If you get Word could not create the work file, check the temp environment variable error while connecting Word to another program; here are a couple of fixes that you can use to eliminate this problem. This error can occur with any version of Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel or PowerPoint on Windows 11/10/8/7. Although in this post, we have taken the example of Word, a similar procedure was applied to fix the error in Excel & PowerPoint too.
With lots of features, Word is one of the most used Office components for me. Today, I was trying to use SharePoint as a collaboration tool along with Microsoft Word, so that I could connect with my team, but Word didn’t let me do so. I was being forced by Word to use my local documents in it, as evident from this error prompt I received.
What causes the Could not create the work file error in Office applications?
There can be several causes that may trigger the error at hand. Here are some of the possible reasons for this error:
- This error can be a result of malware present on your system that might be interfering with the regular working of your Office application. You can try scanning and removing the malware to fix the error.
- Another reason for the same error can be system file corruption or file system errors present on your computer. If the scenario applies, you can try running an SFC scan followed by the CHKDSK command to fix the error.
- If the Temporary Internet Files folder location is not set correctly, this error may occur. In that, you can try changing the location of the Temporary Internet Files folder in Internet Properties.
Word could not create the work file, Check the Temp Environment Variable
As you can see in the image, there was nothing to help me to fix up this issue except the error message itself. I tried Microsoft Support, but their solutions did not work for me – I guess they were for previous Word editions. Then I came to the conclusion that this is due to incorrect registry entries. So, finally, I got two fixes to troubleshoot this issue and would like to share with you all.
To fix Word could not create the work file, check the temp environment variable error, follow these steps:
- Run an SFC scan and check for disk errors.
- Add an Environment Variable.
- Disable Preview pane.
- Create a Temporary Internet Files folder.
- Change the Temporary Internet Files location from Internet Properties.
- Reregister Word files.
- Use the Registry fix.
Let’s check out these steps in detail.
1] Run an SFC scan and check for disk errors
This error can be a result of system file corruption or disk errors on your PC. So, the first thing you should do to get rid of the error is to run an SFC scan and then check & repair disk errors. SFC or System File Checker is an inbuilt utility in Windows that allows users to scan and fix corrupted system files via Command Prompt. On the other hand, you can repair disk errors using another Windows built-in tool called Check Disk Utility (CHKDSK).
Before that, you can try scanning for malware on your system using your antivirus suite. If it doesn’t find any malware on your computer, go ahead with the below steps.
Here are the steps to fix system file corruption and disk error to resolve error:
- Firstly, open the Command Prompt with elevated privilege.
- Now, type the below command and press Enter to execute it:
- When the command is fully executed and system file errors are fixed, you can go ahead with tunning disk error check.
- In the elevated Command Prompt, enter the below command:
chkdsk /r /f
- When the file system errors are repaired, reboot your PC, open Word, and try attempting the same action which gave you the error.
Hopefully, this method fixes the error for you. However, in case it doesn’t, you can move on to the next potential fix.
2] Add an Environment Variable
Another fix that you can try is adding a new environment variable. It has fixed the error for many affected users and might work for you as well. Here are the steps to do that:
- Firstly, open the Settings app using Windows + I hotkey and navigate to System > About.
- Now, locate the Related links section and click the Advanced system settings option.
- In the new System Properties window, make sure you are on the Advanced tab.
- Next, press the Environment Variables button.
- After that, under User variables for <username> (<username> is your user name), click on the New button.
- Then, enter the following values in respective fields:
-Inside the Variable name field, enter %userprofile%.
-Inside the Variable value field, enter C:\Users\<username> (type your username in place of <username>).
- Finally, select the OK button to create a new environment variable.
After doing so, restart your device and attempt the same action in Word and see if the error is now fixed. In case you don’t find luck in this method, we have some more fixes; so move to the next potential method now.
3] Disable Preview pane
You can also try disabling the Preview pane in File Explorer to fix the error. It is a kind of workaround and might work for you. To do that, you can open File Explorer using Win+E hotkey and then click on the View drop-down option. Then, go to the Show > preview pane option and make sure it is unchecked. See if this fixes the issue for you.
In case you don’t want to completely disable the Preview pane, you can disable preview for Word and other Office files by editing certain registry subkeys. But, make sure to back up the registry as an incorrect modification to the Registry can lead to serious problems.
Here are the steps to disable preview for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files in File Explorer:
- Firstly, press the Win+R hotkey to evoke Run dialog and then enter regedit in it to open up the Registry Editor app.
- Now, in Registry Editor, look for the following keys:
- Next, delete the above keys one by one.
- After that, reboot Windows and see if the error is now fixed.
4] Create a Temporary Internet Files folder
You can also try creating a Temporary Internet Files folder to resolve the error. To do that, you can follow the below steps:
- Firstly, open the Run dialog box using Win+R hotkey and then enter the below address in the Open box:
You might need to enable the View > Show > Hidden items option in File Explorer to view the location.
- Now, in the opened location, right-click on the empty space and then select the New > Folder option to create a new folder
- Next, name the newly created folder as Content.Word.
- After that, reboot your PC and see if the error is fixed now.
There is another method to create a Temporary Internet Files folder using Command Prompt. Here are the steps to do that:
- Firstly, launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
- Now, enter the below commands one by one:
cd /d %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache MD Content.Word
If this fixes the issue for you, well and good. If not, go ahead with the next solution.
5] Change the Temporary Internet Files location from Internet Properties
In case you have not selected the correct Temporary Internet Files location, you might experience this error in Word and other Office applications. So, make sure you have chosen the correct location, and if not, you can try modifying the Temporary Internet Files location from Internet Properties. Here is how to do that:
- Firstly, open the Run dialog box using Win+R and then enter inetcpl.cpl in it to launch the Internet Properties window.
- Now, in the General tab, under the Browsing history section, tap on Settings which will open up the Website Data Settings window.
- In the new dialog window, make sure you are in the Temporary Internet Files tab. Here, you will see the current location for the folder. Simply click on the Move folder button present at the bottom of the window.
- After that, inside the Browse for Folder window, go to the following path:
Note: In the above path, replace the <username> with your username. That means, after Users, navigate to the username you have logged on to.
- Next, at the above location, you will see a folder named INetCache; simply select it.\ and press the OK button.
- Finally, close all the dialog windows and reboot your PC. On the next startup, you should not see the same error in Word or other Office apps.
6] Reregister Word files
To fix this problem, simply press Windows Key + R combination to bring up Run dialog. Type following and hit Enter:
In the above command, the /r part forces a re-register of Word in Windows Registry configuration and thus eventually fixes up the issue. If this fix does not work, you can try the alternative:
7] Registry Fix
1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
2. Navigate to the following location:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
3. In the right pane of this location, look for the AppData named string and carefully observe its Value data. The Value data for this string, if it has been changed, it is enough capable to generate the issues regarding the environment variable. So restore its default Value data to this:
Click OK after inputting the Value data. You may now close the Registry Editor and reboot the machine. After reboot, start using Word again, and you observe that the issue has been fixed already.
How do I fix Word cannot create work file?
There are two things you can do to fix this issue. First, you can reregister all the Word files on your computer. Second, you can use the Registry Editor method mentioned in the aforementioned guide. Whether you get this error in an older or the newest version of Office, you can use these fixes to get rid of this problem.
How do you fix Word cannot save or create this file?
If Word cannot save or create a file in Windows 11/10, you must check the permission of your account. If your account doesn’t have the permission to create a new file or save an existing one, you might get this error with Word.
Hope this helps!
NOTE: Also read bella’s comment below.