Recently I've started encountering a particularly annoying problem with Office 2013. Every time I'd open Excel 2013 under Windows 8, it would crash instantly, leaving me a message: "Excel 2013 has stopped working". I looked around and found a few solutions, but nothing worked for me. Eventually, I managed to fix the problem all by myself. I'm going to describe the steps that I've tried here. Note that this post is also valid for messages such as:
- Word 2013 has stopped working
- Powerpoint 2013 has stopped working
- Excel 2013 has stopped working
- Outlook 2013 has stopped working
- Office 2013 has stopped working (insert any other Office tool here).
- Most of these solutions are also valid for Office 2007 and Office 2010 applications.
Solution 1: change the default printer
This solution fixed all my problems, so I'm going to describe it first. Also it's the simplest! Try this first before anything else, because the next solutions are a bit more complex. What we're doing here is just changing the default printer.
Why does this fix our problem? Because when you open an Office document, such as an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document, the application attempts to communicate with the printer to figure out the margins supported by the default printer. If that communication fails, the application (ie. Excel) crashes. All you have to do is change the default printer. Below is a quick guide to do that.
First, close all open Office applications such as Excel, Outlook and whatnot. Then, go to the "Devices and Printers" window. If you don't know how to open that, just go to the Control Panel and you'll find the "Devices and Printers" applet.
Righ-click on "Microsoft XPS Document Writer", for example, and choose "Set as default printer". Now open Excel again and voila: the document opens fine, and the margins are correctly defined.
Solution 2: start in safe mode, disable add-ins
While the above solution worked for me, I've also experienced add-in problems in the past; some add-ins caused some of my Office applications to crash for no apparent reason. So if the above fix doesn't help you, try this one, it's likely that this will work for you.
What we're going to do here: start Excel (or Word, Powerpoint, Outlook) in Safe Mode so that it doesn't load any add-in potentially crashing the application. Then from the Safe Mode we'll disable add-ins one by one and see if this helped.
To start one of these applications in safe mode, first press the Windows+R key combination to get to the "Run..." window:
In the text box that appears, type one of those commands depending on the application you're trying to fix:
- Excel.exe /safe
- Winword.exe /safe
- Outlook.exe /safe
- Powerpoint.exe /safe
Next, go to the "File" menu (the colored menu bar at the top left of the application that says "File"). Then in the menu on the left, click "Options". In the options window, click "Add-Ins" at the bottom. You should see a window like this:
At the bottom of this window, there is a "Manage: [_____]" option list. Select "COM Add-ins", and click the button "Go..." that's just on the right. You'll be seeing a list of add-ins:
Make sure all boxes are unchecked, and press "OK". Restart the application normally and see if this fixed it for you. If it did; it's likely that one of these add-ins is causing the problem. Simply repeat this process and re-enable add-ins one by one until you find the one that's causing the issue.
Solution 3: start the application as Administrator
I've read that this solution worked for a couple of people, so I'm reporting the information here; hopefully this will help. Apparently in some cases all you need to do is start Excel/Word/Powerpoint/Outlook as Administrator in order to get permissions to do something on the computer. If you're using Windows 7, right-click the application in the Start Menu and click "Run as administrator". See if this works for you.
In Windows 8, open the Home screen, find the application you're trying to open; right-click it and select "Open as administrator" at the bottom.
Solution 4: repair Office 2013
In some cases, it may just happen that one of the files necessary to the well-functioning of your Office 2013 applications has been damaged, deleted or corrupted after a brutal shutdown for example. So it might be useful to attempt an automatic repair. There's actually an option for that, and here's how to access it.
First, open the Control Panel, then select "Programs and Features". Find "Microsoft Office 2013" in the list, and click the "Change" button at the top:
You will be presented with an option to automatically "Repair" the Office 2013 program files, which might actually help towards fixing your problem.
Solution 5: fully uninstall and reinstall Office 2013
In the most severe cases, the only solution you'll have is to fully uninstall Office 2013 from your computer, wiping it clean of all tracks the programs might have left on your Windows set-up. Rest assured you won't need to do this manually; Microsoft are offering a program for that: an Office 2013 uninstaller. So just open this page-- click here, scroll down until you see this button:
Click it to begin downloading the uninstall tool. Once the uninstall is complete, restart your computer, then proceed to reinstalling Office 2013.
Microsoft did it again: they've managed to make an application suite as unstable as Internet Explorer! And they aren't even providing proper solutions for it, or even fixing the problem at all. If your Office 2013 apps still crash after you've tried all of the above, then sue Microsoft... just kidding, maybe ask for a refund I suppose. Also: if you've heard of any other solution to fix this sort of problem, please post a comment here and I'll see about integrating it in my post.