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Article ID: 827706 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 4.0

This article is a consolidation of the following previously available article: 291013

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SUMMARY

This article describes Office Safe Mode in Microsoft Office 2003 and in Microsoft Office XP and how Office Safe Mode affects Microsoft Office Word 2003 and in Microsoft Word 2002. Office Safe Mode may start automatically when you start Word. For more information, see the "Automated Office Safe Mode" section of this article. You may want to start Office Safe Mode. For more information, see the "User-initiated Office Safe Mode" section of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

With Office Safe Mode, you can use Word after it has encountered startup problems. When a problem is detected at startup, Office Safe Mode either fixes the problem or isolates the problem. Therefore, you can start Word successfully.

Automated Office Safe Mode

During the startup of Word, Office Safe Mode checks for problems such as an add-in or an extension that does not start. Office Safe Mode also checks for a corrupted resource, for a corrupted file, for a corrupted registry, or for a corrupted template.

If Word encounters a problem during startup, you may receive an error message that is similar to one of the following the next time that you start Word:
Word failed to start correctly last time. Starting Word in safe mode will help you correct or isolate a startup problem to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode.

Do you want to start Word in safe mode?
Word has detected a problem with some of the current preferences. Would you like to restore these preferences to their default values?
Word has detected a problem with the existing Normal.dot. Would you like to create a new Normal.dot?
The Office Safe Mode options to resolve the problem vary, depending on the cause of the problem. As a temporary solution, Office Safe Mode may prompt you to:
  • Prevent the loading of add-ins, templates, or documents by putting them on the Disabled Items list.
  • Reset registry keys back to their default values.
  • Reset the global template (Normal.dot) back to its default values.
You may receive an error message that states that an add-in or a file has caused a problem. This error message is similar to the following, where description is the add-in or the file:
Word has determined that a recent problem occurred while using description.

Would you like to disable description?
In this scenario, you can turn off the add-in or remove the file by clicking Yes.

To determine whether an add-in or a file has been added to the Disabled Items list, follow these steps:
  1. Start Word.
  2. On the Help menu, click About Microsoft Office Word.
  3. Click Disabled Items.
You can use the Disabled Items dialog box to enable the listed items. To do this, click the item, and then click Enable.

When you enable some items, you may have to reload or reinstall an add-in program, or you may have to reopen a file. By enabling an item, you do not necessarily fix the problem; an item that you enable may be placed on the Disabled Items list again the next time that you start Word.

User-initiated Office Safe Mode

The following restrictions apply when you start Word in user-initiated Office Safe Mode:
  • No templates can be saved.
  • The Office Assistant is not automatically displayed.
  • Toolbar or command bar customizations are not loaded and customizations cannot be saved.
  • The AutoCorrect list is not loaded and changes are not saved.
  • Recovered documents are not automatically opened.
  • Smart tags are not loaded and new tags cannot be saved.
  • All command line options are ignored except "/a" and "/n".
  • Files cannot be saved to the Alternate Startup Directory.
  • Preferences cannot be saved.
  • Additional features and programs are not automatically loaded.
  • Additionally, in Word 2003, documents with restricted permission cannot be created or opened.
To start Word in user-initiated Office Safe Mode, either use the CTRL key to initiate Office Safe Mode or start Word at a command prompt.

To use the CTRL key to initiate Office Safe Mode, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office, and then press CTRL while you click Microsoft Office Word 2003.

    Note For Microsoft Word 2002, click Start, point to All Programs, and then press CTRL while you click Microsoft Word.

    Important Continue to press CTRL while Word is starting.
  2. You receive the following message:
    Word has detected that you are holding down the CTRL key. Do you want to start Word in safe mode?
    Click Yes.
To start Word at a command prompt, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. In the Browse dialog box, click the Winword.exe file. By default, the Winword.exe file is located in the following folder:
    Word 2003
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11

    Word 2002
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10
  4. Click Open.
  5. The full path of the Winword.exe file now appears in the Open box. Click in the Open box, and then move the insertion point to the end of the path statement.
  6. After the closing quotation mark, type a space, and then type /safe. The full path statement should now appear similar to the following example:
    "D:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Winword.exe" /safe
  7. Click OK.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbhowto KB827706
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