Free Methods to Repair Corrupt MS Word Document

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  • Published on
    March 8th, 2014
  • Updated on
    July 23, 2022
  • Read Time
    6 minutes
Summary:-Are you looking for a free solution to repair corrupt MS Word documents? Sometimes, it may happen that when you open a Word document, you will see an error stating “Word was unable to read the document” because of corruption. So, here in this article, we will discuss different methods to fix a corrupt Word document. However, to avoid the manual solution, you can also use the SysInfo Word Recovery Tool, which is fully secured to repair a corrupted Word document 2010 and others.

What is MS Word file format, and Why is it used?

MS Office is a software suite with many applications for multiple purposes, and MS Word is one of them. It is a Word processor program that is widely used around the world. It provides us with a platform to create various types of documents. We can create normal documents, official documents, business reports, letters, resumes, content development, etc., in MS Word.

MS Word stores our data in files and saves them in different file formats with different file extensions, such as:

  1. Doc (.doc): MS Office Document (used in MS Word 2003 and earlier versions),
  2. Docx (.docx): Microsoft Office Open XML Format Document (used in MS Word 2007 and 2010),
  3. Dotx (.dotx): Microsoft Office Open XML Format Template (used in MS Word 2007 and 2010),
  4. Docm (.docm): Microsoft Office Open XML Format Document with Macros Enabled (used in MS Word 2007 and 2010),
  5. Dotm (.dotm): Microsoft Office Open XML Format Template with Macros Enabled (used in MS Word 2007 and 2010).

Causes Behind the Word Document File Corruption

Microsoft Word documents can become corrupt in several ways, but mostly it’s just a problem with the headers in the file. You can recover the data most of the time. However, an MS Word file is not immune to corruption. There are many factors which are responsible for MS Word document file corruption:

  • Virus infection on files or drives
  • The collision of software programs.
  • Unfinished saving of files
  • Improper termination of the MS Word program
  • Crashes in system hard drive and sometimes human errors.

Effective Methods to Fix a Corrupt Word Document Files

MS Word comes up with two free possible ways to open and repair word documents. But if you won’t be able to recover unreadable word documents manually, you can go through with the direct and best Word File Repair Tool.

Method 1: Repair corrupted Docx and Doc files Using the built-in Microsoft Word Repair Tool

As we all know, MS Word offers an inbuilt repair tool for users.

If the corruption is not severe, you can easily use the Microsoft Word corrupt file repair tool to recover the corrupted Docx file.

  1. Firstly, open MS Word and click on the File.
  2. Then, click on the Open folder to select the damaged File.
  3. After that, highlight the File and click on the arrow sign next to the Open.
  4. Choose Open and Repair from the drop-down list.

After completing the procedure to repair corrupt MS Word document, verifying that the issue is successfully fixed is essential. Another reason behind Word inaccessibility is that the damaged Word file is stored in a different format. In this case, you may be unable to access the saved file.

Method 2: Recover a corrupted Word document for free By Changing the Version

Microsoft Word can open the different versions of a Word document file. Hence, if your Word file is corrupted, you may resolve the issue by extracting the files in the previous version:

  1. Open Microsoft Word and open a document by visiting its menu.
  2. Select the document and click on the dropdown menu adjacent to the Open button.
  3. Once you click on it, select the Show Previous Versions option from the list.
  4. It may be possible that after performing these steps, the issue gets resolved.

Method 3: Repair Corrupt MS Word Document by Opening it into a Draft Mode

It is the most advanced method to repair corrupted docx and doc files. The only requirement is to perform some changes in MS Word and perform the steps given below:

  1. Open MS Word on your system and go to the Word Options via its File menu.
  2. In some versions, it is mentioned as File > Tools.
  3. Go to the Advanced section to view different options.
  4. Here, you have to select the “Show Document Content” category.
  5. It comes up with different view options.
  6. Here, you have to enable the Show picture placeholders and the “Use draft font in Draft and Outline views” feature.
  7. Once you complete the steps, click on the “Draft” option under the Document Views section.

Method 4: Change Document Format & Save to Word Later

If the above method fails, you can try this solution to repair corrupt Word documents. It will be performed in two parts:

Steps to Change the Document Format

  • Open Word and click on the File
  • Click on Open, then select the damaged Word file.
  • After that, save the document in another file format.
  • Click on the File menu >> click on the Save As an option
  • Then, select Other Formats.
  • Click on the Rich Text Format (RTF) in the Save as File type list.
  • Now, click on the Save
  • Click on the File menu and then click Close.

Steps to Save it as a Word File Later

  • Firstly, click on the File menu and then click Open.
  • Highlight the document saved as Rich Text File and click on Open.
  • Next, click on the File menu and then click on the Save As
  • Then, under Save as type, click on Word Document.
  • Now, Rename the file and then click on Save.

It is a straightforward procedure to gain accessibility, but if it doesn’t help much resolve the problem, you can proceed further with an automated tool.

Also Read: How to Convert PDF File to Word Document?

Method 5: Repair Corrupt MS Word Documents with Professional Software

If all the above methods don’t work out, you can opt for a third-party tool like SysInfo Word Repair Tool. This tool can recover all corrupted unreadable Word data from corrupted Doc files. It can perform the recovery without making any difference in data, and you can repair multiple documents simultaneously. So, I would recommend trying the free demo version of this tool.

Simple Steps to Fix a corrupt Word document

  1. Run the free Word file Repair Tool as administrator.
  2. Browse the Word file from your system and click Next.
  3. The software scans your added DOC file and taps Next.
  4. Now, select the path where you want to save the resultant file.
  5. Finally, click on the Save button to finish the process.

Bottom Lines

This blog describes the different ways to repair corrupt MS Word documents. The methods, including the manual and professional approaches, have been described, and each is easy to perform. Now, it’s up to you to select the right one.

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