Microsoft Office 2003/XP (Win) - How to Recover a Program that is "Not Responding"

This document explains how to troubleshoot Office XP and 2003 if their applications are listed in the Windows Task Manager as "not responding."


When opening a Microsoft Office file or working in one of the Office XP or 2003 applications (Word, Outlook, etc), the program may freeze or you may get a message that it's "Not Responding".


Use the Microsoft Office Application Recovery tool to try and recover your information. For this example, we'll use Microsoft Word.

  1. When the application appears to freeze up, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to see if it's listed as "Not responding". If so, click Cancel.

    Don't click End Task, click Cancel

  2. Then, start the Application Recovery tool by clicking Start-->Programs-->Microsoft Office Tools-->Microsoft Office Application Recovery.

  3. The Application Recovery tool will list the running Office programs. Select the one which is "Not Responding" and click Recover Application.

    Click Recover Application

  4. Microsoft will then apologize for the problem and give you the option of sending an error report over the Internet. We'll click Don't Send.

    Click Don't Send.  If you want to send the Error Report to Microsoft, it will give you the option to view the information which will be transmitted.  It will include information about the operating system, computer hardware, Digital Product ID, and IP address.  It may also include data from your open files.  You must be connected to the internet for the transfer to take place.

  5. A window showing the status of the document recovery will appear.

    Progress bar...almost...there....

  6. Then, the program will open and on the left side, the "Document Recovery" panel will list the different versions of the document that are available to you. Clicking on the name will cause that version to appear in the right hand pane. Click on each version and compare them, looking for recent changes and/or missing information.

    Compare the versions that are listed.  The one labeled Recovered/Repaired will probably have the information you're looking for.

  7. When you've decided which version has the information you want to keep, move your mouse over its listing and an arrowed button will appear to the right. Click that button and a small menu will drop down. Click Save As....

    Click Save As, or click Show Repairs to see a list of the changes made during the recovery process.

  8. Then, save the document under a different name, for example "Thesis April 13.doc". That way, you can still go back and look at the previous versions if you need to.

    Save the document under a different name, perhaps by adding a date or numeral after the name.

  9. Then exit out of the Office application completely and try opening the file which you saved under the newly created name, for example, "Thesis April 13.doc".

See Also:

Keywords:microsoft office application recovery xp 2002 2003 word excel powerpoint outlook not responding freeze hang windows   Doc ID:1040
Owner:Leah S.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2001-06-18 18:00 CSTUpdated:2017-12-11 16:45 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
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