Last updated: October 2019
Applicable for: Office 365 subscriptions; Word 2019, 2016, 2013 and 2010. This tutorial is useful for Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint software running on Windows 7, 8 and 10 operating systems.
Here’s a question we got from a reader:
Lately, i am noticing some slow down in my Microsoft Word 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 deteriorate and significantly slow down if bloated with add-on software or running on dated or inadequate hardware.
In this article, you’ll find some quick DIY tips to clean up your Microsoft Word install which based on feedback of many of our readers, will result in faster performance. There are cases in which a hardware upgrade might be needed, but there is a lot you can do in the software configuration side, before considering buying new hardware.
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:
Similar to the previous tip, however, instead of un-checking the COM Add-Ins entries to disable proceed as following:
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.
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:
Note: you’ll need to check your spelling and Grammar manually (Review tab>> Spelling and Grammar).
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:
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.
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.
Hopefully, these steps should make Word much faster. If you don’t notice anything different, leave us a comment below.