Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Word Won't Maximize.

Word Won't Maximize

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2020)

4

Herm wrote about a problem he was having with Word. It seems that whenever he starts the program, it only appears as a button on the taskbar. Clicking on the taskbar button doesn't maximize Word, and the only way he can get the full display is to right-click on the taskbar button and select Maximize.

There are several possible causes for this problem. When you right-click on the taskbar button, take a look at the choices displayed. If the choices include Maximize and Minimize, but not restore, then Windows already has the Word window open, it is just open "off screen." The easiest way to correct this situation is to open another program in addition to Word, and then right-click on the taskbar. (Not on any taskbar buttons, but on the taskbar itself.) From the resulting choices, choose Cascade or Cascade Windows. This causes Windows to bring both program windows (Word and the other program you have open) back into the visible screen area. Close Word right away and reopen it, and things should be back to normal.

Another possible cause is that Word is configured to always start minimized. This is normally done by modifying the shortcut used to start the program. Right-click on the shortcut used to start Word, then choose Properties. On the Shortcut tab of the Properties dialog box, choose Maximized in the Run box. Now, the next time you start Word using this particular shortcut, it should be maximized on the screen.

If this still doesn't solve the problem, it is possible that the Registry key used by Word to store your configuration settings has somehow become unstable or corrupted. Fortunately, you can delete this data key and Word will rebuild it automatically the next time you start the program. Follow these steps:

  1. Exit Word.
  2. Start your favorite Registry editor.
  3. Locate the following data key. (This data key, as shown below, is for Word 2016 and later versions. If you are using a different version of Word, the 16 portion of the key will be different.)
  4.      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word\Data
    
  5. Rename the entire key to something else, or simply delete it.
  6. Close the Registry editor.
  7. Restart Word.

Remember that any time you make changes in the Registry you run the risk of really messing up your machine. Don't delete or change anything else in the Registry except what is detailed above. If desired, you may want to back up the Registry before making any changes. (You can find out how to do Registry backups in any decent Windows tutorial book.)

Another caveat is that by renaming or removing the data key (and thereby forcing Word to start over from scratch) you lose many of your other customizations. Thus, you may want to have in mind exactly what those customizations are so that you can redo them after restarting Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8438) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Word Won't Maximize.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is three less than 3?

2021-01-12 19:39:57

Bob Boysen

Hi, Allen - I've been a subscriber for a long tie but have never requested help, I have Office 2019 and would like to be able to get Word on my taskbar but haven't been able to do so. Can you suggest a way to do so, please?

Thank you,

Bob Boysen


2020-11-16 15:11:41

Caran

I regularly export my QAT customizations (File -> Options -> Quick Access Toolbar, Import/Export button on lower right).

I also keep a list of the annoying things I have to fix with fresh installations of Word: turn off the paste toolbar popup, create a Ctrl+F shortcut for the find/replace box, always show fields, style area pane width to 1.5 inches, and loads others. The list lets me get all these sorts of settings done quickly and before I go crazy when I'm in the middle of something and Word isn't behaving like I expect it to.

If there is an easier way to save these sorts of customizations, I'd *love* to know it!


2020-11-16 09:53:13

Malcolm

This begs the question: What is the simplest way to determine what customization has been done? Over time, it's unlikely that a user will remember all of them. It would also be handy to be able to keep a record.


2020-11-15 04:22:14

Alex B

In the first scenario, where it is off the screen. I have had some success with hitting the <windows> + <Left or Right arrow key>.
Depending on where it was on the other (non-not connected) monitor you may have to hit it up to 3 times.
eg if it was snapped on to the left side of the not connected monitor and you choose the right arrow. The 1st time moves it to the middle of the hidden screen, the 2nd time moves it to the right of the hidden screen and the 3rd time brings it on to the active primary screen making it visible.
(if you had gone left it would have only taken one press but since its hidden you can't predict that - if it was not snapped to the left or right but either minimized or maximized doing it twice should be enough bring it back on to the primary / active monitor)


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