How to reset Microsoft Word to default settings to fix program issues

Microsoft Fix it

This might it happened more than once: You are working on a Microsoft Word document and then you notice that the application is not working the way it should, e.g., you lost the ability to control or reset margins on the “Page Setup”, or you cannot move the ruler; you change settings, but they are not reflected in Word, or just specific settings that you have configured in the past and now they are just not working.

So, what do you do? While there are various methods to remedy these type of problems, resetting the user options and registry settings in Microsoft Word will help to fix most of the issues involving the way the program operates and options that affects formatting or the appearance in documents.

Before modifying any aspect of Microsoft Word, try to detect if the problem could be the cause of settings, options or by formatting. In the case multiples documents are affected by the same type of behavior, it is recommended to reset Microsoft Word to default settings to remedy most issues.

Most of the time when somebody is teaching something new, they will always show the difficult way first and the easy way later, this will not be case today. Microsoft has something called: Microsoft Fix it, which is a small piece of software that contain specific set of instructions to fix a particular problem automatically, taking all the manual work out-of-the-way — Cool, right? –. This is a free utility and anyone should be able to operate.

For this specific problem you can use: Microsoft Fix it 50599 — Reset user options in Word (this is the direct download link from support.microsoft.com). Once you download the utility, double-click it and just follow the simple step-by-step wizard. Once you ran the utility, relaunch Word and test — it should working again.

Now, if you want to take the difficult road, the DIY road, you should then read the Microsoft KB 822005, which will tell you in great detail all the registry keys that you need to delete in order to reset users options in Word.

This reset utility will work on:

  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Word 2000
About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.