Steps to Repair a Corrupt MS Word File

Watblog – Repair a Corrupt MS Word File – Repairing a corrupt Microsoft Word file can be a lifesaver when you’ve spent hours working on a document only to find that it won’t open or displays errors. Here are steps you can follow to repair a corrupt MS Word file:

6 Steps to Repair a Corrupt MS Word File


Step 1: Create a Backup

Before attempting any repairs, it’s essential to create a backup of the corrupted Word file. This ensures that you don’t accidentally make things worse during the repair process.

Step 2: Use Microsoft Word’s Built-in Repair Tool

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on “File” and select “Open.”
  3. Navigate to the location of the corrupt Word file.
  4. Instead of double-clicking to open the file, right-click on it and choose “Open and Repair.”

Word will attempt to repair the file. If successful, it will open the document with the changes applied. Save the document immediately under a different name to avoid overwriting the original corrupt file.

Step 3: Try Opening in Safe Mode

Sometimes, add-ins or extensions in Word can cause issues. Opening Word in Safe Mode disables these add-ins, which might allow you to open the corrupt file.

  1. Close Microsoft Word if it’s open.
  2. Press the “Windows” key and “R” simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type “winword /safe” (without quotes) and press “Enter.”

Once Word opens in Safe Mode, try opening the corrupt document. If it opens successfully, save it with a new name.

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Step 4: Use the “Recover Text from Any File” Feature

This method can help if the document structure is severely damaged, but you may lose some formatting.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on “File” and select “Open.”
  3. Navigate to the location of the corrupt Word file.
  4. In the file type dropdown menu, select “Recover Text from Any File (.).”
  5. Choose the corrupt Word file and click “Open.”

The document will open with just the text content. Copy the text and paste it into a new, blank Word document. Save the new document.

Step 5: Use a Third-Party Recovery Tool

If the built-in repair tools do not work, you can consider using third-party file recovery software. These tools are designed to recover data from corrupted files. Be cautious and use reputable software to avoid any security risks.

Step 6: Contact Microsoft Support

If none of the above steps work, it might be time to seek help from Microsoft Support or their community forums. They may have additional solutions or insights for your specific issue.

Remember that the success of repairing a corrupt Word file depends on the extent of the corruption. In some cases, you may not be able to recover the entire document, and you may lose some data. Frequent backups of important documents can help you avoid such situations in the future.

3 Ways To Repair a Corrupt MS Word File

Repairing a corrupted Word document online and recovering corrupted Word files using CMD (Command Prompt) are possible but may not always guarantee a full recovery. Here’s how you can attempt these methods and an explanation of what happens when a Word document is corrupted:

  1. Repair a Corrupted Word Document Online:

Several online services and tools can help repair corrupted Word documents. One of the popular options is using Microsoft’s own online repair tool:

  1. Visit the “Microsoft Office Online Repair” page:
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  3. Click on “Word” to open the Word Online app.
  4. Click on “Blank Document.”
  5. Click on “Open” and then select “Upload a Document.”
  6. Upload your corrupted Word document.
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Microsoft’s online tools will attempt to repair the document automatically. If successful, you can save the repaired document. Keep in mind that the extent of repair may vary depending on the severity of corruption.

  1. Recover Corrupted Word Files Using CMD (Command Prompt):

Using Command Prompt to recover corrupted Word files may not always work, but it’s worth a try:

  1. Press “Windows + R” to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press “Enter” to open Command Prompt.
  3. Navigate to the folder where the corrupted Word file is located using the “cd” command. For example, if the file is on your desktop, you can use:


cd Desktop

  1. Type the following command to run the built-in Windows utility to repair the file:


sfc /scannow

  1. Wait for the scanning and repairing process to complete.

If the corruption was due to issues with system files, this method might help. However, it’s not specifically designed for Word documents, so success is not guaranteed.

  1. What Happens When a Word Document Is Corrupted:

When a Word document is corrupted, it means that the file’s structure or data has been altered in a way that prevents it from opening or functioning correctly. Corruption can occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Sudden power outages or system crashes while the document is open.
  • Errors during file saving or transfer processes.
  • Malware or viruses that affect the document’s integrity.
  • Hardware issues such as a failing storage device.

When a Word document is corrupted, you may experience the following issues:

  • Unable to open the file or encountering error messages.
  • Missing or garbled text, images, or formatting.
  • Frequent crashes or freezing when trying to work with the document.
  • Inability to save changes or updates to the file.
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Corrupted Word documents can be frustrating, but with the methods mentioned above, you can attempt to recover them. However, it’s crucial to regularly back up your important documents to prevent data loss in case of corruption or other unforeseen issues. You can also read How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 (Not in Recycle Bin), click here!