Solution: Word Cannot Open this Document Template

There may be times when you start Microsoft Word you encounter the error: “Word cannot open this document template template name. I have encountered other Word errors in the past, and while this error may not happen all too often, but when it does a similar problem can also produce other error messages when Word is started. The issue has to do with the compatibility of an add-in with Microsoft Word, and the steps below outline how to solve the problem.

Solution: Word Cannot Open this Document Template

Word Cannot Open this Document Template During Word Startup

As I mentioned above, the error is caused because an add-in is not compatible with Microsoft Word. To help find the troublesome add-in use the following steps:

Temporary Remove the Microsoft Word Add-ins

  1. Close all Microsoft Office applications that are currently running.
  2. Open the “Startup” folder for your version of Microsoft Office. The table below shows the location of the folder.
  3. Office Version Startup Folder Location
    2010 Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Startup
    2007 Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Startup
    2003 Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Startup
    2002 Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Startup
    2000 Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup
  4. Move all files that are in the “Startup” directory to another location on your hard drive.
  5. Next, open the following folder: “Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup” – replacing username with the name of your log in name.
  6. Move all files that are located in the above directory to another location on your hard drive.
  7. Restart Word to see if the “Word Cannot Open this Document Template” error disappears. If it does, continue to the next section.

Find the Add-in That Causes the “Word Cannot Open this Document Template” Error

Once the add-ins have been removed, and the “Word Cannot Open this Document Template” error has disappeared, it is time to find the add-in that is causing the problem. Use the following steps to find the problem add-in

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  1. Close Microsoft Word.
  2. Begin to copy one file that you moved from one of the two “Startup” directories back to the proper “Startup” directory and restart Microsoft Word.
  3. After copying one file and restarting Word, if the “Word Cannot Open this Document Template” reappears, then you found the problem add-in.

The above steps should help you to solve the problem of the error message “Word cannot open this document template template name” being displayed when Word is started.


About Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is the founder of Technically Easy. He is a an experienced PC user, and enjoys solving computer-related problems that he encounters on a regular basis.

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  1. Posted March 5, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! It was a real headache for me!

  2. Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I thought these problems had been more or less done away with by now? Anyway, the simplest solution is usually to pull a file converter off of the web, only takes half a minute.

  3. Posted November 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    There is one plugin that I have not been able to uninstall. Is there any manual way to remove the plugin in Microsoft Word?

    • Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      The steps outline above doesn’t work for a specific add-in? Which add-in are you having trouble uninstalling?

      • Posted November 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I have finally got it through from CCleaner uninstall app. It was the add-in that creates tabs instead of windows in Microsoft Office. Actually I had installed the trial version and after expiration a pop up about purchasing the add-in was coming whenever I started Microsoft Word. Thanks a lot for giving a helping hand.

  4. Olawale Daniel
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the challenges I have been experiencing for some while ago before I got it solved. Thanks for retreating it again. :)

  5. Jake Black
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    This is a very nice tips! Thanks a lot for sharing this, mate!

  6. Chris
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Great fix. The problem i often encounter is incompatibility between PCs. Happened to me the other day, took a .docx on a stick to my brother and even though we both had Word 2010 installed, the file opened with some cryptic writings instead of normal letters.
    Any solution for this?

  7. JohnC
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I do experienced this also, I thought my documents is not just compatible with the previous version of Word. Thanks for sharing the solution! I’ll try this one out.

  8. Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    That’s true. I also got such trouble often. Thanks for the helpful guide.

  9. Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Such problems are occasional but are very frustrating, thanks for sharing useful solution.

  10. Posted October 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Hm.. Thanks a lot for sharing this. It’s a common problem for some people, including me I think. And it’s really annoying since I don’t really know how to handle it well.

  11. Scott
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Thank you SO much! I have seen this problem several times! Very detailed. Thanks

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