How do I repair Microsoft Office?


Another question that we always get asked is ‘How do I repair Microsoft Office?’

Often when you try to open your word-processing program (such as Word), it will give you an error message stating that the program has crashed. This means, simply enough, that something went wrong while trying to open the file. It’s usually not very difficult to fix these problems, so let me show you how!

Fixing Office on a Mac

Since this is an issue with a software program taking place on your computer by typing in certain commands into the Terminal. If you are using Windows, scroll down.

Now that you have opened up Terminal, type in the following command:


For Word 2011: “sudo /Applications/Microsoft\ Office\ 14/Office/” repair

For all versions of Word 2016 and above: “sudo /Applications/Microsoft\ Office\ 16\ Office\” repair

This will begin the process. If it says “User does not have sufficient privileges to perform the operation.”, follow these steps to fix it. Otherwise, skip this step!

  1. First, open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu at the top left corner of your computer screen then selecting System Preferences.
  2. Then go to Security & Privacy. You should see a list of options. Click the lock in the bottom left corner so you can edit your settings.
  3. Then, select Anywhere under “Allow applications downloaded from:” to allow Word to run again.

Now that you have completed this step, press Command + S or go to File > Save and then File > Quit Saving Changes. Now try running the repair command again!

If it still does not work after trying these suggestions, continue below for some suggested troubleshooting steps.

It sounds like there may be a problem with one of your files preventing Word from opening normally.

  1. You can try doing a check disk on your computer by going to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility and selecting your hard drive from the list on the left-hand side of the window.
  2. Click on Verify Disk and let it complete a checkup to see if there are any problems with your hard drive.

If this checkup does not show any issues, you might want to try running a full system repair by inserting your Mac OS X install disk and restarting while holding down the “CMD + R” keys on the keyboard (this means to hold down the ‘CMD + R’ keys without releasing it). When prompted, open up Disk Utility from the ‘Utility’ menu and select your hard drive before clicking Repair Disk.

Even if these suggestions do not work, don’t worry! It is very rare for Microsoft Office files to become corrupt or damaged and most likely the office suite will need to be reinstalled.

How to uninstall and reinstall Office on Mac

If you want to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office on a Mac computer, follow these steps:

To uninstall

You can uninstall it by going to the Applications folder and dragging Microsoft Office from the Applications file into the Trash. Then empty your trash by right-clicking on the “Trash” icon at the dock and selecting ‘Empty Trash’.

To reinstall

– On your keyboard, press the Command + Space bar and type in ” App Store”. The application will automatically open up.

– Search for “Microsoft Office” or go directly to the online page. Click Download Now.

– Once it has finished downloading, your Microsoft Office software will automatically download to your Applications folder.

– Click Continue and then Enter Your Account. Sign in with the same account you used when you purchased Office on a Mac computer.

– A message will pop up asking if you want to install Microsoft Office. Click Install Now.

– It will take a few minutes for the installation process of Microsoft Office to start after clicking “Install Now.” You can check back on it later or continue using your current applications during this time.

– Once it has finished installing, open Microsoft Word by going to Launchpad > Microsoft Word. There might be a shortcut already created on your desktop which you can use as well.

You have successfully uninstalled and reinstalled Office on your Mac

Here are steps to repair office on your Windows computer

1.     Quit any Office applications you have open

2.     Click Start and go to Control Panel, then click Uninstall a Program under Programs

3.     Find Microsoft Office in the list of programs and double-click it. If multiple versions show up (this most likely will not happen), select the most recent one listed before clicking Change/Remove.

4.     After this process is complete, reboot your computer for changes to take effect

5.     Locate the file that was moved or deleted during uninstallation, which should be found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE14 by default if you are using Office 2013 64-bit, or C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE12 by default if you are using Office 2010 32-bit. If the file is missing (which may also not happen), check back to where you originally downloaded your Microsoft Office ISO image for this file or create it yourself in a text editor

6.     Paste the file back into either C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE14 by default if you are using Office 2013 64-bit, or C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE12 by default if you are using Office 2010 32-bit

7.     Right-click on the Microsoft Office program to run it, go to More (under Help) and, click on Run repairs

8.     Let the repair tool run. It may prompt you to close programs; do so before continuing

9.     When finished, check if all problems have been resolved

10.     Reboot your machine to ensure the changes are fully applied

11.    Enjoy Office with all its functions!

What can I do if my Office won’t run after repairing it?

You may find that when you try to open Microsoft Word or another Office application, you receive an error message. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

1. Right-click on the program shortcut and select Properties

2. Click on the Compatibility tab

3. Ensure that ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ is selected

4. From the dropdown menu, choose Windows 7

5. Check off the box next to ‘Run this program as an ‘Administrator’

6. Click OK

7.  Try to open the Office application again

If the above doesn’t fix your Microsoft Office issue, one of our computer software repair experts will be able to help you out.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...