[SOLVED] Word Documents Not Previewing in Explorer Preview Pane


The Preview Pane in Windows Explorer is either not displaying the contents for word documents or is crashing when it tries.


The following steps can be used restore Explorers ability to preview word documents.


  1. Close any open word documents
  2. On the keyboard, press the Windows (Flag) button and ‘R’
  3. Enter
  4. winword /a
  5. Press ‘OK’
  6. Word will open – restart the computer and the previews should work again

Related Articles

8 comments on “[SOLVED] Word Documents Not Previewing in Explorer Preview Pane

  1. Here’s what oddly enough worked for me, after a metric ton of aggravation:
    In a Word doc, click on File. Then Open. Then right-click the file you want to preview.

    1. Excellent! The right click on the file worked and made all other word files preview-able the normal way afterwards. Thank!

    2. i would love to hear how you got it to work – evidently i’m not understanding something, because if i open a word doc, click file, open – it changes nothing in the file explorer when i right click, i get the new menu of options, none of which are preview, only open – so the file opens. if i stay within the word doc itself, well, that doesn’t help because the file i want to preview isn’t there, it’s in the folder i have selected on file explorer – so i’m obviously missing something and would appreciate a clarification because this issue has been driving me nuts for years. just love how microsoft manages to break everything that didn’t need fixing. thanks for any help you can provide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *