Word 2019 spontaneously corrupts all other open Word files

Copper Contributor

So, recently, my Word 2019 software has been exhibiting a serious problem:  when I have files open, and am typing in one of them, all of a sudden this entire file will go corrupt.  That is: all the text is diminished, and scattered everywhere in tiny little pages.  All of the control icons are obscured, and broken.  The whole document is an unusable mess.  More importantly: any other Word doc open at the time is similarly corrupted.


I close these files without saving...no way to save them, anyhow...and go into MS Office repair protocol.  I do a quick repair; no problems are shown.  I do a full repair; all of the Office programs are downloaded over the internet, and replaced.  I supply my software key, and all works well.  For a day or two.  Then, it all happens again, randomly.  I have gone through this repair cycle numerous times, with no final improvement.  I check each individual doc, and none are corrupt, or have any diagnosable problem.  


I see no discussion of this type of problem; has anyone seen anything like it?  A fresh install of Office should eradicate any corrupt software...but doesn't.  A full computer scan hasn't yet shown any lurking malware.


Thoughts?  Suggestions?

40 Replies

Hello @kbird1950 ,


Huh, I thought I was the only one. I had the same, too, about a month ago. I had Office reinstalled, didn't help.

I had BIOS and drivers updated, helped a bit, though it did occur once since, it was only that one time.


I started experiencing, however, a different and a much annoying thing two weeks after that: after importing styles the synch to OneDrive stops working and I cannot save files. Had Office and OneDrive reinstalled twice already, no help.


I wonder if these are connected somehow. 



Based on your description, this appears to be an issue with the user interface rather than with the files themselves, that is, there is no permanent damage to the files. 


Assuming that you are running 64 bit Windows, ensure that you have also installed 64 bit Office. There have been multiple reports of a "broken" user interface in 32 bit Office running under 64 bit Windows. To change the "bit-ness" of Office, you have to uninstall and reinstall.

@Lenka_Kerumova   Thanks, Lenka...it does seem like we have a similar problem.  Hoping that someone out there has a cure for us :)

Thanks, Stefan...I appreciate the thought; but, both my Windows and Office are 64-bit versions.

And: they all ran perfectly together for at least 2 years. I'm guessing...only guessing...that I have acquired some kind of malware that none of my security software recognizes.



Try updating the video driver for your system. Go to the PC manufacturer's web site.

Thanks for the suggestion, Stefan...but: has this been tried before? If so, did it bring about a solution? Knowing that no other programs on my computer were affected with this corruption issue, is there something special about MS Office which would require this update?

I doubt it could hurt...but, just curious if this is speculation, or if updating has previously worked to fix a similar issue with MS Office.



Yes, for display issues, updating the video driver is recommended, even if the symptoms are not present in all applications. Of course, there are no guarantees that it will work in this particular situation. 

Thanks, Stephan...a thorough check shows that my video driver, and all other drivers, are current and up-to-date. I do use "automatic update", so everything is current for my entire PC.

@kbird1950   And so, Stefan, after all of the updates, and malware scans, and re-installs, etc., the nasty problem just occurred again.  I finally remembered to take a screen-shot of the mess it leaves...must have been too upset the previous times to remember to do so.  Here it is [attached]; it was a beautiful document, just a few seconds before.


Anyone else that has any thoughts on this, please jump in...Thanks!




Hi @kbird1950 

like I wrote - the BIOS update helped me. Even though I had one occurence after that, it was that single time, and I haven't experienced the issue anymore.

Thanks, Lenka...so, I've just updated everything; I now have the most current drivers, BIOS, everything. I've scanned for malware...nothing. I have a fresh install of MS Office. So, we'll see if your theory is correct :)

I have to think, however, if your BIOS update was the cure, then it couldn't have happened again afterwards...even 1 time. But, some things are stranger than reality...especially with Office!

@kbird1950  - Preaching to the choir!

I am dumbfounded to learn what print drivers, or other (seemingly) unrelated things can do to the way Word is functioning. 


