Top 5 Tips on repairing a damaged .docx document

Need to repair corrupt .docx document? Today I will give you some simple tips on how to repair corrupt Word document. But first I will tell you how to identify whether a document is corrupt or not.

If you see below symptoms in your document that means your document got corrupted:
  • Unreadable characters or symbols on the screen.
  • Wrong formatting of document.
  • Incorrect layout of document.
  • Error message during processing of document.
  • System stops responding when you open your document.
Note: Below methods are applicable when you will be able to open your damaged document (.docx).

 Method 1: Change the global template (Normal.dotm)

Step 1: First determine the type of template used by your document. Follow below steps to do that:
  1. Open your Word document
  2. Go to MS Office button-> Options (Word 2007), Go to File-> Options (Word 2010).
  3. Now click Add-Ins.
  4. Go to Manage Box-> View and manage Office add-ins-> Template and click go.
If the listed template is Normal the go to step 2, otherwise step 3.

Step 2: Rename the global template:
  1. First close Word if it is open.
  2. Go to Start-> Run and type %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates and press enter.
  3. Rename the Normal.dotm file by right clicking on it.
  4. Type Oldword.old and press Enter.
Step 3: Change the template:
  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Go to File-> Options-> Add-Ins.
  3. Go to Manage Box-> Template and click Go.
  4. Now click Attach.
  5. Go to Template folder-> Normal.dotmand click Open.
  6. Click Ok and exit Word.
 Step 4: Check if new template worked:
  1. Go to File-> Options.
  2. Select your damaged document and click Open.
If your document is still damaged then try method 2.

Method 2: Open your Word document using default setting: Try to open your document using the /a switch. When you open document using /a switch then Word neither use global template nor it loads any add-ins.

 Step 1: Open your document using /a switch
  1. Close your Word file if it is open.
  2. Go to Start-> Run.
  3. Type "%programfiles%\microsoft office\office12\winword.exe" /a (Word 2007) and "%programfiles%\microsoft office\office14\winword.exe" /a (Word 2010).
Step 2: Now open your document:
  1. Go to File-> Options.
  2. Select your damaged document and click Open.
If this method does not repair your document then try next method.

Method 3: Starts Window in safe mode and then open your document

Step 1: Start Windows in safe mode
  1. Remove all dvd, cd from your system and then restart your system.
  2. Go to Start-> Shutdown.
  3. A message prompt with message 'What do you want the computer to do', click Restart and then Ok.
  4. When Starting Windows message appear on your screen, press F8 and select Safe Mode.
Step 2: Check if starting the Windows in safe mode has fixed the problem or not
  1. Start word.
  2. Go to File-> Options.
  3. Select your damaged document and click Open.
If problem still persists then try next method.

Method 4: Repair your document using 'Open & Repair' command

 Step 1: Use open & repair command:
  1. Open your document.
  2. Go to File-> Open.
  3. Now in the Open dialog box, select your document.
  4. Click the dropdown arrow and select Open & Repair.
Step 2: Check the document after repair:
Open your document again and see if it fixes the problem.

Method 5: Try 3rd party MS Word repair program

 If all the above methods fail to repair your corrupt Word document then try a good third party Word repair tool.


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