Why Does It Take So Long for Microsoft Word to Load?

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At any given second, your computer is performing thousands of processes and computations. Most of the time, you won't notice, because they're happening in the background and very quickly. But when you want to get something done and one of these processes fails, it's hard to miss. For example, if one of your office computer's background processes is freezing or an essential component of Word is corrupt or missing, it can sometimes take a long time for Microsoft Word to load.


What Microsoft Word Loads

When you click on the icon to load Microsoft Word, your computer checks that a few dozen files are in place and working first. These include essential program files that load the Word interface, device drivers that let you type and point the mouse, and basic Word template files that give you a blank document with basic formatting as soon as the program opens. If any of these component parts are corrupt, Word may take a long time to load.

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Auto Recovery

If your computer shut down without warning (in the event of a power failure or you accidentally kicking the power bar), the work you had open in Microsoft Word is not necessarily lost. Word always saves versions of what you're working on so that you can recover it in the event of a loss. The first time you load Word after such a crash, it will take longer than usual because Word has to pull together all of the previous work. If you had a few documents open, it could take several minutes.


Normal Template

That blank page you see every time you open Word is a blank template file that tells the program what font and what sort of paragraph spacing to use by default. Occasionally, this file can become corrupt, which causes Word to hang on loading. Open a file browser and browse to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office" and then click on the "Templates" folder. Search for "default.dotx" and then click on the file and press "DEL" to delete it. Reboot your computer and reload Word; it will create a new version of the default template and load more quickly in the future.



Background Programs

Word is a substantial program that requires a significant portion of your system resources to load quickly. If your computer is running a handful of tasks at any given time, Word's load time will be extended. Press "CTRL – ALT – DEL" at the same time and then click "Start Task Manager" to see how many programs are running in the background on your computer. Click "Processes" to see which are taking up the most resources. You can close some of these processes to speed up your overall computer performance, which will speed up loading Word.



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