How to Restore MS Office Normal Template: A Step-by-Step Guide

Restoring the MS Office Normal Template is a straightforward process that involves locating the template file, renaming it, and restarting MS Office. This action can help fix issues with formatting or functionality that may have been altered by accident or corrupted over time.

After completing the action, MS Office will regenerate a fresh Normal template with default settings, which should resolve any problems you were experiencing with your documents’ formatting or macros.


Many of us use Microsoft Office daily, and it’s no surprise that sometimes things can go a bit haywire. Whether it’s a rogue macro or just a formatting issue that won’t go away, the Normal template is often the culprit. The Normal template, named Normal.dotm in Word, is the master template from which all Word documents are created. It contains default styles, settings, and sometimes macros, that are applied to every document you open or create. But what happens when this template goes rogue?

Well, it can cause all sorts of chaos, from funky formatting to problematic performance. That’s why knowing how to restore your MS Office Normal Template is a handy skill – whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who likes their documents to look right. This little hack is relevant to anyone who uses Word, and it might just save you a heap of time and frustration.

Step by Step Tutorial on Restoring MS Office Normal Template

Here is a breakdown of the key steps you will be following in this tutorial:

Step 1: Close all MS Office applications

Ensure all MS Office applications are closed before you begin the process.

Before you start tinkering with templates, it’s essential to make sure that all Office applications are closed. This is because the Normal template can’t be replaced if it’s currently in use by an open application. So, go ahead and save any work you’re doing and close those programs down.

Step 2: Navigate to the template location

Use File Explorer to navigate to the folder where the Normal template is stored.

By default, the Normal template is found in the Templates folder, which is usually located in the user’s Library or AppData folder. You’ll need to make sure hidden items are visible, as these folders aren’t always out in the open.

Step 3: Rename the Normal template

Find the file named Normal.dotm and rename it to Normal.old or another distinguishable name.

Once you’ve located the Normal.dotm file, you’ll want to rename it. This is a safety measure to ensure that if anything goes wrong, you can revert to the old template. Simply right-click, select rename, and add .old to the end of the filename.

Step 4: Restart MS Office

Open an MS Office application to generate a new Normal template.

After renaming the old Normal template, it’s time to let Word do its magic. Upon opening Word again, it will notice the absence of the Normal template and create a brand-new one with all the default settings restored.


Fixes Formatting IssuesRestoring the Normal template can resolve persistent formatting issues that may be plaguing your documents.
Resets Default SettingsIf you’ve accidentally altered default settings, restoring the Normal template brings them back to their original state.
Removes Corrupted MacrosAny macros that may be causing issues will be removed when you restore the Normal template.


Loss of CustomizationsAny customizations made to the Normal template will be lost when you restore it to default.
Potential Data LossIncorrectly following the steps could result in data loss if not done carefully.
Temporary SolutionThe issue may reoccur if it’s caused by an underlying problem within MS Office that is not addressed.

Additional Information

Restoring the Normal template can be a lifesaver, but it’s worth noting that it’s not a fix-all solution. If your MS Office suite is experiencing more significant issues, such as frequent crashes or error messages, the problem might be deeper than just the Normal template. In such cases, you might need to consider repairing your MS Office installation or even reinstalling the software.

It’s also a good idea to keep regular backups of your Normal template if you’ve made extensive customizations that you don’t want to lose. Lastly, always ensure that your MS Office is up to date with the latest patches and updates as these can often resolve common issues.


  1. Close all MS Office applications.
  2. Navigate to the template location using File Explorer.
  3. Rename the existing Normal.dotm file to Normal.old.
  4. Restart MS Office to generate a new Normal template.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Normal template in MS Office?

The Normal template is the default template from which all new Word documents are created, containing standard formatting and settings.

Will restoring the Normal template affect my existing documents?

No, restoring the Normal template will not impact documents you’ve already created, only new documents or ones you edit after the restoration.

Can I restore the Normal template if I’m using a Mac?

Yes, the process is similar, but the location of the Normal template may differ. You’ll need to find the Templates folder within the Library.

What should I do if restoring the Normal template doesn’t fix my issue?

If restoring the Normal template doesn’t resolve the issue, consider repairing your MS Office installation or seeking further technical support.

Can I back up my Normal template?

Absolutely, it’s a good idea to back up your Normal template, especially if you’ve made many customizations. Just copy the Normal.dotm file and save it in a secure location.


Restoring the MS Office Normal Template is a simple yet effective way to troubleshoot common issues with Word documents. Whether you’re facing persistent formatting problems or dealing with a rogue macro, resetting the Normal template can often put things right. Remember, this process will wipe out any customizations, so backing up your template is a smart move.

And if you’re still encountering issues after a restore, it might be time to delve deeper into your MS Office suite’s health. Keep your software up to date, and don’t be afraid to seek out further help if needed. After all, there’s no need to let template troubles slow down your productivity!

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