Word cannot open Normal.dotm

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If you are encountering an error message that says “Word cannot open Normal.dotm – category ‘msoffice’,” it means that there is an issue with the default template file that Word uses to create new documents. This error can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a corrupted template file, a conflict with an add-in or plugin, or a problem with the Word installation itself.

Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem:

1. Close all instances of Word: Before you attempt any troubleshooting steps, make sure that all instances of Word are closed. This includes any documents that are currently open, as well as the Word application itself.

2. Rename the Normal.dotm file: The first step in fixing this error is to rename the Normal.dotm file. This will force Word to create a new template file the next time you open the application. To do this, follow these steps:

– Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location: C:UsersAppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates
– Locate the Normal.dotm file and right-click on it.
– Select “Rename” and change the name to something like “Old_Normal.dotm”.
– Close File Explorer and open Word again. A new Normal.dotm file should be created automatically.

3. Disable add-ins and plugins: If renaming the Normal.dotm file doesn’t work, the next step is to disable any add-ins or plugins that may be causing a conflict. To do this, follow these steps:

– Open Word and click on “File” in the top left corner.
– Select “Options” and then click on “Add-ins” in the left-hand menu.
– In the “Manage” dropdown menu, select “COM Add-ins” and click “Go”.
– Uncheck any add-ins that are currently enabled and click “OK”.
– Close Word and reopen it to see if the error has been resolved.

4. Repair the Word installation: If neither of the above steps work, it may be necessary to repair the Word installation. To do this, follow these steps:

– Open the Control Panel and click on “Programs and Features”.
– Locate Microsoft Office in the list of installed programs and right-click on it.
– Select “Change” and then choose “Repair” from the options that appear.
– Follow the prompts to complete the repair process.
– Once the repair is complete, open Word again to see if the error has been resolved


I hope these steps were helpful in resolving the “Word cannot open Normal.dotm – category ‘msoffice'” error. If you continue to experience issues, you may need to seek further assistance from Microsoft support or a technical expert. Good luck!

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