Are you experiencing freezing, crashes, or installation issues in Microsoft Office? Here are some ways to fix the problem.

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You are using or trying to use Microsoft Office and encounter technical issues. Some features may not be working properly, or one of the Office applications may be freezing or crashing. You may have problems installing, activating, or signing in to Office. How can you fix the problem?

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One option is to repair Office. If that doesn’t work, you may need to reinstall Office. But Microsoft can also help with a free program called Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant. Known as SaRA for short, this utility scans the Office configuration and tries to resolve specific issues.

The steps I describe here will work with any desktop or subscription-based version of Office Microsoft 365 or the one-time licensed edition. I also use Office in Windows, so these tips apply to Windows 10 and 11.

First, try to fix Office. To do this in Windows 10 or 11, go to Settings and then Applications. Select the Applications and Features option. Scroll down the list of applications until you see the entry for your version of Office. In Windows 10, click this entry and select Change. In Windows 11, click the three-dot icon for this entry and select Change (Figure A).

Figure A

A window appears asking how you want to fix your Office programs. The quick fix option is the fastest and easiest, so first select this one and then click the Repair button (Figure B).

Figure B

You will be prompted to begin the repair by clicking Repair at the prompt. Windows then starts a quick Office repair. When finished, open the Office application that is causing you problems and see if you can repeat the problem. If the problem persists, return to the Applications and Features screen and select Office Repair. This time choose the online repair option. Make sure you have a good internet connection and then click Repair again (Figure C).

Figure C

After the online repair is complete, reopen the problematic Office application and try again. If the problem persists, your next step is to uninstall Office and then reinstall it. The downside here is that you will lose certain customizations for Office and will have to recreate them.

Make sure you have Office media or access to its online source, such as yours Microsoft account page. Return to the Office entry on the Applications and Features screen, select it, and select Uninstall. When prompted, click Uninstall again. You are told that the program and files will be removed. Click Uninstall to confirm (Figure D).

Figure D

Then reinstall Office and run the malfunctioning program to see if it now behaves. Whether you go through the uninstall process or not and whether it solves the problem, there is another step you can take.

Microsoft’s free Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant can sometimes fix and fix certain problems in Office. Not all types of troubleshooting options are supported by the tool, so your experience with it is likely to be affected or missed. But it’s still worth a try, especially if you’re having trouble installing or activating Office.

Browse to SaRA product page and click the Download button to retrieve the program. Unzip the downloaded ZIP archive and run the SaraSetup.exe file to install the tool. At some point during setup, SaRA will ask you which application is causing you problems. Select Office or Outlook depending on the source of the problem. You can also select Advanced Diagnostics for more in-depth analysis. Click Next (Figure E).

Figure E

On the next screen, select the specific problem. Click Next (Figure F).

Figure F

The tool asks if this is the affected machine. If this is the case, click Yes, and then click Next. Log in to your account if prompted. The tool performs several checks to try to diagnose the problem. SaRA can guide you to take certain steps to help troubleshoot. Follow his instructions.

If the tool is successful, it should ask if the problem is resolved and provide a form to fill out. Try the problem again to confirm that it has been fixed (Figure G).

Figure G

How to troubleshoot problems with your Microsoft Office installation

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