Fix: Find and Replace Not Working On Microsoft Word [2022]

Written By FarhanMax

It can be challenging to locate specific information when working with lengthy documents, such as books and reports. Microsoft Word provides users with two tools, find and replace, to streamline this task.

When users try to replace words using the Find and Replace feature, the program throws an error message: Microsoft Word cannot find a match though the terms exist in the document.fix-find-and-replace-not-working-on-microsoft-word

It’s ok if the text you are attempting to replace in your Word document doesn’t exist and you encounter the error. However, if the text exists in the Word doc and still shows the error, that indicates a problem.

Let’s take a glance to discover and resolve the issue of MS Word find and replace not working error.

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Why Find and Replace Not Working On Microsoft Word

Find and Replace is not working on Microsoft Word due to the search formation of the find input box, a corrupted MS Word doc, or MS Office program. Also, if your Word document file is protected with a password, the Find and Replace feature is not functioning correctly.

Due to some reasons, the Find and Replace feature is not functioning properly on MS Word that I mentioned earlier. Now, I will try to describe these issues to know more.

Here are the possible reason for Find and Replace is not working on MS Word:

Password Protected File

If your MS Word doc file is protected with a password, the Find and Replace feature is not functioning on your document.

Find Input Box Set with Formating

Another reason for Find and Replace accurately not working is your Find input field set with the special format. When the Find input field is set with any particular search command, the Find feature works only for it.

Check out our separate post on Microsoft Word Ctrl+Z not Working

Corrupted MS Word Doc

A corrupted MS Word document is one of the common reasons for encountering the issue because a corrupted document perfectly does not load or work while it opens in MS Word.

Corrupted MS Office Program

When the MS Office program file is corrupted, the Find and Replace feature accurately does not work on your Word, and you encounter the error while you try to find and replace any word.

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How to Fix Find and Replace Not Working On Microsoft Word

Microsoft Office Suite is a group of productivity applications, and Microsoft Word is one of the core applications often used for crafting business documents.

To ease this problem, I will guide you through some proven and tested methods to fix the issue of the MS Word find and replace feature not working correctly in this section.

Okay, let’s get started without further ado.

Here are the steps to fix the Find and Replace not working on Microsoft Word:

1. Ensure your Word File isn’t Password Protected

First, ensure that your document is not password protected if the find and replace option in your Microsoft Word program is not working.

If it is protected with a password, then you will need to remove the password before using the find and replace function.

Also, check out our separate post on how to make only one page landscape in Word.

2. Make Sure Search Options Checkboxes are Unchecked

MS Word Search Options checkboxes are sometimes set with some criteria, and the program works based on these criteria. When the Word search feature is set on specific search criteria, the Find feature is not functioning correctly.

So, you must ensure none of the Search Options checkboxes are checked. If the checkboxes are selected, you need to remove them. Follow the steps below to do this.

Here are the steps to uncheck the Search Options checkboxes:

  • Open your MS Word document.
  • Click on the Replace on the right-side window under the Edit panel. click-replace-ss
  • It will open the Find and Replace window. find&replace-window
  • Ensure Search Options checkboxes are unchecked. ensure-checkbox-unchecked
  • Uncheck the checkboxes if the checkboxes are checked.
  • Check to see whether your problem is solved.

Check out the easiest way to enable equation editor in Microsoft Word.

3. Clear Format

If you use any Format to find a specific font, paragraph, or style, then clear all the formats to resolve your Find and replace not functioning issue.

Here are the steps to clear format:

  • Open your MS Word document.
  • Click on the Replace on the right-side window under the Edit panel. click-replace-ss
  • It will open the Find and Replace window. find&replace-window
  • If you applied any formatting, you could see it next to the Format option under the Find what and Replace with field. see-available-format
  • Click the No Formating button to clear the formatting under the Replace section. click-no-formatting

Quickly check out our epic guide on how to enable word wrap in notepad.

4. Start Word in Safe Mode

The most effective and proven method to solve the Find and Replace feature correctly not functioning is to start word in safe mode.

You can try to start Word in safe mode to resolve the issue. To open the Word in safe mode shortcut, press and hold the Ctrl button and click on the Word icon.

You can also start Word in safe mode from the Windows Run program. Follow the steps below to do so.

Here are the steps to open MS Word in safe mode:

  • Open the Windows Run program. open-run
  • Type winword /safe or winword.exe /safe and hit the Enter key.enter-command

Note: There is space between winword.exe and ‘/.’

Have some time to spare? Quickly check out our epic guide on why can’t I copy paste in Microsoft Word.

5. Restart your PC

When you encounter any problem with your device, the first and most effective thing you can do is reboot it. Rebooting works like magic to solve many issues.

As a first step, please try to restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved. If restarting the device does not help, please try the new troubleshooting steps.

6. Repair MS Office Program

Another tested method to resolve the Find and Replace not functioning problem is repairing the MS Office program.

You can try to repair the MS Office program to resolve the problem. Sometimes, repairing the Office program can fix your problem effortlessly.

Here are the steps to repair the MS Office program:

  • Press Windows+I on your keyboard to open the Windows System Settings app. open-settings
  • Select the Apps tab on the left-side settings panel and click on the Apps & features option. select-apps&features
  • Scroll down or use the search box to find the MS Office program.find-office
  • Click on the three dot option to open the available option next to the Office program and choose Modify options. click-menu-choose-modify
  • Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) window is prompted.
  • Choose one of the Repair options that you like to repair your Office programs and click Repair to start the repairing process. choose-repair-option
  • Wait until the repairing process is complete.
  • Check to see whether your problem is solved or not.

But before that, go through our epic guide on do Microsoft points still work.

7. Reinstall MS Office Program

The final method to fix your Find and Replace not the functioning problem is reinstalling the MS Office program.

If none of the methods work, uninstall the Office program and then reinstall it to resolve your problem. Reinstalling the program helps you remove all the corrupted files and install the new fresh files.

Here are the steps to reinstall the MS Office program:

  • Press Windows+I on your keyboard to open the Windows System Settings app. open-settings
  • Select the Apps tab on the left-side settings panel and click on the Apps & features option. select-apps&features
  • Scroll down or use the search box to find the MS Office program. find-office
  • Click on the three dot option to open the available option next to the Office program and choose the Uninstall options.click-menu-choose-uninstall
  • Click the Uninstall button again. click-uninstall
  • Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) window is prompted.
  • Click on the Uninstall to start the uninstalling process. click-final-uninstall
  • Wait until the process is complete.
  • Check to see whether your problem is solved or not.

Check out our separate post on how to insert word page numbers in MS Word.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft Office Find and Replace option is a remarkable feature that helps users find a specific word or text within a second and replace it with different words. Using this feature, you can easily modify your word doc file quickly.

Some users reported that Find and Replace option is not correctly functioning when they try to modify some words or text. If you also encounter the same issue, don’t be upset. Follow the methods I described in this post to resolve the problem within a minute.

That’s all for now. Plenty of solutions to consider. As usual, check out our other details for more information and details.

Goodbye. Have a good day.

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