How to Fix the “Please Wait While Windows Configures Microsoft Office” Message

Stuck with an error message that says Windows is configuring Microsoft Office? Here’s the resolve.



The Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office message can be a real drag, but fortunately, there are fixes available.


The most frustrating part of this particular issue is that it’s difficult to diagnose exactly what the problem is. However, one of these techniques should get you the answers that you’re looking for.

Follow each process in the order that they’re listed here, and you’ll be closer to getting Microsoft Office back in action, so you can get on with the project at hand.


1. Repair Microsoft Office

If it seems that your installation of Microsoft Office has been corrupted or otherwise damaged, your first port of call should be the repair function. The process will check for common issues and could potentially resolve the problem automatically, so it’s a great starting point. Follow these steps to repair Microsoft Office:

  1. Open Control Panel and click Uninstall a program.
  2. Right-click Microsoft Office 365 > Change.
  3. Select Quick Repair, then click Repair to start the process. You can go through the steps once again and select Online Repair.


READ MORE  How to uninstall Microsoft 365, Office 2021, 2019 on Windows 10

Microsoft Office in Task Manager

If the process doesn’t work, you can move onto some of the more in-depth fixes below.

Related: How to Get a Microsoft Office License for Free

2. Activate the Windows Search Service

One common cause of the stuck configuration dialog is a situation where the 32-bit version of Microsoft Office is installed to a 64-bit version of Windows. If this is the case, the message presented to the user will reference 64-bit components.

Happily, the resolve for this problem is relatively straightforward, and activating the Windows Search Service usually fixes it. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open a Run dialog.
  2. Type services.msc, then press Enter.
  3. Locate and open Windows Search.
  4. Set Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  5. Under Service Status, select Start.
  6. Click Apply > OK to save the changes.
  7. Restart your system for the changes to take effect.


Windows Search Service settings

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3. Start Office in Safe Mode

Sometimes the configuration message can hang as a result of third-party add-ins. By starting Microsoft Office in safe mode and going around these additional components, you can determine whether or not this is the case.

To activate safe mode, search for your desired Office program using the search bar, then hold Ctrl as you click on it. The following message will appear.

Click Yes and see whether the program opens as normal. If it does, you can disable the add-ins you have installed individually to determine which one is causing problems.

How to Disable Add-ins

  1. Open the File menu and select Options.
  2. From the left pane menu, click Add-ins.
  3. Set Manage to COM Add-ins and click the Go…button beside it.
  4. Remove all your add-ins and restart the program.
  5. Re-enable your add-ins one by one to figure out which one was causing the issue.


Add-ins menu in Microsoft Word

Related: Free PowerPoint Add-Ins to Make Your Presentations More Interactive

4. Fix Office With a Run Command

We can use the Run dialog to input commands that tweak the way that Windows programs are initialized. By doing so, we can work around whatever is causing the program to hang on the configuration message. Here is how you can do it:

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  1. In the Start menu search bar, search for run and select the Best Match. Alternatively, you can use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Copy this string into the field: reg add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftOffice14.0WordOptions /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1.
  3. Press Enter.

If this solution doesn’t work, we might use a switch to diagnose the problem.

How to Use Switches

Here are some switches that you can enter into a Run dialog to detect problems with Microsoft Office:


  • winword /r — Resets Word’s registry values to their defaults.
  • winword /m — Prevents Word from loading macros.
  • winword /a — Prevents Word from loading its add-ins.

Note: If you are not using Word, you can replace winword with excel for Excel and powerpnt for Powerpoint. Also, you can write out the location of each program’s.exe file on the drive.

You Can Fix Microsoft Office

As you might know from experience, you will get an error message exactly when you can’t afford any delays in your work. Hopefully, our tutorial will help you eliminate this Microsoft Office error and resume working on your projects as quickly as possible.

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