While opening the MS Office Word document, you may come across an error message ” Word could not create the work file. Check the Temp environment variable“. You may also see this error message, when you are trying to preview a Word document with .docx or .xlsx file extension using the File Explorer. In fact, you can also encounter this error while starting other Microsoft Office apps like Excel, Outlook, etc. While there an be different reasons that can cause this error, there are a few ways you can fix this issue. Let’s see how.
Method 1: By Editing the Registry Settings
Step 1: Press the Win + R shortcut key to open the Run command window.
Step 2: In the Run command search field, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window.
Step 3: Copy and paste the below path in the Registry Editor address bar and hit Enter:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Now, go to the right side of the pane and double-click on the Cache string.
Step 4: In the Edit String dialogue box that opens, replace the Value data field with the path given below.
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
Press OK to save changes and exit.
Now, close all applications and restart your PC. Try opening the Word document now, and you should not see an error anymore.
Method 2 : Disable Preview pane
Disable preview Pane in your windows computer and then try again.
Open File explorer, click on Vew and disable it.
If you are a windows 11 user, click on view , then click on show and then uncheck preview pane.
Method 3: Create the Office app temp folders using Command Prompt
Step 1: Search cmd in windows taskbar search. when command prompt icon appears.
Step 2:Then do a right click on that and choose run as administrator.
Step 3: In the Command Prompt (admin) window, type the below command and hit Enter:
cd /d %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache md Content.Word md Content.Outlook
Now, close the Command Prompt window and restart your PC. You can now open your Word document normally.
Method 4: Create Environment variables
1 – Press Windows key + R together to open run.
Write sysdm.cpl in it and click OK.
2 – Click on advanced and then click on Environment variables.
3 – In User variables section, click New button
4 – In the Variable name field, type %userprofile%
Also, In the Variable value field, paste C:\Users\username
Click Ok and close the windows
Method 5: Delete the Office 64-bit Previewer Key from Registry Editor
Step 1: Go to the Start and type Regedit in the Windows search bar.
Step 2: Left-click on the result to open the Registry Editor window.
Step 3 – Once the registry opens up, press CTRL + F and copy and paste the key given below. Now, click on Find next to find the key.
Step 4 – If you find the key, right click and delete it.
Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC. Now, try opening the Word document and it should open normally.
*Note – Before you make any changes to the Registry settings create backup file of the Registry data.
This will now apply the settings to the Registry.
Method 6: Change the Temporary Internet Files location for Internet Explorer
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Run from the Run command.
Step 2: In the Run command window, type inetcpl.cpl and press OK to open the Internet Properties dialogue box.
Step 3: Under the General tab, go to the Browsing history section and click on Settings.
Step 4: It opens the Website Data Settings window. Here, under the Temporary Internet Files tab, go towards the bottom and select the Move folder button.
Step 5: In the Browse for Folder window, navigate to the below path:
Here, replace the above highlighted part with your user name folder, that is, after the Users folder, select your user name folder.
Step 6: In the Windows folder, you will find a folder called INetCache.
Now, simply close the Browse for Folder window.
Step 7: Close the Website Data Settings dialogue box.
Press OK to exit the Internet Properties window.
Restart your PC and the MS Word error should be resolved now.
Method 7: Check INetCache folder permissions
Step 1: Go to Start and type Command Prompt in the Windows search bar.
Step 2: Right-click on result and select Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with admin rights.
Step 3: Now, run the below command in the Command Prompt (admin) window and hit Enter:
*Note – Make sure the permission shows as below in the Command Prompt:
“NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(OI)(CI)(F) BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(OI)(CI)(F) DESKTOP-31MDJSD\user_name:(I)(OI)(CI)(F)”.
Now, exit Command Prompt and reboot your PC. The MS Word or any of the MS Office apps should not show the error anymore.
Method 8: Through Windows File Explorer
Step 1: Press the Win + E hotkeys on your keyboard to open the File Explorer.
Step 2: In the File Explorer window, go to the View tab on the tab, click on Show/hide to expand the section and select Hidden items.
This will unveil any hidden items in the File Explorer.
Step 3: Now, navigate to the below location:
Click on the InetCache folder.
Step 4: Look for Content.Word folder.
Select it and hit Delete.
Method 9: Configure The Microsoft Word Once More
Step 1: Right-clock on Start and select Run from the menu.
This will open the Run command window.
Step 2: Now, type the below command in the search field and hit Enter:
Wait for sometime as it takes a couple of minutes for the process to complete.
This will re-register the Office app and even configure the Office files that are required to fix the error. Once complete, check if the Word document is opening or the MS Office apps are working fine.