Remove Microsoft Office From Your PC


I assume it cannot get any worse than it is for you now, and these steps usually resolve the problem. I also assume that you've performed troubleshooting of the individual applications. For Word and Excel, go to those areas on this site and look for the troubleshooting steps. I also assume your hard drive has been cleaned up. For those instructions, see this article.


If you get errors during uninstall or reinstall, write down the exact error message. Go to Microsoft TechNet and type the error message into the keywords search with your version of Office as the product.

Backup your files.

Type the following into your Find/Search, find/search the files, and copy them somewhere else on your PC:


Those are Word documents (doc), Word templates (dot), Excel workbooks (xls), Excel templates (xlt), PowerPoint presentations (ppt), PowerPoint templates (pot), and Access databases (mdb). If you've never made your own templates, use just the following because the default templates will be reinstalled:


Special Files

*.pst files are Outlook files that contain all of your Outlook objects. You can also save your mail settings in Outlook: open Outlook, hit Tools-Accounts, choose an account and *export* it. Do it for each account. These become *.iaf files.  There are no and personal.xls are files that store macros and other customizations in Word and Excel respectively. You may want to back these up. Additionally, Excel stores custom toolbars in *.xlb files.

Use Eraser, if desired.

Office 97 uses Eraser97 to completely remove Office. Office 2000 uses Eraser2K to completely remove Office. I prefer doing it manually as described here.

Delete the program files.

Rarely should programs be removed this way. Choosing to remove the application via the Control Panel is always preferred, but is sometimes not possible. So we do it this way.

By default, Office is installed to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office. Using My Computer or Windows Explorer, go to that folder. Delete the ENTIRE folder.

Remove the program from the Windows registry.

If the program isn't removed from the registry, it often is not fixed when you reinstall because the registry entries remain and are not overwritten on a reinstall.

To remove Office from the registry, hit Start-Run and type *regedit* (no asterisks) and hit Enter. This opens the Windows registry. Do not do anything except exactly as directed. Browse the registry similar to browsing in Windows Explorer and go to this folder:


The X.0 will be:

  • 8.0 for Office 97

  • 9.0 for Office 2000

  • 10.0 for Office XP

  • 11.0 for Office 2003

If you have more than one, but only want one version of Office installed now, it is safe to rename the ENTIRE Office folder. If you are only trying to remove one version, then rename only the number. rename the Office folder, simply right-click, hit Rename, and rename it to something like XOffice; or right-click the version number and rename it; for instance rename 10.0 to Old10.0. Using this method, you are backing up the old registry files, just to be safe. When Office is reinstalled, a new 10.0 (or whatever version number) folder will be created.

Important Note:  If you're trying to fix just Word or one of the other applications, then you can go further into the version folder and rename just the application folder name. For instance, rename Word to OldWord. However, you will not want to delete the program files in this case. See the troubleshooting methods for Word and Excel, which I mentioned earlier.

Continue with your task.

You should now be in a position to reinstall the program(s).

Good luck!