There Was A Problem And Microsoft Word Was Closed Mac



You may encounter 'Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close' problem on your Windows PC or Mac when there is something wrong with user account profile, application conflict, Word crashes, etc. When the issue occurs, you can fix it through a few ways here. And a professional Word file recovery tool is recommended to restore deleted or lost Word document.

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Solutions for Windows 10Open Windows Explorer > click 'Program Files' > 'Microsoft office' >'Office'. Right-click 'Winword.exe'....Full steps
Fix 2. Solutions for Mac
  • Run Repair Disk Permissions on Mac
  • Reset Word for Mac preferences
  • Create a new user account...Full steps

'Microsoft word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.'

The full error messages 'Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close' may occur when you open a document in Word 2003/2007/2010/2013/2016. When you see this on Windows PC or Mac, it suggests that something serious has happened, and you're no longer able to open the Word file properly!

The causes of this problem may be:

  • Word application crashes
  • Corruption of user account profile
  • Word compatibility
  • Corruption of Word preferences

So, how to fix such a Microsoft error without losing Word contents? Here, solutions to 'Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close' problem on Windows and Mac are both covered, try the methods to resolve it and open Word without showing a blank page. Besides, in the end, get to know powerful Word file recovery software in case you need it to recover deleted or lost Word document.

Read also how to fix Microsoft Word has stopped working.

Fix Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close in Windows 10/8/7

There are 2 options available for users choose to proceed, which is 'Send Error Report' or 'Don't send'. Actually, neither options are effective in resolving the problem. Click either of the options, you'll be brought to safe mode. Sometimes entering into safe mode would revive Word, but most of the time it doesn't solve the problem. In this part, we will show you the step-by-step guide to completely remove the error and lets you open the Word document without shutdown.

IMPORTANT: The location of certain files are different if you have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. To check if it is installed, open Word, and then click About Word from the Word menu. If the version number is 14.2.0 or above, you have Service Pack 2 and you should follow the Service Pack 2 steps when provided in this article.

  • Open Windows Explorer > click 'Program Files' > 'Microsoft office' >'Office'.
  • Find and right-click 'Winword.exe' > choose 'Properties'.
  • Click 'Compatibility' and press to clear all the check boxes and at last hit upon 'OK'.

Also Read a file error has occurred while saving Word.

Fix Microsoft Word Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close on Mac

You may see this error when start Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 or 2008. Altogether, you have 3 ways to rectify the problem and prevent Word closing.

Run Repair Disk Permissions

The 'Repair Disk Permissions' is available in 10.2 or later versions on Mac. You can use it to figure out reasons for the “Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close” on Mac error and fix it.

On the Go menu, please click 'Utilities' > 'Disk Utility' > choose the primary hard drive for your Mac > click 'First Aid' > 'Repair Disk Permissions'.

Once the scan is over, open Word again and check is the error occurs. If this method doesn't work, move to the next one.

Reset Word for Mac preferences

As said before, corrupted Word preferences are one of the main reasons for 'Word has encountered a problem'. So you can troubleshoot by resetting Word preferences.

  • Click 'Go' > 'Home' > 'Library'. (Click 'GO' > hold down the 'Option' key on keyboard > click 'Library' for OS X 10.7 or above versions)
  • Open the 'Preferences' folder and drag 'com.microsoft.Word.plist' to the desktop. If you can't find the file, in the Preferences look up for Microsoft folder, and drag com.microsoft.Word.prefs.plist to the desktop.
  • Now If you have Service Pack 2 installed, open 'Application Support' > 'Microsoft' > 'Microsoft'. Then, you can open a Word and check whether the error appears or not.

Or, try another alternative method.

  • Click 'Go' > 'Home' > 'Library'.
  • Open the 'Application Support' folder > 'Microsoft folder' > 'Office folder' > 'User Templates' folder.
  • Find the Normal.dotm file in the 'User Templates' folder, and drag it to the desktop.

Create a new user account

Microsoft word online, free

If the problem is caused by a corrupted user account, you can try to create a new user account to fix the issue.

  • In 'System Preferences', click 'Accounts'.
  • Click the Plus sign [ + ] in the lower left corner to open the new account window- Enter the word Test for the username and leave the password box blank. Click the 'Create Account' button. When you receive a warning, click 'OK'.

Good luck if the at least one method works, otherwise you got no choice but to remove or reinstall Office for Mac.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Deleted/Lost Word Document on Windows and Mac

Word document loss happens from time to time due to accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, virus attack, application crashes, etc. It is a disaster to deleted a Word file that you have been working for a very long time. If you have this problem on a regular basis, don’t worry anymore, now, you have EaseUS data recovery software to help you. With this tool, it will be quite easy for you to recover the lost document, photos, audios, videos, email, and other 200+ files from HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, Pen drive, CF/SD card, etc on Windows and Mac computer.

EaseUS Data Recovery is famous for its powerful capability for hard drive formatting recovery, RAW partition recovery, lost partition recovery, virus attack recovery, recycle bin emptied data recovery, and so on. Now, follow the tutorial below to recover Word document within three steps.

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing 'Documents' from the drop-down list in 'Filter'.

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.


You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click 'Recover'.


In this article, you will learn 4 effective ways to recover unsaved, lost and deleted Word document on Mac with detailed steps: [1]recover with AutoRecovery; [2]Recover from Temp folder; [3]Recover from Recovered item in Trash; [4]recover with Word file recovery software.

Accidentally closed Word without saving on Mac? Do you know how to recover unsaved Word documents on Mac? According to the unique features of Microsoft Word for Mac, you may find the unsaved item in the AutoRecovery folder, Temporary folder or Recovered item in Trash. Besides, if you unintentionally lost, deleted or formatted your Word document, you can recover a Word document on Mac with EaseUS Word file recovery software.

