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Article ID: 2693802 - Last Review: April 16, 2012 - Revision: 2.0

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SYMPTOMS

You may see this error when you start Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 or 2008:

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

CAUSE

This can happen if:
  • Word preferences are corrupted.
  • The user account profile is corrupted.
  • Programs running in the background are interfering with Word for Mac.
  • Application files are corrupted.

RESOLUTION

IMPORTANT: The location of certain files are different if you have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. To check if it is installed, open Word, and then click About Word from the Word menu. If the version number is 14.2.0 or above, you have Service Pack 2 and you should follow the Service Pack 2 steps when provided in this article.

Method 1 - Reset Word for Mac preferences


Warning
This step will remove custom preferences, such as keyboard shortcuts, or changes to the toolbars or dictionaries.

Corrupt Word preferences may cause this error. Follow these steps to reset them:
  1. Quit all programs.
  2. On the Go menu, click Home > Library. If you have OS X 10.7 (Lion) or above, click Go, hold down the OPTION key and choose Library.
  3. Open the Preferences folder and drag com.microsoft.Word.plist to the desktop. If you can't find the file, continue to the next step.
  4. Now, open the Microsoft folder (in Preferences), and drag com.microsoft.Word.prefs.plist to the desktop.
    Note If you have Service Pack 2 installed, open Application Support > Microsoft instead of Preferences > Microsoft.

  5. Start Word. Do you see the error?
    • No. Quit Word, and drag one of the files back to its default location and test again. If the error re-appears, the file you just dragged back is corrupt. Move it to the Trash. If there's still no error, drag the other file from your desktop to the Trash. Congratulations, this solved the problem.
    • Yes. Quit Word, and restore both files to their original location. Go to the next step.
  6. Quit all programs.
  7. On the Go menu, click Home > Library. If you have OS X 10.7 (Lion) or above, click Go, hold down the OPTION key and choose Library.
  8. Open the Application Support folder, then the Microsoft folder, then the Office folder, and then the User Templates folder.
  9. Find the Normal.dotm file, and drag it to the desktop.
  10. Start Word. Do you see the error?
    • No. Quit Word, and drag Normal.dotm from your desktop to the Trash. Congratulations, this solved the problem.
    • Yes. Quit Word, and restore the file to its original location. Go to the next method.

Method 2 - Create a new user account

A corrupt user account could cause this error. To test and see if this is the problem; follow the steps in this article to create a new user account:

If the problem continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 3 - Clean start the operating system

We recommend you clean start the operating system to determine if other programs are interfering with Word for Mac. To do this, see this article on how to clean start your computer:


If the problem continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 4 - Run Repair Disk Permissions

You can use the Repair Disk Permissions option to troubleshoot problems in Mac OS X 10.2 or later versions. To use this option, follow these steps:
  1. On the Go menu, click Utilities.
  2. Start the Disk Utility program.
  3. Choose the primary hard disk drive for your computer.
  4. Click the First Aid tab.
  5. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
Note: The Disk Utility program only repairs software that is installed by Apple. This utility also repairs folders, such as the Application folder. However, this utility doesn't repair software that is in your home folder. For more information about this option, see Apple's article About Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions feature (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1452) .

If the problem continues to occur, go to the next method.

Method 5 - Remove and then reinstall Office for Mac

Corrupt Word for Mac application files could cause this error. We recommend you remove and then reinstall Office to fix this type of corruption. To do this, choose the article based on your version of Office for Mac:

Manually remove Office 2008 for Mac from your computer (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2500821)
How to uninstall Office for Mac 2011 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2398768)


APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal KB2693802
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