How to Open Microsoft Office Apps in Safe Mode

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Much like Windows, Microsoft has built a Safe Mode feature into its popular productivity suite, Office. If you’re running into issues where documents crash the program after you open them, or you can’t save, it’s often best to open in Safe Mode and begin troubleshooting from there.

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Once in Safe Mode, the applications load a stripped-down version of the software without a toolbar, customization options, add-ons, or extensions. These, most often, are the culprits. But unfortunately, you’ll never figure that out if you can’t open the program and disabling them one by one until you uncover the cause of the issue.

  1. In the Cortana search bar, type Run and click the first result to open a Run dialog. Or, you can just press Windows + R.

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  2. Type one of the following commands (depending on which program you’re attempting to open): winword (Word), excel (Excel), powerpnt (PowerPoint), outlook (Outlook), mspub (Publisher), visio (Visio). The string will be the program you choose, followed by a space, and then /safe. For example: winword /safe would open Word in Safe Mode.

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  3. Press OK to launch the program and begin troubleshooting.

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