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How to Reset Microsoft Word to Default Settings on Mac

After working on many projects using Microsoft Word, it may seem this program no longer works as it did when you installed it the first time.

What to Know

  • Close all Office for Mac applications.
  • Press the Options key while clicking the Go menu.
  • Select the Library folder and open Group Containers > UBF8T346G9.Office > User Content > Templates.
  • Move or rename the existing Normal.dotm file for Word to build a new one and reset its settings to default.
How to Reset Microsoft Word to Default Settings on Mac

You might have changed the default settings in Microsoft Word for Mac for one or more features—such as fonts, ribbons, and autocorrect options, by accident or by clicking the wrong button.

Note: If you ever need to set the default font in Word, check my guide about how to change default font in Word.

Uninstalling and reinstalling Word won’t do anything because those default settings are saved on your macOS. Instead, locate and rename the Normal template file so Word creates another one.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to reset Microsoft Word to default settings on Mac.

Note: The instructions in this article apply to Word 365 for Mac, Word 2021 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, and Word 2016 for Mac.

Steps to Reset Word to Default Settings Mac

1. Quit all Office applications (including Word). You won’t be able to reset Microsoft Word to default settings on Mac while Office applications are open.

2. Launch the Finder. It is at the bottom on the left side of the dock.

3. Hold the Option key, and click the Go menu. A drop-down menu of different folders will open.

4. Select the Library folder. It opens a list of files.

5. Double-click Group Containers > UBF8T346G9.Office > User Content > Templates folder. This folder contains the Word settings file.

6. Rename the normal.dotm file. Click on the normal.dotm file once and hit Return. Then change “.dotm” to “.old.” Press the Return key to save changes.

  • You can also move the Normal.dotm file to your desktop.

7. Return to the Library folder. Click the back arrow at the top until you return to the Library folder.

8. Double-click the Preferences folder. It will open a list of files. Locate and move the following files to the desktop:


9. Quit Finder and restart your Mac. After a restart, launch Word. It recreates normal.dotm and other files and resets Word to its default settings.

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