Resolve – “Microsoft Word for Mac has encountered a problem and needs to close”

Many users who are using Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 or 2008 have reportedly encountered this problem while they start their Word app. The program prompts you to close the app. Hence, if you are also facing the similar situation, then do not worry anymore because we have a possible fix for you. But, before moving in to discuss the solutions to get rid of the issue, let us first know why you are coming across this error.

Causes behind Word stopping abruptly

There are certain scenarios, when you may come across this error on Mac:

  • Sometimes, the Word preferences are corrupted giving way to this error
  • The user account profile you are trying to use the app with is corrupted
  • There might be similar programs on your device that are interfering with Word
  • The Word app files are corrupted causing the error to occur

microsoft word for mac has encountered a problem and needs to close

Method 1- Reset the preferences for Word for Mac

When you complete this workaround, it will remove the custom preferences for Word app for Mac. It will remove preferences for keyboard shortcuts as well as changes the toolbars/dictionaries for Word. To fix the corrupt Word preferences, you may follow the steps given below:

  1. First of all, you need to quit all the programs.
  2. After this, go to the menu and click on the ‘Home’ option.
  3. Further, click on the ‘Library’ option.
  4. Now, you need to open the ‘Preferences’ folder.
  5. Form this list you need to drag the ‘’ to the desktop. If you are unable to find this file, then go to the next step.
  6. In this step, you need to open the Microsoft folder in the Preferences section.
  7. From here, move ‘’ to the desktop.
  8. Further, start Word again and do as described below:
  • If you do not see the error, then quit the Word program and drag one of the files back to its default location.
  • If you still see the error on opening Word, then quit the Word program and restore to the files back to its original location and then go to the next step.

Method 2- Create a new user account and try again

As we have already discussed that a corrupt user account is another reason that could cause this error to occur on your Mac device, therefore creating a new user account could help. After doing so, try opening the Word app and see if the error persists. If the error continues to occur, move to the next method.

Method 3- Clean start the Mac operating system

Clean starting the Mac operating system is recommended in such a scenario. Doing this, will let you know if there are any other similar programs that are clashing with the Word app. If you see any similar program, then you should remove the clashing program.


Last but not the least, you are suggested to uninstall Microsoft Word completely and then reinstall it again. Make sure you remove all the files associated with Word as well in order to get rid of the error completely.