Microsoft Word is, undoubtedly, the leading word processor for both beginners and advanced professionals alike. The feature-rich application lets you create, format and modify all types of documents. But, what if one of your important Word documents refuses to load one day. Such a situation can be encountered too often if you are a regular user of this Microsoft application. If you are unable to open a Word document, do not panic. The ideal way to tackle the problem is taking a step-by-step approach. A Word document might not open due to various issues which could range from permission problems to file sharing problems to corruption. Among all other issues, corruption is one scenario which would send the alarm bells ringing in your mind as it would involve the risk of grave data loss. Again, such situations can be handled by following various Word recovery strategies.
Here is a list of troubleshooting steps which you can consider for retrieving data from an inaccessible Word document:
Look for networking issues
If a Word document is stored in a network environment, and someone else has opened a Word document, which you are trying to access, you won't succeed. MS Word locks files on a network which prevents them from being edited or modified by more than one user simultaneously. The Word would display a message informing that the file is opened somewhere else.
The other network related issues can relate to the permissions set to a Word document. Though, you might have accessed a Word document previously on a network, if its user's permissions are changed, you might not be able to modify a document or use it properly. In such situations, you can check the permission rights.
Problem could also relate to Word or computer
If you are not able to open a document, it won't necessarily be an issue with the file. The problem could either be with the Word version installed or your system. In order to isolate these issues, you can first try opening other Word documents, if they work fine then it becomes concrete that there is no problem with the Word version.
You must open the file on another workstation, this way you will find out whether it is a problem with a specific Word file or your system.
Recovering a Word document
If you are still not able to ward off the issues with a particular Word file, try the following Word repair steps as suggested by Microsoft:
Open the document in draft mode without updating links
Insert the document as a file in a new document
Use a file converter to recover text
Open the file in WordPad
Use third-party software
If everything else fails, you must download a reliable third-party Word recovery software from the Internet. Such tools employ improved scanning algorithms to extract data from a corrupt Word document and are less time consuming.
How to fix a Word document which doesn't open