanation applied to other Office apps too.
With Office Safe Mode, you can use Word after it has encountered startup problems. When a problem is detected at startup, the Automated Office Safe Mode either fixes the problem or isolates the problem. Therefore, you can start Word successfully.
During the startup of Word, Office Safe Mode checks for problems such as an add-in or an extension that does not start. Office Safe Mode also checks for a corrupted resource, for a corrupted file, for a corrupted registry, or a corrupted template.
If Word encounters a problem during startup, you may receive an error message that is similar to one of the following the next time that you start Word:
- Word failed to start correctly last time. Starting Word in safe mode will help you correct or isolate a startup problem to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode. Do you want to start Word in safe mode?
- Word has detected a problem with some of the current preferences. Would you like to restore these preferences to their default values?
- Word has determined that a recent problem occurred while using a description. Would you like to disable the description?
The Office Safe Mode options to resolve the problem vary, depending on the cause of the problem. As a temporary solution, Office Safe Mode may prompt you to:
- Prevent the loading of add-ins, templates, or documents by putting them on the Disabled Items list.
- Reset registry keys back to their default values.
- Reset the global template (Normal.dot) back to its default values.
As was mentioned earlier, these switches may help you troubleshoot and repair Microsoft Word:
- To simply reset the Word registry values to default type
winword /rin start search and hit Enter
- To prevent Word from loading the macros type
winword /mand hit Enter
- To prevent Word from loading its add-ins, type
winword /aand hit Enter.
You can see the complete list of command-line switches for Microsoft Word here.