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Document Lock Ups

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, MS Office Help

Document Lock Ups

Have you ever been almost completely done with an MS Office project when it suddenly froze up on you? Perhaps it disappeared or you just couldn’t do anything with it. That experience is a real downer, but there are some reasons why it might be happening. When a document keeps locking up, that’s usually a sign that something is corrupt within your document or that another program is causing a problem.

So, what causes all of that and more importantly, how can you fix it or prevent it from ever happening again? Well, there are many probable causes why Office documents may lock up, but today, we’re just going to go over some of the more common ones. Are you ready? Then let’s get the ball rolling!

Your computer may not be up to it. That may seem vague, so allow me to clarify! First of all, do you meet the system requirements for Microsoft Office? There is a minimum system requirement for each version of Microsoft Office. If your computer does not meet that, the software may not work as you expected, including the lock ups. Visit each link below to get the system requirements for each Microsoft Office version:

Microsoft Office 1997
Microsoft Office 2000
Microsoft Office 2003
Microsoft Office 2007

If you do meet the minimum requirements, you also have to consider what other applications are running on your computer. Your computer’s resources (like the processing speed and hard disk space) will be shared by those running applications. So, you can either upgrade your hardware by increasing your RAM size or you can close out any unnecessary running programs (more on that later).

The saying “the more, the merrier” does not work with computers. The more programs you have running on your computer, the less memory you will have for each of them, which can cause your Office documents to lock up. You should avoid opening different programs at the same time unless you absolutely have to.

You should also stop applications from running automatically when you boot up your computer. To do that, you have to delete the shortcut to run those applications in two locations: your startup folder and the All Users startup folder. To get started, go to Start, Run and type in the path indicated below:

Stay updated. In the Microsoft realm, Microsoft is the master. That means we have to do whatever Microsoft tells us to do, including the Windows Updates. The Windows Updates are useful, because not only do they address security threats, but they also install hot fixes for software issues. You can read more about the Windows Updates here.

Working with files on the network. If your files are saved on a network server, you should avoid working on them directly. Network servers are shared by many users and there’s a chance that latency could cause your Office documents to lock up. It doesn’t matter if you have the latest and fastest computer, because network latency will always be the same. Whenever you’re working with your files on a network, it’s highly recommended that you copy the file to your computer, work on it and then save a copy on the server afterwards.

Save often. The Save option is your best friend and it only takes a few seconds to do! However, we sometimes get too caught up in our work and forget to save it. Then when one of your Office documents locks up, you have to go back to the last saved state and redo everything. So, remember, a few seconds can save you a lot of time!

There you have it. I hope this tip saves you from any future lock ups!

~ Cory Buford

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