Word collapses spontaneously

Copper Contributor

I am using Win 10 on a Dell PC. 

The latest Win 10 updates have been installed.

I am using Word 2000 from Microsoft Office Suite Professional SR-1.

1) For at least a year, it seems, Word documents have been collapsing spontaneously while I am  adding text to them. A document accepts text normally, and then the doc disappears. Word does not shut down completely, and I can reopen it from the desktop. But I cannot reopen that same document. If I go to the Documents directory and try to reopen it from there, I am advised that the doc is locked because it is in use by another user. I am further advised that I may view the document, but I may not make any changes to it. I have found that I must use Task Manager while my desktop is active, find the Word APP there, and force it to close. After that, I can reopen Word normally and have access to that document for further editing.

2) Within the last month, a new quirk has emerged: When I want to print a Word document, I have to choose the Print option on the ribbon menu. If I try to adjust  the print preferences, the same collapse of Word occurs. Again, I have to force it to close with Task Manager, and after that I can reopen Word and the Word document.

I am not experiencing any of these problems when I use Excel from that same Office Suite 2000.

I asked for help from Microsoft yesterday. In spite of the fact that my version of Office Suite is woefully out of date and no longer supported, a technician attempted to fix it on the chance that it might be a Win 10 issue rather than a Word issue. Alas, the misbehavior persists, and so I was referred by a different technician, today, to ask you all for help.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon, and does anyone know how to fix it?

Scouterbill <email address removed for privacy reasons>

4 Replies



After Word has crashed, you may have to restart your computer and then delete any remaining files whose names start with ~$ (these are a specific type of temporary files known as "owner" files). See if you can open the original *.doc file again.


The fact that Word 2000 is an old product by now may of course be part of the issue. It isn't officially supported on recent versions of Windows.


For more on temporary files created by Word, see the overview in the support article at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/description-of-how-word-creates-temporary-files-66b112fb-d....


Thank you for your suggestions. I did a search to locate those "~$" files, and I found several. I opened the first Word file and deleted it. Then I did a search for it without the "~$" prefix, and it was gone. So, now I know that there may only be one version of a doc saved. I am mainly looking for a way to stop the collapses; I don't really have a problem reopening the docs after forcing Word to close (except that my auto-save doesn't seem to be helping me). I didn't mention before that I have another PC here, running Win 10. I've installed that Word APP on it, and I'm going to see whether the problem shows up on that one as well. If anything else comes to mind, please post another message anytime.

Thank you again, ScouterBill



Normally, the ~$ files shouldn't replace the original documents. 


You said that the document disappears, leaving only the ~$ file. When this happens, is there an error message of some type? 


Also, where are you typically saving documents? On your computer's drive? Or to a network location?

Hmm...I'm saving my Word docs to "Documents" on my C/ drive. I performed a search to see how many ~$ files there were, and I found about ten. Of those, only two were .doc files. I deleted one of them that was no longer important. After that, I searched for the the non-"~$" version of that file, and found none.
In a parallel test operation, I installed my Office 2000 version of Word on my other PC and typed up a new Word document. Part way through that operation, Word collapsed again. So, I conclude that there really is a conflict between the latest version of Win 10 and that version of Word. I will look for a newer version of Word, and in the meanwhile I will keep in mind where I might find documents that disappear when Word 2000 crashes.
Thank you for your help in working through this curiosity.