How to reset user options and registry settings in Word

This article is a consolidation of the following previously available articles: 289294; 211793

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry

Summary

This article describes various methods that you can use to reset user options and registry settings in Microsoft Office Word.

There are two basic types of options that you can define in Word. These options are as follows:
  • Options that affect the way that the program operates. (The information for this kind of option is generally stored in the Microsoft Windows registry.)
  • Options that affect the formatting or the appearance of one or more documents. (The information for this kind of option is stored in templates or documents.)
When you troubleshoot unusual behavior in the program or in a document, first determine whether the problem might be caused by formatting, options, or settings. If the behavior occurs in multiple documents, we recommend that you try to reset Microsoft Word to the program's default settings.

How to reset user options and registry settings in Word

To have us reset user options and registry settings in Microsoft Word for you, go to the "Here's an easy fix" section. If you prefer to reset user options and registry settings in Microsoft Word yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Here's an easy fix

To fix this problem automatically, click the Download button. In the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and then follow the steps in the easy fix wizard.
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you’re not on the computer that has the problem, save the easy fix solution to a flash drive or a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To manually reset a registry key, you must first delete it. To do this, follow these steps.

Important Always export a registry key before you delete it. This step is important because you may have to restore the functionality that is provided by the key.
  1. Exit all Microsoft Office programs.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Expand the appropriate folders to locate the registry key that you want to delete. (Refer to the "Main locations of Word settings in the Windows Registry" section.)
  4. Click to select the key that you want to delete.
  5. Use one of the following methods, as appropriate for your operating system:
    • In Microsoft Windows 2000, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu, type a file name for the backup copy of the key, and then click Save.
    • In Windows XP and later versions or in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and later versions, click Export on the File menu, type a file name for the backup copy of the key, and then click Save.
  6. Make sure that the key that you just exported is selected, and then click Delete on the Edit menu.
  7. When you are prompted to respond to one of the following messages, click Yes:
    • Are you sure you want to delete this key?
    • Are you sure you want to delete this key and all of its subkeys?
  8. Exit Registry Editor.
After you delete a registry key, and then you restart the program, Word runs the Setup program to correctly rebuild the registry key. If you want to rebuild the registry key before you run the program, repair your installation by following the steps in the "Repair Word (Office)" section.

More Information

Main locations of Word settings in the Windows Registry
Repair Word (Office)
Templates and add-ins
Use the Registry Options utility
Properties

Article ID: 822005 - Last Review: Aug 5, 2016 - Revision: 1

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