How to fix Compatibility Mode error in Microsoft Word

We received lot of mails from our readers regarding the Compatibility error they facing with the Microsoft Word documents. It is the common problem in the Microsoft Word application. Microsoft has introduced Compatibility Mode in the Office 2007 version. It was introduced to support the old documents which were created with the Office 2003 and previous suites. When you try to open the document which you have created in the previous version of Word, then the documents shows Compatibility mode in the title bar.

But the actual problem exists when this Compatibility mode error appears always in the title bar for all the Word documents, whether it may be the existing document or old document. You can fix it using three different methods. Here is how to fix it.


How to fix Compatibility Mode error in Microsoft Word

1. Using MS Word options

  • Open Microsoft Word and click on the File option at the top and then click on options.
  • Here click on save option from the left pane and select Word Document(.docx) from the drop-down list present next to Save files in this format option.
  • Apply the changes and restart the Word application. That’s it, from now you will not get any Compatibility mode in the title bar.

2. Delete default document template

If the above method doesn’t work for you, then you may have upgraded Office Suite from an older version on your system instead of clean install. In such case, you need to reset the default template for creating the new documents.

  • Press Win+R to launch RUN dialog box and type %appdata%MicrosoftTemplates and press Enter. This will open templates folder in the Windows Explorer.
  • Here search for Normal.dotm file and either delete this or rename it.
  • That’s it, now open Word application and it will automatically create the new Normal.dotm folder in the templates folder.

3. Using Registry Editor

  • Press Win+R keys to launch RUN dialog box and here enter regedit and hit enter. This will launch Registry Editor.
  • Now go to the following keys depending on the Office version you are using.
    for Office 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice12.0WordOptions
    for Office 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice14.0WordOptions
    for Office 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0WordOptions
  • In the right side pane find DWORD CompatMode and delete it. If this doesn’t exist create a new DWORD and set it name as CompatMode and set its value to 0. 
  • That’s it, now exit from the Registry Editor and restart Word.

Now you will not get any compatibility error when opening any document in Microsoft Word.

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