You receive a "Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close" error message when you try to start Word 2000

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Article ID: 326510 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q326510
For a Microsoft Word 2002, Word 2003 version of this article, see 286839.
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When you try to start Word, you may receive the following error message:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
If the error message is still displayed and you want to see the data that the error report contains, click the click here link at the bottom of the message box. Error signature information appears that may be similar to the following:
   App Name     App Version  Module Name  Module Version  
   winword.exe   mso9.dll     


This behavior may occur if either of the following conditions is true:
  • Word is installed on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer or a Windows Vista-based computer, and Word is set up to use compatibility options for an earlier Windows operating system.
  • The default template is corrupted or damaged.


To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods, as appropriate for your situation:

Method 1: Remove the Compatibility Mode Setting for Word

To fix this problem use the following steps:
  1. Locate and then open the following folder, where drive is the drive on which Word is installed:
    %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office
    • The default location is program files but the Word program may be installed in a different location on your computer. If this is the case, navigate to the location where the Word program files are installed.
  2. Right-click Winword.exe, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Compatibility tab, click to clear all the check boxes, and then click OK.

Method 2: Create a New File

Follow these steps to temporarily rename the template to determine if it is the cause of the problem:
  1. Close all programs.
  2. Click Start, and then click Search.
  3. Click All files and folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name box, type
  5. In the Look In box, click My Computer.
  6. Click Search Now.
  7. For each instance of, right-click the file, click Rename, and then type
  8. Close Search Results, and then start Word.
If Word starts without the error message, the cause of the problem was a corrupted When Word starts, Word creates a new to replace the renamed file. If you customized your old, you must re-do all the modifications to restore your favorite options.


Article ID: 326510 - Last Review: September 26, 2011 - Revision: 4.0
  • Microsoft Word 2000
kbstartprogram kbtemplate kbnewfile kbtshoot kberrmsg kbprb kbmsifixme kbfixme KB326510

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