No one likes when their programs don’t work. In this day and age, technology is expected to work fluidly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and errors will happen. Sometimes updates end up unearthing hidden problems or make previous files obsolete. It’s inevitable.
Most people would agree it would be much easier if they could simply spin a wheel and whichever the pointer lands on is the root cause of the issue.
That’s wishful thinking. It’s tedious trial and error. You’ll be ruling out the simple troubleshooting solutions first before you make an attempt at the more elaborate fixes.
One such error that you’ll run into using Microsoft Word is “A file error has occurred.” Users have experienced this error from saving or working on a document for several days.
Here, you’ll find the reasons and solutions that can help narrow down your issue, from a few simple clicks to troubleshooting Microsoft Word.
1. Password Protected Documents
Microsoft Word offers document protection, a simple password that can keep unwanted eyes from prying important information and using it with malicious intent. If you don’t have the password, you can’t view the document. Your only solution is to type in the password.
2. The File is Located on a Shared Network
Sharing files through a shared network is a common practice you’ll find in an office workspace. This might be in the form of document templates or important work-related information and so on.
You can experience a file error pulling these files from the shared network. Furthermore, one or more users trying to access the file can also give you the error.
If you hold a hard copy of the file, that isn’t being shared, for backup then you are in luck because it’s as simple as replacing the file with a new copy.
- Open File Explorer.
- Locate the file you wish to share.
- Right-click and select Properties. Locate the Sharing tab. Before you share the new file, locate the original file that was causing issues and delete it before you move onto Step 5.
- Click Share. You’ll see the Share button on the upper-half of the box.
3. Fix File Corruption
File corruption can be one of the worst root causes of Microsoft Word’s frustrating error. It’s not completely impossible to recover the file, but it’s really a flip of a coin.
File corruption is exactly how it sounds: computer files are unable to be used and, most cases, are lost forever.
It could have been the result of a computer virus, a glitch, or software conflicts. Your computer recognizes there’s an issue and gives you the error like “A file error has occurred.”
The big problem with file corruption is the way it infects future files and programs. Imagine you prepare a template document for your business or a friend.
You give them the file, but they can’t open it. It may have come from a program with corrupted coding. This can be especially damaging when a corrupted file is unknowingly shared on a network.
In order to resurrect some portion of the corrupted file (A File Error has Occurred), you’ll need to access Microsoft Word’s troubleshooting tools. Troubleshooting the file could recognize the problem and fix it.
File Corruption Fix – Part 1
Before fixing the error, you’ll want to reveal hidden files, folders and drives. To do this, follow these steps:
- Hit the Windows Key.
- Type Control Panel.
- Click on Appearance and Personalization.
- Click on Show hidden files and folders. This is under File Explorer Options.
- Select the View tab. You’ll see a menu of options and boxes. Under Files and Folders, locate Hidden files and folders.
- Select Show hidden files, folders, and drivers.
Once that is done, you’ll have revealed the file you need access to in order to fix corruption and you can move onto Part 2.
File Corruption Fix – Part 2
- Hold Windows Key + R.
- Type C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.
- Delete every single file that has “normal” in its name. An example like ~$Normal.dot should be tossed into the recycle bin. Don’t delete the template folder itself.
4. Microsoft Word’s Repair Tool
Microsoft Word has its own handy repair tool that may fix some corruption, but it’s mostly on the surface. It certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
- Open Microsoft Word.
- Open Microsoft Word’s menu. Depending on your version of Microsoft Word, this can be under File or under the Microsoft Word icon.
- Select Open.
- Locate the file you want. But, do not open the file. Instead, the arrow–a drop-down menu–next to Open will have the option Open and Repair.
- Follow the prompt. Microsoft Word will attempt to fix any errors it can find.
5. Reinstalling Microsoft Word
This should be your last resort. If nothing works, you can uninstall Microsoft Word and start with a clean slate.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Click on Programs.
- Select Uninstall a program.
- Find your version of Microsoft Word.
- Right-click and select Uninstall.
- Follow the prompt.
6. Preventing Future Errors
Having backups for your backup is never a bad idea. You’ll want to save your documents frequently. If your work gets saved to a USB device, disconnecting it while it’s still saving is a surefire way of getting a corrupted file and, in turn, frustrating errors.