All posts by Gouthaman Karunakaran

Seven Tips for Making Microsoft Word 365 / 2019 / 2016 run faster

Last updated: February 2019

Applicable for: Word 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010; Windows 7 and 10 operating systems

Here’s a question we got some time ago:

Lately, i am noticing some slow down in my Microsoft Word 2016 software performance, this is visible mainly when starting up the software. My feeling is that some additional packages i have installed are causing this. Any ideas from your side?

Microsoft Word’s performance is in general reasonable fast but it can definitely slow down if it’s bloated with add-on software or running on dated or inadequate hardware. In this article, you’ll find some quick DIY tips to make Word work faster than ever before.

Disable Word Add-ins

Microsoft Office software has the capability to host Add-In components. These small software programs extend the capabilities of the standard Office package to improve user productivity. In a way, you can think of those little programs as browser Add-ons, but just for Microsoft Office. The caveat is that sometimes, these Add-Ins slow Word, specially at startup, as the programs are loaded when Word is started causing a noticeable delay. This is probably the most common performance hiccup of Microsoft Office program, so it’s applicable also to Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Visio.

If you notice that Word is slow as startup, you might want to look into your installed Add-Ins and temporarily disable the ones you don’t currently need. Here’s how to accomplish that:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Hit the ‘File’ button at the top right and choose ‘Options’ at the left side of the screen.
  3. Now, click on Add-Ins at the left side of the Windows called ‘Word Options’.


  1. Now, Choose ‘Go’ after selecting Manage ‘COM Add-Ins’ at the bottom of the same window.


  1. Uncheck the Add-Ins you don’t need in order to disable them (In my case, I’ve got just one COM Add-In to disable).


  1.  Hit OK.
  2. Close Microsoft Word.
  3. Startup Word and see if you notice fast startup performance. If so, you might want to remove the disabled Add-Ins altogether, this will be covered in the next section.

Remove unwanted Add-ins

Similar to the previous tip, however, instead of un-checking the COM Add-Ins entries to disable proceed as following:

  1. Go ahead and highlight the entry to uninstall
  2. Hit Remove.
  3. Repeat for all required entries.
  4. Once done hit OK.

Consider an hardware upgrade

Couple of readers contacted me reporting slow performance issues when working with large files which included pictures, which caused Word to get stuck. One of the solutions would be to upgrade your computer RAM memory to 8GB, specially if you run multiple programs in parallel or do some intensive work on image and video editing software.

Always work on local documents

Retrieving document and saving changes into files stored in remote locations (OneDrive, SharePoint libraries,  shared folders etc’) is typically time consuming and depends on your network performance. Therefore, If possible, ensure that the documents you are working are stored in your local drive. Once done, sync your changes into the network location or save a new version of your document so you can share with others contributors or reviewers.

Note: If possible, also ensure that the local drive storing your documents is uncompressed.

Disable Auto Correct options

By default, Word checks your spelling and automatically correct any mistakes found in your text. Very useful feature, but has a performance penalty.

To skip auto corrections, proceed as following:

  1. Navigate to Options, then navigate to the Proofing tab.
  2. Navigate to the lower section of the tab, and uncheck “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar as you type”.
  3. Hit OK.

Note: you’ll need to check your spelling and Grammar manually (Review tab>> Spelling and Grammar).

Disable Screen Tips

Screen Tips help you receive additional information and guidance when you hover on hyperlinks, comments and so forth. This is useful, but might impact Word performance.

To cancel ScreenTips display in your Word document, proceed as following:

  1. Navigate to Options, then in the General tab, navigate to the UI options section.
  2. Then, under ScreenTips style, select Don’t Show ScreenTips.
  3. Hit OK.

Clean Temporary/Unwanted Files:

Quite often, cleaning up temporary/unwanted files can significantly improve your personal computer performance. Freeware solutions such as CCleaner and TreeSize Free can be specially helpful. Don’t forget to clean both your Temporary files and the Registry. You  could also remove unwanted software that are installed in your system using the Add/Remove Programs panel.

Hopefully, these steps should make Word much faster. If you don’t notice anything different, leave us a comment below.

Can i delete the vc_red files from my Personal computer?

Last update: September 2018

Applicable to: Windows 10, 7, Vista

Here’s a question from one of our readers:

I just found a program named VC_RED in of the folders of my computer C: drive . Do you guys know what is that file? Is it by chance a virus? Any help is highly appreciated.

Thanks for the question. See our answer below:

What are VC_RED files?

VC_RED.MSI (installer) and VC_RED.CAB (cabinet) files are part of the re-distributable package of Visual C++ 2008 that you have installed in your computer.


Most probably, the Visual C++ package was installed on your computer as part of the installation process of other software, that needed VC++ in order to run. The VC_RED files by themselves do not pose a known security threat to your computer security.

Can i remove VC_RED?

Technically, it’s possible to delete the VC_RED files, as well as vcredist, the EULA files and any other files in the unzipped Visual C++ distribution directory. That said, given the fact that their footprint (from disk space perspective) is relatively low, i don’t recommend to start messing with the files.

Hope it helps!

How to Open PPTX files if you don’t have PowerPoint?

Even though it is the standard package for creating and exchanging presentations, Microsoft Power Point , which is part of the  Office productivity suite, is often inaccessible to many. In this post, I am going to explain 5 simple ways by which you can open a PPTX (Power Point 2007+) file without using Power Point.


1. Get the Power Point Viewer:

Microsoft regularly releases the PowerPoint viewer for Windows users who do not use MS Office. Needless to say, the viewer is free and you can use it to open both PPT and PPTX files in it although you won't be allowed to edit them.

Download MS Power Point Viewer 2010 (Works on Win XP SP3 and above)


Use the Web App(s):

2. Google Docs


Google Docs – The flagship Productivity Web Application from Google can handle both PPT and PPTX files. It’s free and also supports the newer format. Sounds great, right?

3. MS Office Web Apps



Microsoft, in an effort to compete against Google Docs now has a Free Web Application for Word, Excel, Power Point and One Note. The Web App is a stripped down version of the desktop version. But given the ‘Free’ tag we don’t have much to complain.

The PowerPoint Web App allows you create/edit and view Power Point files on the web for free.

Links: Google Docs | MS Office Web Apps


4. Open Office:

Open Office – The Free desktop productivity suite can view PPTX/PPT files. You can also edit Power Point files with Open Office, although the rendering of MS-Office files is sometimes inaccurate.

Download Open Office

5. Zoho Viewer:


Zoho Viewer helps you view your PPT/PPTX files with ease. It also supports a plethora of other Office formats and Open Office formats. In addition to viewing you can also edit the files with Zoho.

Link: Zoho Viewer

The applications mentioned above should suffice most users. If you are looking to edit the files and need more advanced functions you might have to purchase MS Office 2010.

P.S. Most of the tips given above also apply for viewing Word documents and Excel Spread Sheets.