[Fixed] Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close

Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close! There’re two feasible ways to fix this issue on your Windows & Mac. Besides, there’re some relevant Word document recovery tips.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What does Word has encountered a problem mean?


I encounter an error with the following message: Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. I am using Windows 10 and Word 2016. But the Repair Now button does not seem to work. When I close it, MS Word opens and closes within a minute. So what to do when Word has encountered a problem? Thanks.

- A user from Microsoft Community

Are you wondering what does Word has encountered a problem mean after viewing or receiving the above error message? This situation can happen if your Word preferences are corrupted, the user account profile or the application files are corrupted, or programs running in the background interfere with Word for Mac.


If you’re eager to jump out of the dilemma, please read further to get the corresponding fixes to solve this issue on Windows or Mac computers. If your Windows computer won’t open Excel files, please refer to another page.  

For Windows | How to fix Microsoft Word has encountered a problem?

According to Microsoft Support online, the document may become damaged if you run Microsoft Word 2007 on a Windows XP PC. Then you might receive this error message.


Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Microsoft has realized compatibility issues as it constantly releases new Word versions. To prevent file corruption, please refer to the following steps provided by Microsoft.

» Press Win + E to open File Explorer and go to this path C:\ProgramFiles\Microsoft Office\Office. Then right-click on Winword.exe > select Properties. Click Compatibility and press to clear all the checkboxes> click OK.  

For Mac | How to fix Microsoft Word has encountered a problem?

If your Word has encountered a problem when opening the file on Mac computers, there are two feasible fixes.

Fix 1. Reset Word for Mac preferences

As mentioned above, corrupted Word preferences is one of the possible reasons for this issue. You may see this error as you start Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 or 2008.

At this point, you need to reset Word for Mac preferences via the following steps.     

Please note that this way needs to remove custom preferences like keyboard shortcuts.

Step 1. After closing all programs, go to this location Go > Home > Library. OS X 10.7 (Lion) and above users can click Go > hold down the Option key > select Library.  

Step 2. Open the Preferences folder and drag com.microsoft.Word.plist to the desktop.


You can go to Application Support > Microsoft > Microsoft if you’ve installed Service Pack.  

Fix 2. Create a new user account

A corrupted user account is also blamed for a problematical Microsoft Word program. To check if you’re suffering the same problem, you can create a new user account.


Apart from the above fixes, you can also run the Disk Check utility to check and repair disk errors. Or you can also remove Microsoft Word and reinstall it on your Mac.

Further reading: How to recover lost Word documents without backups?

This section aims to help you recover lost Word documents because deletion is the most common data loss scenario during your career and life.

Powerful Word document recovery software can exempt you from restoring files from necessary backups and help you recover deleted and lost Word documents from internal hard drives as many as possible.

Released by AOMEI Tech, professional and friendly MyRecover might be right for you. Let’s get an overview of its features below.   

Key features of MyRecover:  
All-inclusive: Apply to a variety of data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, or virus attacks.
High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, and WPS files, folders, compressed files, photos, audio, songs, videos, and websites from HDDs, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.   
Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.
Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.   
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

How to recover lost Word documents without backups? Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC to get them back!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run MyRecover and hover the mouse over the hard drive that stores your desired Word files. Then click Scan.


Step 2. Filter your needed Word documents according to Document Type, Name, Date, or Path.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, and so on) according to your situation.
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc) based on your needs.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and choose your needed Word documents. Then click “Recover x files” to start the Word document recovery process.



After Word document recovery, please save these retrieved Word documents in another partition instead of the original hard drive.   
Upgrading MyRecover to the Professional or Technician edition is a more cost-effective solution if you want to recover a large number of deleted & lost files from local drives.

Relevant Q&A about Word document recovery

If you receive this error message: Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close, please refer to the above content to fix it. Besides, there’re some related Word document recovery tips.  

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.