How to Reset MS Word to Its Default Settings

By Renee Price

If Microsoft Word keeps crashing or exhibiting abnormal behavior, 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 behavior 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.

Step 1

Close all Microsoft Office programs on your computer.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

Click on the Microsoft registry and select Microsoft Word.

Step 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 keyMicrosoft World 2007 HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/12.0/Word keyMicrosoft Word 2003 HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/11.0/Word keyMicrosoft Word 2002 HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/10.0/Word keyMicrosoft Word 2000 HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/9.0/Word keyMicrosoft Word 1997 HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/8.0/Word key

Step 7

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

Step 8

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

Tips & 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.