Fix Normal.dotm Error on Mac with These 6 Easy Solutions

Quick Fix

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Microsoft Word is a popular word processing program used by many organizations, companies, and schools. However, its stability can sometimes be questionable.

Since it was initially released in 1983, some Microsoft Word users have been complaining about its flaws and imperfections, including random error messages that pop up whenever they use the application. One commonly reported issue is the normal.dotm error on Microsoft Word. According to reports, this error is particularly prevalent among Mac computers.

What Is Normal.dotm Error?

Microsoft Word has this file called normal.dotm that stores all its default main settings for a document, including the default font style and font size. With this file, you can save valuable time because it automatically loads the document settings you want as soon as you create a new document.

Of course, you can customize the normal.dotm file according to your preference. Simply edit the template, apply the changes you want, and you should be all set. But if you feel the need to revert to the original settings, just restore the default template.

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Take note, though, that it’s easy to forget the file’s default settings. That is probably why manually editing the normal.dotm file is not recommended.

Now, if you are unable to successfully open or create a new file on Word, it is likely that the normal.dotm error is keeping you from doing so. This error message shows if:

  • The normal.dotm file is corrupted.
  • Your user account is corrupted.
  • Some programs and apps running in the background are interfering with Microsoft Word’s operations.
  • Your application files are corrupted.
  • Malware has infiltrated your system.

How to Fix Normal.dotm Error

If Microsoft Word on Mac is getting the normal.dotm error, here are some possible fixes you may try:

Solution #1: Delete the Normal.dotm File.

If you suspect that the cause of the error is a corrupted normal.dotm file, deleting it may resolve the problem. Whenever you launch Microsoft Word, it will automatically look for this file. But if it doesn’t find it, then it will automatically generate a new one. So deleting a corrupted normal.dotm file won’t cause any harm to Word or your system at all.

Follow the instructions below to delete the normal.dotm file:

  1. Close Microsoft Word.
  2. Navigate to the Go to Folder window by pressing the CMD + SHIFT + G keys.
  3. Input /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/ in the text field.
  4. Hit Enter.
  5. Look for the normal.dotm file and click on it.
  6. Delete the file using the CMD + DELETE keys. Do the same with other files that have the word “normal” in their names. Make sure you don’t go out of the User Templates folder.

Solution #2: Update Microsoft Office.

Sometimes, downloading and installing the latest update for Microsoft Office can resolve your normal.dotm problem. To update Microsoft Office, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Office.
  2. Navigate to Help.
  3. Click Check for Updates.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Wait for the update process to finish.

Solution #3: Sign Up for a New Microsoft Office Account.

As listed above, a corrupt user account may cause the normal.dotm error to surface. So, try to create a new user account and see if the problem persists.

Here’s how you can create a new user account on Microsoft Office:

  1. Open your favorite browser and go to the official Microsoft Windows Account page.
  2. Click Create a free Microsoft account.
  3. Fill in the boxes with your personal information.
  4. Provide a real password.
  5. Enter the captcha code show on your screen for verification purposes.
  6. Hit the Create account button.
  7. Check your inbox for a verification email.
  8. Click Verify.

Solution #4: Scan Your Mac.

Normal.dotm error may pop up if your system is loaded with junk and unnecessary files. Once these files mess up with crucial system operations and program services, including those related to Microsoft Office, then errors are likely to emerge.

To scan your Mac for these unwanted files, you may use a Mac repair tool. Once you have one installed on your computer, click the scan button. After that, you simply have to wait as it goes through your system for files and apps that may be considered threats.

Solution #5: Use the Repair Disk Utility.

To troubleshoot problems on your Mac, you can use the Repair Disk Utility. Take note that this tool is only available in Mac OS versions running on 10.2 or later.

To use the Repair Disk Utility, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Go menu.
  2. Select Utilities > Disk Utility program.
  3. Choose your Mac’s primary hard disk drive.
  4. Navigate to the First Aid tab.
  5. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
  6. Wait for the process to complete.
  7. Restart your Mac.

It is noteworthy that the Repair Disk Utility is best used to repair faulty software installed by Apple. You can also use it to fix problematic folders like the Application folder.

Solution #6: Uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office on Your Mac.

If you still see the normal.dotm error after trying the first five solutions, then your last resort is to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office on your Mac. It might be corrupted, hence the error keeps recurring. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Quit all active applications.
  2. Open Finder.
  3. Navigate to Go > Computer.
  4. Go to your primary hard drive. This is usually named Macintosh HD.
  5. Click on the Application folder.
  6. Select Microsoft Office and drag and drop it to the Trash folder.
  7. Next, open your favorite browser.
  8. Go to Microsoft Office’s official website and log into your account.
  9. Once logged in, check the upper right corner of the web page and click the Install Office Apps button.
  10. Select Office 2016.
  11. You might be prompted to verify action. Just click on the Save File button to proceed.
  12. The Microsoft Office installer will automatically download to your Mac. Once the download is completed, open the file and follow the on-screen prompts.
  13. After successfully installing Microsoft Office, launch Microsoft Word.
  14. Enter your Microsoft Office credentials.


Normal.dotm error may not be as serious as many of you think, but getting rid of it actually helps make a difference in your entire Mac experience. So when you encounter this error in the future, resolve it right away using the fixes we provided above.

Should you have other Mac-related concerns or problems, let us know in the comments section.

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1 year ago

I have removed the .dotm file, but it comes back and I have the same issues. When I open a Word file, Word crashes.

I’m open to any ideas.

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