Monday, March 7, 2011

Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable.

A friend of me contacted me and let me know that he was constantly getting an error while opening word, which said "Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable." But clicking through it allowed you to get into word. This happened every time no matter if he was opening a saved document or just starting word with the normal blank new document. Also he lost his favorites, and his history.

The Word error is right. One of the variables is wrong. You need to browse too the registry to the following key: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" Look for any keys that may be pointing to a set location IE: "K:\Todd\Favorites" All entries should use the %USERPROFILE% Variable.

When you find the offending registry keys than you can look around at surrounding ones and most likely correct it. If not then ask in the comments or your friendly tech guy. After fixing these variables you may need to log out and back in. The picture below is for Windows 7 yours may appear differently if working under a different version. Keep that in mind.
Interestingly enough though the locations pointed to a backup external Hard drive. It was pointing to a folder created by the manufacturer backup software. I wonder why this was caused. Anyways it's been a couple of days and no further problems so it didn't revert back.


  1. I use Windows 7 & Ms Office 2007 and have checked and all the entries had the %USERPROFILE% Variable. How should I proceed?!

  2. (fix method) (fix method) (why & how)

    This is the actual workaround. Make sure you perform both methods on both (if not all browsers on affected machine) explorers; 32bit and 64bit. It worked for me perfectly, after making sure I changed the internet options and registry keys for both versions and made sure all other browsers I have installed were pointing in similar if not the same directions, respectively. Just paying it forward since I found the solution just a minute ago, fixed it, restarted, and now everything is working perfectly.

    One thing I noticed that the articles do not mention (if, and only if, this fix is still not working for you) is that there are two locations that need editing under the registry.
    Make sure the ‘cache’ folder on both, are the same (%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Termporary Internet Files)

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER >Software >Microsoft >Windows >CurrentVersion >Explorer >Shell Folders
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER >Software >Microsoft >Windows >CurrentVersion >Explorer >User Shell Folders

  3. When I do this I find that all the keys are set correct except for the 'Default'
    my 'Default' key says (VALUE NOT SET)
    is that bad?

  4. This really works guyzz ...
    thankyou todd


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