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Office 2003 cannot run in "Windows 98/Windows Me" compatibility mode

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

Thank you for your help!

Microsoft thanks you for taking the time to send us information about the program error that you just experienced. After investigating error reports provided by users like you, our engineers devised a work around for this problem. This article contains information that may help you avoid this problem in the future.

Error signature

This article describes a program error that can have the following error signatures:
Application Name   Application Version   Module Name   Module Version   Offset--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Winword.exe        11.0.5604.0           Mso.dll       11.0.5606.0      00059890Outlook.exe        11.0.5510.0           Mso.dll       11.0.5606.0      00059890Excel.exe          11.0.5612.0           Mso.dll       11.0.5606.0      00059890 		
Note The error signature may vary.
When you work in one of the programs that are listed in the "Applies to" section, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following (where program name is one of the programs that is listed in the "Applies to" section of this article):
Microsoft program name has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Please tell Microsoft about this problem.
We have created an error report that you can send to help us improve program name. We will treat this report as confidential and anonymous.
To see what data this error report contains, click here.
Note To view the details of the error signature, click the link in the following text:
To see what data this error report contains, click here.
This problem may occur if a Microsoft Office 2003 program is run in an unsupported configuration. That is, an Office 2003 program may be configured to run under Microsoft Windows Compatibility Mode as Windows 98 / Windows Me. Office 2003 requires Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, or a later version of Microsoft Windows, and will not operate correctly in Windows 98 / Windows Me compatibility mode.
To work around this problem, turn off the compatibility mode for Office 2003. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click Start, and then click Explore.
  2. In Microsoft Windows File Explorer, click Search.
  3. In the What do you want to search for area of Search Companion, click All files and folders.
  4. In the Look in box, click Local Hard Drives.
  5. In the All or part of the file name box, type the executable file name of the Office 2003 program that is causing the problem.

    For example, type one of the following:
    • If Microsoft Office Word 2003 is listed in the error message that is described in the "Symptoms" section, type Winword.exe.
    • If Microsoft Office Excel 2003 is listed in the error message that is described in the "Symptoms" section, type Excel.exe.
    • If Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 is listed in the error message that is described in the "Symptoms" section, type Outlook.exe.
  6. To start the search, click Search or click Search Now.
  7. When the search is completed, there should be one or more items in the Search Results list. If there is more than one item in the list, pick the item that has the correct program icon or that is in the correct folder. For example, the default installation path for an Office 2003 program is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11.
  8. Right-click the item, and then click Properties.
  9. On the Compatibility tab, click to clear the Run this program in compatibility mode for check box in the Compatibility area, and then click OK.
  10. If you have to, repeat steps 8 and 9 for each item that you find in the Search Results window.
For more information about the system requirements for Office 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
822129 List of system requirements for Microsoft Office 2003

The Office Error Reporting dialog box appears when an error occurs that causes a fatal event in the program. The dialog box includes a button to send the information about the fatal event to Microsoft. Microsoft gathers information about these types of events in a database to try to identify the cause. For more information about the Microsoft Data Collection Policy, visit the following Microsoft Web site: For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
283768 End User Privacy Policy in Application Error Reporting

289508 HOW TO: View the error signature from Office Application Error Reporting if program quits unexpectedly

Article ID: 837130 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 06:21:57 - Revision: 1.5

Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2003

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