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I am getting an Initialisation error - 42 when I start Word

When you start MS Word you see this message:

This error sometimes happens when Word has crashed, or after a Windows update; it may also be caused by application syncing in Office 2013.  If you have ideas, or notice any patterns on your system, please don't hesitate to let us know at

Some people never seem to get this error while others do - if you do received it, we suggest you add a shortcut to the WINWORD.EXE folder in your Explorer favorites.

You should just need to do this once.



1. Exit MS Word

2. Check the Task Manager to make sure there are no WINWORD.EXE processes running - if you can see them, end the process.  To open the Task Manager, Right Click on your Task Bar at the bottom of your screen - in a clear space (not on an application icon).

3. Open a File Explorer window.

4. Navigate to the directory where your WINWORD.EXE file is stored.  This is the MS Word application file.  The location will vary depending on the version of Windows you are running and the version of office.  For example:

  • Windows 8/Office 2013 (32-bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • Windows 7/Office 2010 (32-bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • Windows 7/Office 2007: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12

Once you find it - drag the folder to your Favorites to make it easy to find it again if required.

5. You can search WINWORD.EXE - and your search will return a few WINWORD.EXE options, however choose the option that is located in a folder as described above.

6. Right-click on the WINWORD.EXE file icon, and select Run as Administrator

7. MS Word will start and you shouldn't see this message again.

NOTE If you have multiple versions of MS Word running on your PC, you will need to repeat step 6 for each version of WINWORD.EXE installed on your PC.

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