OpenOffice Won't Start

By Shea Laverty

Insufficient memory, software conflicts and corrupted user profiles are all common causes of OpenOffice failing to launch, as are incomplete updates.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access or OpenOffice Installation CD.

When OpenOffice fails to start up, there are several possible reasons. In some cases, the issue may be with your computer, such as not having enough memory available or anti-virus software blocking OpenOffice. Sometimes, a corrupted OpenOffice profile or botched update can be the culprit.

Insufficient Memory

While any modern computer can comfortably run OpenOffice under most conditions, multitasking with resource-intensive programs may be the cause of OpenOffice's failure to launch. Web browsers with large amounts of interactive content, image editors, media players and online games can all use up substantial amounts of memory. In these cases, Windows may also pop up a message that you don't have sufficient memory to launch OpenOffice.

Step 1

Restart your computer.

Step 2

Close any unnecessary programs once your computer has started up. This includes apps running in the System Tray.

Warning

Leave your security software like anti-virus and anti-malware on, unless you plan to disconnect from the Internet first.

Step 3

Start OpenOffice.

Software Conflict

Testing for Anti-Virus Software Conflict

Step 1

Disconnect your computer from the Internet.

Step 2

Turn off your anti-virus software.

Step 3

Try to start OpenOffice. If OpenOffice starts without any issues, then your anti-virus software is blocking OpenOffice.

Unblocking OpenOffice

Step 1

Restart your anti-virus software.

Step 2

Create an exception in your security software for OpenOffice. The following are some links to this procedure for several popular anti-virus programs.

Programs that conflict with OpenOffice can sometimes cause OpenOffice's failure to launch. The most common type of software conflict is an anti-virus or firewall program blocking access to OpenOffice, usually as a result of OpenOffice's perceived, suspicious online activity.

Virus or Malware Infection

A virus or malware infection may be responsible for OpenOffice failing to open, especially if you notice other programs also failing to start up. If you suspect viral or malware infection, run an anti-virus scan with a product like those in the Software Conflict section, as well as an anti-malware tool like Malwarebytes, Spybot and SuperAntiSpyware. If the scans turn up any infections, quarantine or delete them and restart your computer; then try to launch OpenOffice.

Corrupt User Profile

Corrupt user profiles are another common factor when OpenOffice fails to launch. Whenever you use OpenOffice, a profile is created containing your presets, preferences and any installed extensions. When this profile is corrupt, OpenOffice can't load it correctly and thus crashes before it even gets started. The only solution to this problem is to create a new profile.

Warning

Following these steps removes all your extensions and personal settings. Once finished, you have to reinstall any extensions and reconfigure OpenOffice to your tastes.

Step 1

Press Windows-X and select File Explorer from the Power User menu.

Step 2

Navigate to the OpenOffice user AppData folder.

Navigate to the following folder:

C:\Users\YourWindowsUsername\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice\4

Tip

The AppData folder may be set to hidden, causing it to not show up in File Explorer. You can bypass this by clicking the address bar in File Explorer and adding \AppData\ to the address, or by making hidden files and folders visible.

Step 3

Select Delete from the context menu.

Right-click the user folder and select Delete.

Tip

Alternatively, press the Delete key to delete the folder.

If you really don't want to delete your old profile, you can also rename the folder to user.old or user.backup to retain the old configuration and settings.

Faulty Update or Installation

If OpenOffice stopped working after a recent update or reinstallation, the problem may an error that occurred during the install or update process. If the update or install didn't properly complete, incomplete or corrupt code can easily cause OpenOffice to crash when you try to load it. In these cases, uninstalling and then reinstalling OpenOffice is generally the only solution.