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover Unsaved Word Document

#1. Recover from the AutoRecovery folder...Full steps
#2. Recover from the TMP folder...Full steps
#3. Recover from the Recover item in Trash...Full steps

Recover Deleted Word Document#4. Recover with Word file recovery software...Full steps

How to Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac

Embedded with more useful features in certain collaborative situations than Pages, Microsoft Word becomes increasingly popular among Mac computers. Office 365 even allows users to create Word files on their Mac. On one hand, Microsoft Word offers standard DOC or DOCX file formats that are compatible in almost every OS platform; On the other hand, Word 2020, 2019, 2018...2011 is featured with auto-saving, which enables us to recover a Word document before we could hit Save.

Based on the features of Microsoft Word for Mac, there are three potential ways to recover your unsaved Word documents. These methods can also be applied to recover unsaved Excel files on your Mac.

#1. Recover Unsaved Word Docs on Mac with AutoRecovery

The Word for Mac includes an AutoRecovery option. It is turned on by default. The app will automatically save a copy of an open Word file every 10 minutes. If Word freezes while you're working on a document, or if the computer crashes, you can use the AutoRecovery copy to recover unsaved Word document with the changes or additions that you made in your last Word for Mac session.

Guide: How to recover an unsaved Word document

Unlike recovering unsaved Word document in Windows, the file recovery on Mac from the AutoRecovery folder is different.

Step 1. Open 'Finder' on your Mac, then head to 'Go' > 'Go to Folder'.

Step 2. Type: ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery and click 'Go'.

Step 3. Open the AutoRecovery folder, locate all the files that start with the words 'AutoRecovery save of'. Select the one you want to recover, rename the file, then add the '.doc' filename extension.

Step 4. Double-click the file. The document now opens in Word for Mac.

Step 5. Click the File menu and select 'Save As'. Type a new name for the file into the Name field, select a folder for the file and click the 'Save' button.

Microsoft Word online, free

#2. Recover Unsaved Word Documents on Mac from TMP Folder

The Word for Mac saves a copy of the unsaved document named as Word Work File in the Temporary folder. Your Mac also temporarily keep files in this folder. Though for many Mac users, it's not easy to find it.

Guide: How to recover an unsaved Word document on Mac

Step 1. Go to 'Applications' > 'Utilities' and double-click 'Terminal'.

Step 2. In Terminal, enter open $TMPDIR and you will be directed to the TMP folder which is used to keep files temporarily.

Step 3. In the TMP folder, find and open the folder named 'TemporaryItems'. In it, right-click the desired unsaved Word files and 'Open with...' Microsoft Word.

Step 4. Save the Word file by clicking on 'File' > 'Save As' and save it to another location.

#3. Recover Unsaved Word Document on Mac from Recovered Item

The Word for Mac temporarily saves documents that the user has not yet saved themselves in a folder named 'Recovered items', located in the Trash. If there are no recovered files, this folder will not appear.

Guide: How to find unsaved Word files on Mac

Step 1. Open 'Trash' by clicking its icon on the dock.

Step 2. Look for a folder labeled 'Recovered items' and click into it to look for your unsaved Word file. If you cannot find it, try the next solution.

#4. Recover Deleted Word Document with Word Recovery Software

The aforementioned three ways are exclusively for saving the file you're currently working on but suddenly disappear before clicking the Save button. To be specific, the methods will only work for files that are in the process of being worked on when they disappeared. Hence, if you lost a Word doc that is already existed by deletion, disk formatting or losing its access, you need to turn to other ways to recover a Word document on Mac.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is third-party specialized Mac data recovery software that can scour your hard drive, external hard drive, SD card, or USB flash drive to find all the lost data that vanishes without a trace on Mac OS X/macOS. It doesn't matter whether you emptied the trash bin or not, the deleted file will show up after you use the program to scan your selected drive.

For the first attempt, we strongly recommend you download its free version. It won't cost you a penny to search for your missing files. And since your problem is only for a few lost Word files, the 2GB recovery limit should be more than enough. The scan & recovery process is very simple, we’ll show you how it works.

Guide: How to recover a Word document on Mac

Step 1. Select the location where your important Word documents were lost and click Scan button.

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will start immediately a quick scan as well as a deep scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane.

Microsoft Word Download

Step 3. By Path and Type, you can quickly filter the Word files you've lost earlier. Select the target files and click Recover Now button to get them back at once.

How to Increase the Chance of Unsaved Word Data Recovery

After suffering from the fear of losing your Word documents, you must not want to experience this kind of situation again. Thus, it's necessary for you to know how to avoid losing your Word files. To avoid completely losing your files, you can:

Tip 1. Save the Word Document Whenever You Create a New One

An ever unsaved Word document exists in the computer's RAM, not on the hard disk. Thus, the chances to save a Word Document that has never been saved before are slim. Knowing this should give you a hint that you should save the word document at least once whenever you create a new one.

Tip 2. Change the AutoSave Interval

After you save your Word document, the AutoSave feature will begin to work. To minimize the loss of the progress on the file you are working, you can change the frequency of AutoSave:

Step 1. Open Microsoft Word on your Mac.

Step 2. Go to 'Word' > 'Preferences' and click 'Save' under Output and Sharing.

Step 3. Check all the items under Save Options (Recommended) and change the interval of AutoSave, for example, from every 10 minutes to every 5 minutes.

There Was A Problem And Microsoft Word Was Closed Mac Laptop

If you follow the two tips above, you will substantially decrease the risk of losing your Word documents. What if you carelessly deleted your important Word files on your Mac? No worry. Try the free method to retrieve permanently deleted Word documents with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.