Office 2013 Crashing on Startup

I came across an offer from Microsoft where they are selling Office 365 as a subscription rather than having to buy the software outright.  Having used Adobe products as a subscription, I thought this was a fantastic idea.  I can upgrade my software and keep it up to date for a fairly low monthly fee.

I installed it on two computers.  One, a brand new Windows 8 computer.  It seems to work fine.  Admittedly, there isn’t much on that computer to interfere, but I also haven’t done much to really test it out to its fullest.  I only know that everything opened and stayed open when I tried it.

The Problem

Now on to my Windows 7 machine.  This machine is about 4 years old with a ton of files and programs clogging up the works a bit.  The first thing I noticed is Outlook 2013 would crash as soon as I tried opening my old pst file.  The good news is I could open it in safe mode and it seemed to work fine.  (Open your start menu then type “Outlook /safe” into the search bar without the quotes.  Yes there is a space in between Outlook and /safe.)

How to Fix It

Once opened in safe mode, click File then Options.  Click the Add Ins tab.  On the bottom drop down where it says Manage, select COM Add Ins then click “Go.”  From here, you can disable your add ins.  I disabled all of mine, so I can’t tell you which was causing the problem.  Outlook 2013 now opens in normal mode without a problem.

I ran into the same problem with Word 2013.  First thing it did when I tried to open a document was crash.  This time I got a message saying it was having trouble with the ABBYY FineReader add in and asked if I wanted to disable it.  I said yes, but Word still kept crashing when I tried to open a file.

Once again, using the same method as above, I opened it in safe mode.  (winword /safe)

There were only two add ins.  This time it wouldn’t let me disable ABBYY FineReader add in saying only an administrator can make changes.  I am the administrator!  I tried opening Word as admin the normal way, but it still crashed and I couldn’t disable the add on.

As a last ditch effort, I simply uninstalled ABBYY FineReader.  I don’t use it, so I probably won’t miss it.  If ever I need to convert a PDF to text, I will have to find something else to do it with.

There you have it.  Disabling add ins using safe mode on your Office 2013 apps seems to fix the problem of it crashing on startup.  I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that I had to jump through these hoops to get my new software running.  I’m hoping Microsoft can find and fix the problem so others don’t have to do the same.

Best of luck to you!