How to Reset Microsoft Word to Default Settings on Mac: A Guide

Have you ever found yourself in a pickle with Microsoft Word on your Mac? Maybe you’ve customized the settings so much that you want to start fresh, or perhaps something has gone wonky, and you need to reset to default. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have Word back to its default settings in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Resetting Microsoft Word to Default Settings on Mac

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what resetting to default means. This process will restore Microsoft Word’s settings to what they were when you first installed the app. It can be handy if you’re troubleshooting issues or if you want to get rid of customizations that no longer serve you.

Step 1: Close Microsoft Word

Make sure Microsoft Word is not running on your Mac. It’s important to close the app before making any changes to its settings.

Closing Microsoft Word ensures that the changes we make to the settings are applied correctly. If the app is running, it might not recognize the adjustments, and you could end up having to repeat the process.

Step 2: Open the Library Folder

Use Finder to navigate to the Library folder on your Mac. You can find it by holding down the Option key and clicking on the Go menu at the top of the screen.

The Library folder is where your Mac stores a lot of the settings and preferences for the apps you use. We’ll be looking for the Microsoft Word settings file here.

Step 3: Locate the Preferences Folder

Within the Library folder, find the Preferences folder and open it. This is where you’ll find the file that stores all of Microsoft Word’s settings.

The Preferences folder can be a little overwhelming because it contains settings for many apps. But don’t worry. We’re looking for a file that starts with “,” which makes it easier to spot.

Step 4: Delete the Word Preference File

Look for a file named something like “” and move it to the Trash. This is the file that contains all of the custom settings you’ve made in Word.

By deleting this file, you’re effectively wiping the slate clean. The next time you open Microsoft Word, it will create a new settings file with the default options.

Step 5: Empty the Trash and Restart Word

Empty the Trash to permanently delete the preference file, and then open Microsoft Word. It will now be reset to its default settings.

Emptying the Trash is an important step because it ensures that the settings file is completely removed from your Mac. When you restart Word, it will be as if you’re opening it for the first time.

After completing these steps, you’ll find that Microsoft Word on your Mac has returned to its default settings. This can be a breath of fresh air if you’ve been dealing with troublesome customizations or if you just want to start over with a clean slate.

Tips for Resetting Microsoft Word to Default Settings on Mac

  • Before resetting Word to default, consider making a note of any customizations you want to remember. You’ll have to redo them after the reset.
  • If you have custom templates or styles, make sure to back them up before resetting Word, as these might be affected by the reset process.
  • If you’re troubleshooting a specific issue with Word, try resetting just the affected feature to default first, before resetting the entire app.
  • Keep in mind that resetting Word to default will also reset any custom dictionary or spelling preferences you’ve set up.
  • After resetting Word to default, take the time to customize it again to suit your needs—it can help improve your productivity in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will resetting Word delete my documents?

No, resetting Word to its default settings won’t delete any of your documents. It only affects the app’s settings and preferences.

Can I undo a reset if I change my mind?

Once you’ve deleted the preference file and emptied the Trash, the reset cannot be undone. However, you can customize your settings again at any time.

Does resetting Word affect other Microsoft Office apps?

Resetting Word’s settings won’t directly affect other Microsoft Office apps. Each app has its own preference file.

What happens to my custom templates after a reset?

Your custom templates might be removed during a reset. It’s a good idea to back them up before starting the process.

Can I reset Word to default settings without deleting the preference file?

No, the only way to fully reset Word to its default settings is by deleting the preference file.


  1. Close Microsoft Word.
  2. Open the Library Folder.
  3. Locate the Preferences Folder.
  4. Delete the Word Preference File.
  5. Empty the Trash and Restart Word.


Resetting Microsoft Word to its default settings on a Mac can feel like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty simple when you follow the steps outlined above. Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue or just want a fresh start, this process can help you get Word back to its original state quickly and efficiently. Remember to back up any custom templates or styles before you begin, and take note of any settings you might want to reapply after the reset. With your Word app back to default, you can enjoy the clean slate and customize it to your heart’s content, ensuring a smoother and more personalized experience as you tackle your next writing project.

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