MS Word

Troubleshoot Word's Refusal to Print

The Problem:

I'm royally stuck. Word 2003 won't print anything at all. I know the printer is fine, because I can print from Excel, the Photo Printing Wizard, Notepad, and every other application I've tried.

The Solution:

Take a deep breath, and then try Plan A:

  1. Quit Word, restart it, and try printing again.

  2. If that didn't help, shut down your PC, restart it, open Word, and try printing again.

Still no good? Never mind. It's just as well to start with the easy solutions in case they work, but you can fall back on Plan B:

  1. Create a new document, type a few characters, and try printing it. If it prints, your problem is most likely confined to the template on which the offending documents are based. Create a new template, attach the documents to it, and see if they'll print. If not, continue with the next step.

  2. Quit Word, rename to a harmless name such as, and then restart Word. Word automatically creates a new See if you can print now.

  3. No? The printer driver may have become corrupted, and Word has revealed the problem first because it works the printer driver harder than your other applications do. Quit Word again, choose Start » Printers and Faxes, right-click the printer, choose Delete, and click the Yes button in the confirmation dialog box. Click the "Add a printer" link in the Printer Tasks list, and reinstall the printer.

  4. Still no good? Bad news: You will need to get rid of customizations you've made, which means you'll need to make them again if you want to restore them. Close Word, choose Start » Run, type regedit, and press Enter to launch the Registry Editor. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\ subkey, right-click the Data subkey under it, choose Delete, and confirm the deletion. Choose File » Exit to close the Registry Editor, and then restart Word. Word will automatically re-create the Data subkey, which should resolve the printing problem.

If you can print from neither Word nor other applications, the problem most likely lies with the printer driver. See Step 3 in the solution for the fix.