What To Do When Your Office 2013 or 2016 App Won’t Open

The Ultimate Guide to
Office 365

“Microsoft Word has stopped working.”

(Or Excel, or PowerPoint, and so on.)

Arrrrgh. There are few things as frustrating as your program crashing or failing to start when you really need to use it, whether it’s in Office 2013 or somewhere else. Fortunately, you have a few troubleshooting solutions at your disposal that can get you up and running again without any outside support.

1. Install the latest Windows updates to your computer. Making sure that you’re fully up-to-date, restarting your computer, and then re-launching your application will solve a lot of issues.

2. Try opening the app in safe mode. See instructions for this process in the video below:

Starting the application in safe mode can help pinpoint if the issue is caused by an Office add-in, which is a common problem. Depending on which app you’re investigating, type the following command:

  • excel /safe to start Excel 2013/2016.
  • outlook /safe to start Outlook 2013/2016.
  • winword /safe to start Word 2013/2016.
  • powerpnt /safe to start PowerPoint 2013/2016.
  • mspub /safe to start Publisher 2013/2016.
  • visio /safe to start Visio 2013/2016.

According to Microsoft, “If the Office application doesn’t start in Safe Mode, the problem isn’t with add-ins.” If the application does start in safe mode, try disabling your add-ins one at a time:

  1. Go to the File tab, and click Options.
  2. Select Add-ins.
  3. From the Manage list, click COM Add-Ins and click Go.
  4. Uncheck one of the add-ins and click OK.
  5. Restart the application in regular mode.

Per Microsoft, “If the Office application starts, the COM add-in you unchecked is causing the problem. We recommend you visit the company website for the add-in to find out if there’s an updated version you can install. If there isn’t a newer version or if you don’t need to use the COM add-in you can leave it unchecked.”

3. Reconfigure your video settings. You may be experiencing your Office 2013 issue as a symptom of a video configuration issue with your PC.

These three solutions should solve the majority of your issues with crashing Office 2013 applications. If you take any other actions that solve a similar problem, please let us know! We may feature it in a post.

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