What helped greatly, though, was that after the BIOS and other update, the cooling fan got really quiet, so I have a hunch that there were some services that were taking a lot of CPU and memory power (hence having the cooling fan spin like crazy), so whatever the update did, it helped the other behind-the-screen services to run more smoothly, with less CPU and smaller memory demands, which allowed for the video to render the screen smoothly afterwards. I think that one time was a glitch for some other update to follow after the restart.
I know this is frustrating, truly, so have a look also at what's running in the background, too, if there isn't something drawing too much power. 

Good stuff!

My all-in-one desktop computer doesn't have a cooling fan. But, I have been checking CPU and memory usage all along, and have found nothing out of the ordinary.

Hoping that all will be well going forward! But, we really shouldn't have to hope for that, should we? MS should be much more proactive in prevent catastrophic failures like this...
Just happened again; this time, I had 3 Word docs open, and they all went haywire simultaneously, same problem as before. See my previous attachment for a visual idea of the carnage...

So, what we've tried so far hasn't made any difference. I rebooted my computer twice this week, have all of the latest updates, etc. MS Office 2019 has been replaced via download twice since the first of the year, as part of the "repair" process. I scanned my whole computer yesterday, and got a clean bill of health. So: everything is as fresh as I can get it.

Fresh ideas, anyone?


Have you tried a new battery or power adapter?

A few years back a very similar thing happened to me and I resisted the idea of the battery replacement...until I replaced the battery and then the corruption of files ceased.

At the time, I was told that too low power can cause all sorts of odditiies.

Good luck!

Thanks, Angie, for the suggestion. But, this is a desktop computer, so is always plugged in. There is no rechargeable battery, like a laptop would have. I know that some desktop computers have, or used to have, a small battery inside, but this one does not.

And, running the computer diagnostics shows that all systems are good.

I find it telling that only Word files are having this corruption problem...and then, only when open. I did have an Excel file open the other day, briefly, with no problem...but that wasn't really a fair test. It has not occurred for any .pdf files, or for any other thing or program on my computer. So, I don't know for sure if this corruption problem would affect all open Office files when it happens, or just Word docs. But, it does seem isolated to MS Office.

But: if only Word, that's still bad enough! As of now, I'm saving, saving, saving...every minute or so, sometimes. Any other thoughts out there?
If you are using a 32-bit installation of Office on a 64-bit version of Windows, changing to the 64-bit version of Office should overcome that issue.

Hi @kbird1950 ,


I think you still can raise a ticket with Microsoft. Search for MS support in your country, write them an email/call them, have them have a look at it.

This is beyond an on-line chat group, and needs fixing.

If you do that, please do come back and tell us what they did and how they'd fixed it.

Fingers crossed. L.


I think you may have the solution here!


When I checked, I was more than surprised to find a 32-bit version of Office on my computer.


Since I bought and installed the 64-bit version of Office 2019 about four years ago for my 64-bit computer, it has worked great.  When I had a few glitches in some docs late last Fall, I ran the online repair function; I was surprised to see that the proposed fix was for MS to download a fresh copy of Office.  But, at no cost, and all up-to-date, I thought it would be good.  Carry on...


It seems that the download then...for which I had no choices available...was a 32-bit version.  After that, all of these massive doc corruption issues started, and grew.  When I used the repair tool a couple more times, a couple more 32-bit versions were automatically installed.  Not imagining MS would replace 64-bit with 32-bit, I never checked.


Until last night...thanks to Doug.  There it was: 32-bit.


So, when I ran the automatic repair download again last night, the same thing happened.  I ran it again, still 32-bit.  So, I was up half the night trying to download a 64-bit version of Office 2019.  I finally got it to happen, but it wasn't easy...probably because MS wants us all to install Office 365 instead.


Anyhow: I now have my 64-bit Office Suite back.  We'll see how it goes, but my feeling is that the spontaneous corruption problem will now be a thing of the past.  I'll try it for a while, and will report back.


Now what needs to be repaired, it seems, is the Office repair tool itself!