How to Repair a Damaged Word File

How to identify a damaged document

If you need to repair a damaged Word file, first you need to correctly diagnose it. Identifying a damaged document is not always easy. A corrupted document includes at least one of the following abnormal behavior:

repair docx file

  • Layout and formatting are a mess;
  • The document is inaccessible;
  • Error messages;
  • Computer stops responding;
  • Some characters are unreadable;
  • Any other strange behavior.

After you have successfully identified your file as corrupted, it's time for us to move on and find a way on how to repair Microsoft Word files. In this article, we are going to learn two different methods that will help you fix your document.

Part 1: How to Repair Damaged Word File with Word Repair Tool

1. Overview of Word Repair Tool

If you have been searching for a Word file repair tool lately, you need to stop right here, because I am going to recommend you an excellent tool. Stellar Phoenix Word Repair will help you repair Microsoft Word files without changing the initial structure of your documents. This software can repair any damaged Word file and is compatible with Microsoft Word, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000. Likewise, it is easy to use and has three different preview and recovery options. For documents created in Word 2013, you can also recover inserted multi-media items like images and videos.

  • It is safe to repair MS Word Files and recover the original text, fonts, images, and headers/footers of the documents.
  • It supports searching for the corrupt and damaged Word Document, does not know the location.
  • Preview all damaged and corrupt Word files with three different formats, i.e. 'Full document', 'Filtered Text', and 'RAW Text'.
  • Advance Repair repairs severely corrupted.DOC' files when Simple Repair failed
  • Raw Recovery repairs heavily corrupted Word files in RAW text or machine-readable format.

2. Systematic tutorial on How repair damaged Word file

Download Word Repair Tool on your computer, and close any Word document before you start the repair process. And follow the next simple steps to repair corrupt or damaged Word files.

Step 1 Launch Word Repair software. and click the "Select File" button and choose a document;

repair damaged word file step 1

Step 2 Check the Word files list section, you can select all or only one to scan.

repair damaged word file step 2

Step 3 After the recovery process is done, you can preview your file;

repair damaged word file step 3

Step 4 To save repaired Word files and select a destination path, choose the saving mode for your document, and finally tap the "Ok" button.

repair damaged word file step 4

Part 2: How to Troubleshoot Damaged Word Documents

Now repairing a damaged Word file doesn't necessarily always have to include a Word file repairing tool. It's always a bit of good advice trying to troubleshoot the problem even before attempting any repair on a Word document. Support.microsoft.com gives us a great method on how to repair Microsoft Word files by troubleshooting the template used by your document if you can open the damaged document. Follow us through:

Step 1 Find out the template used by your document

  • In Word, open the corrupted document;
  • Click "File" on the navigating menu, and select "Options";
  • Tap "Add-ins";
  • In the "Manage box" select "Templates" from the drop-down menu;
  • Click the "Go" button to continue;

The "Document template" box appears showing your template name. Advance to "Step 2" if your template name is "Normal". Else, follow through "Step 3".

Step 2 Give the global template (Normal.dotm) a different name

  • Close the document;
  • Open Window Explorer and select the search box at the top of the window;
  • Search for "%userprofile%\appdata\roaming\microsoft\templates";
  • Right-click on Normal.dotm, and select "Rename";
  • Type a new name like "Old word.old", and press the "Enter" key;
  • Exit Window Explorer;
  • Launch Microsoft Word, and open the same document;

Step 3 Select a different template

  • In Word, open the damaged document;
  • Select "File" from the top menu, and click "Options";
  • Click "Add-ins" on the left side;
  • Select "Templates" from the Manage drop-down menu, and tap the "Go" button next to it;
  • Click the "Attach" button;
  • The "Templates" folder opens, select "Normal.dotm" and then hit "Open";
  • Tap "Ok" to close everything;
  • Close Microsoft Word;

Step 4 Test new changes for strange behavior

  • Launch Microsoft Word again;
  • Click "File" and tap "Open";
  • Select the corrupted document, and hit the "Open" button;

Tips:

  • The Word file repair tool presented above is using Microsoft Word shared components for the recovery process. Don't forget to close any Word session before attempting to fix your documents;
  • If you tried everything so far and looks like you can't repair a damaged Word file at all, you can use an alternative text processing program like Apache OpenOffice. You will probably be able to open your damaged file. Why not go for it?
  • Repairing damaged Word files can sometimes give you headaches. Back up your data if you don't want to have to deal with it. You could either use an external drive or cloud storage like OneDrive to save your data online;
  • If you are editing a document saved on external drive never remove it in the middle of saving. Doing so could corrupt your document. Also, don't forget to disconnect your external drive using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option.

Other popular Articles From Wondershare