MS Word Could Not Create the Work File. Check the Temp Environment Variable

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.


Run Command Regedit Ok


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.


Registry Editor Navigate To User Shell Folders Cache Double Click


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.


Edit String Value Data Paste Value Ok



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.

Screenshot 2022 05 30 163717 Min

If you are a windows 11 user, click on view , then click on show and then uncheck preview pane.

Disable Preview Pane Min

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.

Cmd Admin Min


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.

Sysdm Cpl System Properties Min

2 – Click on advanced and then click on Environment variables.

Screenshot 2022 05 30 164239 Min

3 – In User variables section, click New button

Screenshot 2022 05 30 164352 Min


4 – In the Variable name field, type %userprofile%

Also, In the Variable value field, paste C:\Users\username

Screenshot 2022 05 30 164510 Min


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.


Start Windows Search Regedit


Step 2: Left-click on the result to open the Registry Editor window.


Result Left Click Registry Editor



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.



Find Key


Step 4 – If you find the key, right click and delete it.


Delete Key Reg


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.


Start Right Click Run


Step 2: In the Run command window, type inetcpl.cpl and press OK to open the Internet Properties dialogue box.


Run Command Inetcpl.cpl Enter


Step 3: Under the General tab, go to the Browsing history section and click on Settings.


Internet Properties General Browsing History 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.


Website Data Settings Temporary Internet Files Move Folder



Step 5: In the Browse for Folder window, navigate to the below path:


C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows


Here, replace the above highlighted part with your user name folder, that is, after the Users folder, select your user name folder.


Browse For Folder Navigate To Windows Folder In C Drive Users


Step 6: In the Windows folder, you will find a folder called INetCache.

Now, simply close the Browse for Folder window.


Browse For Folder C Drive Users Folder Windows Inetcache



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.


Start Windows Search Command Prompt


Step 2: Right-click on result and select Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with admin rights.


Result Command Prompt Right Click Run As Administrator


Step 3: Now, run the below command in the Command Prompt (admin) window and hit Enter:


icacls %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache


Command Prompt (admin) Run Inetcache Command Enter


*Note – Make sure the permission shows as below in the Command Prompt:




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.


File Explorer View Show Or Hide Hidden Items Check


Step 3: Now, navigate to the below location:




Click on the InetCache folder.


File Explorer Navigate To C Drive Windows Folder Inetcache


Step 4: Look for Content.Word folder.

Select it and hit Delete.


File Explorer Inetcache Content.word 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.


Start Right Click Run


Step 2: Now, type the below command in the search field and hit Enter:


winword.exe /r


Run Command Run Winword.exe R Command 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.