We’ve all been there. You’re working on a document or a spreadsheet, or using email, and BAM! One of your Microsoft Office applications starts acting weird or stops responding.

Please relax, and don’t give in to panic or upset. This sort of thing does occur from time to time, and it is often quite easy to repair.

In this story, I’ll take you through a series of progressively aggressive (and more time-consuming) repairs for Office apps in Windows based on the ongoing assumption that the previous step — whatever it may have been — didn’t work.

Spoiler alert! The absolute worst case requires running a cleanup tool on the current Office installation, followed by a clean install of a new copy of Office. That has never failed in my experience, any time I’ve had to go that far.

However, let’s return to Step 1 to start this process where it also usually ends.

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