How to Reset MS Word to Its Default Settings

Written by renee price
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How to Reset MS Word to Its Default Settings
(BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

If Microsoft Word keeps crashing or exhibiting abnormal behaviour, this could indicate a problem such as malware, corrupted files or an altered registry key. These problems can cause the word processor to exhibit unexpected behaviour that normal troubleshooting can't solve. To restore the program to the default settings may be your only recourse to rectify the problem. This option provides the optimal chance of fixing Microsoft Word errors.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Close all Microsoft Office programs on your computer.

  2. 2

    Press "Start," select "Run" and type "regedit" into the "Open" field, then press "OK."

  3. 3

    Expand the "HKEY_CURRENT-USER" registry key in the left pane of the Registry Editor window.

  4. 4

    Open the "Software" registry, then navigate down the list to Microsoft.

  5. 5

    Click on the Microsoft registry and select Microsoft Word.

  6. 6

    Select the proper word key in the right pane of the Registry Editor according to your version of Microsoft Word. Select the proper word key as follows:

    Microsoft Word 2010

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/14.0/Word key

    Microsoft World 2007

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/12.0/Word key

    Microsoft Word 2003

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/11.0/Word key

    Microsoft Word 2002

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/10.0/Word key

    Microsoft Word 2000

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/9.0/Word key

    Microsoft Word 1997

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/8.0/Word key

  7. 7

    Press "Delete" to remove the highlighted word key and select "Yes" if a pop up dialogue box appears to ask if you want to delete the key.

  8. 8

    Exit the Registry Editor and open Microsoft Word to complete the default reset.

Tips and warnings

  • Certain settings entered when you first installed Microsoft Word, such as the company or owners name, will remain in the Word program file, unless you completely reinstall the program. Additionally, ACL files, the files that hold AutoCorrect settings, are simply deleted as opposed to reverting to factory default settings.

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