Cannot use Word as email editor

I use Outlook and Word 2003. In Outlook, I have always used Word as the email editor. Over the last few days I have been receiving the following message:

"MS Word cannot be used as the email editor because Word is unavailable, not installed or not the same version as Outlook. The Outlook email editor will be used instead."

How can I set Word as my email editor again?

If I then go into Tool, Options I find that the tick in the box confirming Word should be used as an email editor has been removed. If I re-tick, and try again, I receive the same problem. I have run a Detect & Repair in both Outlook and Word and this does not solve the problem from occuring.

The easiest way to start troubleshooting this is by closing both Word and Outlook and verify that their processes (winword.exe and outlook.exe) have actually stopped as well. You can do this by pressing CTRL+ALT+ESC and select the Processes tab.

Once you've checked this, you can start Word with the /a switch. This is more or less the Safe Mode function of Word.

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
    Start-> type; winword.exe /a
  • Windows XP
    Start-> Run-> type; winword.exe /a

(Note the space in the command above.)

After Word has launched without any issues, you can close it again. If Word doesn't successfully start, you'll have to further troubleshoot Word first.

Now start Outlook again, verify that Word is set as the E-mail Editor, and begin a new email. In most cases this will have resolved your issue.

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