Fix minor issues with Office Safe Mode

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boot into safe mode microsoft office 365

Like the Windows operating system itself, Microsoft Office (now 365) has the option to start it in safe mode. We can use it to do the same, when we have a problem starting any of the tools of the Office suite we can locate the root of the error by discarding.

In previous versions of Windows this mode was called Failsafe mode. Now many of the operating systems and applications include it, not only on computers, but also on smartphones, tablets, consoles, etc. It is usually activated automatically on some occasions, but generally we will initiate this type of boot ourselves in different ways.

What is it and what is it for

First it is important to know what safe mode is. Is the form of start an operating system, a program or an application with the drivers and basic options to function. It is called that precisely because it is the way to run the program without any problem occurring. In addition, being limited with many tools disabled, we will notice that its operation is faster and more fluid.

It is generally used for locate the root of the fault that does not allow us to use that operating system or application correctly. Operating systems can log errors due to new drivers or programs installed, processes running in the background, etc.

The same thing happens with applications, in this case we may experience errors opening Word, Excel or PowerPoint that are due to some add-in that is running and causes the application to crash or suddenly close. Starting Word, Excel or any other application in this way the we will start “with what is fair”, that is, the plugins or extensions that we have added, nor the autocorrect, nor the toolbar or custom settings will not work.

In this way, if we see that any of the Office applications start and work correctly in safe mode we will rule out a problem in the core of the application and we will be eliminating by discarding the different extensions and add-ons deactivating them one by one.

How to start Office

As we always say in these cases, Windows offers different ways to do the same action. In the case of starting Office, or any other application, in safe mode we can do it in up to three different ways. They all achieve the same, so you have to choose the one that is most comfortable for you.

It is important to note that this way of starting the application it is deactivated when the application is closed. Once closed, we can start it as we normally do.

Pressing CTRL.

The easiest way to start one of the applications in the Microsoft 365 suite is to press the key CTRL. From the keyboard and, without releasing it, double-click in the icon of the application that we want to open.

This method is valid for all tools: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Visio … We just have to bear in mind that each of them must be accessed by double-clicking on the corresponding icon and not selecting them from the Start menu.

safe mode by pressing ctrl

With the / safe command

If you don’t have the Microsoft 365 tools icons handy and you regularly use the window Run, We will open it by pressing Win. + R and, we will write the command of each application and then we will include / safe. In this way we will use these commands for the applications of the office suite:

Word: winword / safe
Excel: excel / safe
Outlook: outlook / safe
PowerPoint: powerpnt / safe
Publisher: mspub / safe
Visio: visio / safe

safe mode in window run

Modifying the shortcut

Finally, we have the option to customize a shortcut to open the application in safe mode. In this way we can have two shortcuts per application, we will make sure that in the new icon we indicate a description in the name so as not to confuse them.

In this second shortcut that we are going to create, we will press the right button and click on Properties. In the countryside Destiny of the tab Direct access we will add / safe at the end of the path. Thus, every time we double-click on that shortcut, Word will open in this other mode (Word, or any of the Office tools).

safe command in shortcut

Automated mode

Safe mode can be start automatically without our express request. Office starts it automatically when the reason for the problem is known.

What is it

It is a feature of Office, when we start an application from the suite and it cannot be started correctly it will reopen in safe mode. This mode is especially activated when the error is caused by a corrupted plug-in, resource, file, template or registry, or a localized malfunctioning extension.

We will receive a explanatory message where the element that causes the problem will be indicated and we will be asked if we want to disable it.

safe mode in word

View list of disabled items

If you have several problems with Office add-ins and extensions and you have disabled several of them, you have a way to access the list of disabled items in this way:

  • We will click on File in the top menu bar.
  • We’ll go to Options.
  • We will click on Accessories.
  • We will select the menu Manage.
  • We will click on Disabled items and then we will press the Go button.

list of items disabled in office

Once we are in the list of disabled elements we can select the one we want and click on Enable. It is another way to test, by discard, what elements are causing the problem when opening Word, Escel, PowerPoint, Outlook …

Repair an Office application

When we encounter a problem in one of the Office applications and we are not able to locate the root of the problem with safe mode, the first thing we try to do is restart the app.

Restarting is the universal solution to many of the minor problems we encounter on our computers and devices. Although we must remember that it is important to save the work before restarting so as not to lose any information. If the problem continues we will return to Restart, but in this case the computer.

Repair tool

If by restarting the application and the computer we continue to experience the same failure, we will go to the repair tool of the application from the Control Panel. We will do the following:

  • We will right-click on the button Beginning.
  • We will select Applications and Features.
  • We choose the application that we want to repair and click on Modify.
  • We will follow the instructions depending on whether the application is Click-to-Run or MSI-Based.

office repair application

Reinstall Office

This would be the most aggressive way to restart an application. The we completely uninstall and we reinstall. It is the next step that we should do if the safe mode and the repair tool have not managed to solve the problem. The steps we have to follow are these:

  • Click on this link to install the Office Uninstall Support Tool.
  • We follow the steps to uninstall the application and choose the version of Office that we want to uninstall.

At the end of the process the tool will restart the computer and the uninstall tool will automatically open again. We just have to reinstall Office or Microsoft 365 again.

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