Does Microsoft Word keep not responding when you’re trying to work on a document, or as you come to save your file onto your desktop?

Is an error message appearing on your screen, or Microsoft Word keeps freezing? This issue will occur if the program times out before your request reaches its server.

Are you certain Microsoft 365 was installed onto your device without any interferences?

Disabling add-ons, and making use of Microsoft’s ‘safe mode’ can help prevent this problem from occurring.

With this guide, we will expand a little bit more on why Microsoft Word keeps not responding, as well as provide you with three easy solutions you can use to fix this error, so you can get back to creating your document without any further interruptions.

Why is Microsoft Word not responding?

why is microsoft word not responding

Why is Microsoft Word freezing?

Microsoft Word will keep not responding if you have enabled an add-in that is not supported by the program, or it contains faulty software that is conflicting with Microsoft 365. The additional function of the add-in may be incompatible, which is why your Word document is failing to respond.

If you do not have any add-ins enabled in Microsoft Word, the program will keep freezing for the following reasons;

Reason 1. Microsoft server timeout

If you are attempting to reopen a current Word document or save a new one and Microsoft keeps not responding, this will be because the application timed out before your request could reach the Microsoft server.

Reason 2. Corrupted file

The Word document you are working on could be corrupted. Microsoft will become unresponsive if your page is incorrectly formatted.

How do I know if my Word document is corrupted? There are a few signs that will indicate your document is damaged;

  • The layout of your page will change
  • Formats will alter
  • Your document will not load

Reason 3. Word document didn’t save properly

If you were currently busy with a Word document and it got interrupted before you saved it onto your device, the file can become faulty.

An interruption can occur if your device lost its network connection, or your computer shut down unintentionally from a virus or error.

If this happens and you relaunch Microsoft Word, you should recall being given the option to recover an unsaved document. The document can, however, end up being damaged after the incident.

Reason 4. Faulty Microsoft installation

If Microsoft 365 incurred any interferences when it was downloaded onto your device, this may be why Microsoft Word keeps not responding.

The software could be corrupted if the initial installation of the application was disrupted by a loss of network connection, or, you did not have enough memory on your device for all the files to be successfully saved.

How do I fix Microsoft Word not responding?

microsoft word keeps not responding

How to stop Microsoft Word from freezing

You can prevent Microsoft Word from not responding by disabling the current add-ins you have turned on in your Microsoft program. This will stop an incompatible add-in from causing conflict with your Word document when you try and use it, or save it onto your device. 

How to disable Microsoft Word add-ins:

Step 1. Open Word

Step 2. Click on ‘File’ followed by ‘Options’ (this may be under ‘More’)

Step 3. Select ‘Add-Ins’ from the left-hand side options

Step 4. At the bottom, under ‘Manage’ choose ‘COM Add-Ins’ and click on ‘Go’

Step 5. All active add-ins will now be displayed. Disable them

microsoft word keeps not respondingConfirm your changes, exit Word and relaunch the application.

If you do not have any enabled add-ins in your Microsoft Word program, you can stop your document from freezing by executing the following additional fixes;

Fix 1. Start Word in safe mode

Launching Microsoft Word in safe mode will help prevent the program from timing out before it reaches its server.

It will only make use of the ‘essentials’ in the program and decrease the size of the documents request so you can do everything you need to do without Microsoft crashing.

How to start Microsoft Word in safe mode:

Before you proceed with the steps, make sure you have the Microsoft Word shortcut available on your desktop;

Step 1. Press and hold the ‘CTRL’ button while clicking on the Microsoft Word icon

Step 2. A pop u should appear asking if you want to open Word in safe mode. Click ‘Yes’

Your document will now be launched in safe mode.

Fix 2. Repair your Word document

If your Word document is corrupted from Microsoft crashing, or not being saved properly, you can repair the document to eradicate its contaminated files.

To repair the specific document that Microsoft Word keeps not responding on, you can select it from your saved files;

How to repair Word document:

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Word

Step 2. Click on ‘Open’ followed by ‘Browse’

Step 3. Find the document you are having trouble with and highlight it

Step 4. Where it says ‘Open’ open the drop down menu and choose ‘Open and Repair’

microsoft word keeps not respondingMicrosoft will complete the necessary repair on your Word document.

Note, if Microsoft Word unintentionally shut down before you could save your document, you should have an option at the bottom of your screen to select ‘Recover Unsaved Documents’.

Fix 3. Repair Microsoft installation

If Microsoft was installed onto your device with corrupted software, it will interfere with hoe well your programs perform.

You can uninstall Microsoft off your device, however, we recommend you first complete the repair process on your application first.

Step 1. On your PC, open up ‘Settings’

Step 2. Click on ‘Apps’ and then ‘Apps & Features’

Step 3. Find Microsoft and select the three horizontal dots on the side

Step 4. Choose ‘Modify’ and confirm by clicking ‘Yes’

ScreenshotYou can now choose if you want to proceed with a ‘Quick Repair’ or the ‘Online Repair’.

(Did you know; Microsoft Word was originally called ‘Multi-Tool Word’ before it was released in 1983, but their marketing department decided to shorten the name to ‘Word’ because they thought it was too long.)

What to do when Microsoft Word is not responding and I didn’t save?

microsoft word keeps not responding

Photo by Johny vino on Unsplash

If Microsoft Word is not responding and you have not saved your document, you will have force close the program, and relaunch it to recover your document. It is not a given that you will not lose your unsaved data, however, Microsoft is pretty good with recovering files when they have been unintentionally interrupted. 

How do I recover my unsaved Word document?

Once you have exited out of Microsoft Word, you can recover your unsaved document by completing the following;

Step 1. Open a blank Word document

Step 2. Click on ‘File’ followed by ‘Info’

Step 3. Select ‘Manage Document’


You will now be able to recover your unsaved document, and save it properly onto your desktop.

Note, you can wait for Microsoft Word to respond again, however, this could take a while, and end up being more detrimental to your software.

Why is Microsoft Word not responding when I try to print?

Laptop and PrinterMicrosoft Word will not respond when you are trying to print if the printer is offline. Your printer needs to be connected to the device you are accessing Microsoft Word on so the instruction to print your document can be received. 

Other possible reasons why Microsoft Word is not responding when you try to print, are;

  • Your printer driver is damaged
  • The Word document you are trying to print is corrupted
  • Your PC’s operating system needs to be updated

Related Posts:

How do I fix Microsoft Word not printing?

You can prevent Microsoft Word from not printing your document by completing one, or few of the following solutions;

  • Update your printer driver
  • Reinstall your printer onto your device
  • Repair your Word document
  • Update your computer’s operating system
  • Check your printer is connected

Try to print a different Word document to see if you still get the not responding error.


With Microsoft Word not responding, it interferes with your productivity, as well as setting you back on deadlines. We hope this guide has provided you with enough solutions to help fix your Word document from freezing, and that you are now able to save your work before Microsoft crashes.

If, however, you are still experiencing issues with Word on your device, you may need to contact Microsoft directly. You can fill out their contact form explaining the problem you are having.

(Quiz Time; What was Microsoft Word originally called?). Send us a message with your answer in the contact form provided. Remember to fill out your details so we can keep track on who’s our top performer.