How To Fix Word Template in Office 2010

Dear Computer Lady,

Somehow I’ve lost my normal template for Microsoft Word 2010. I’m stymied after reading as much as I can on Word’s help files. None have told me how to find where the up-to-date version is. I can see the old normal file when I try to open a new document, but the ‘insufficient memory’ error message pops up leaving me locked in an unproductive document that I can’t save.

I bet you have already written a column on this and am wondering if you would direct me toward it?

Thank you, Dotty

Dear Dotty,

I have written a few articles about the normal template in Microsoft Word, but none that directly address your situation.

The good news for you, is that Word will automatically create a new normal.dotm template if it doesn’t find one when it opens. That means that all you have to do is find the current (probably corrupted) normal.dotm template and delete it. Then when you open Word again, it will create a new one.

What is the Normal.dotm word template? It is the template that Word uses for a new document every time you start the program. The powerful thing about this document is that you can customize the template so that Word opens a new document with the formatting that you want. Occasionally though, someone will accidentally save a current document as the normal.dotm template and then every time they open a new Word document their old document will appear.

Very rarely, the normal.dotm file will become corrupted, which it appears is what is happening with your file.

The only hard part here, is finding the template.

Make sure Word is closed before you begin.

Click on “start” and then type the following in the search box: %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates

A folder named, “Templates” will appear in the top of your start menu. Click on it to open it.

In the folder, find the template named, Normal.

Right-click on “Normal” and delete it.

Now, when you open Word, it will create a new template that will hopefully work much better than the old one.


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • mansi
    • December 17, 2012

    Make sure to close the all Word documents before deleting file otherwise you won’t be able to delete the file.

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