Solved Microsoft Office 2021 will no longer open


Archigos

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After viewing another thread where a user showed their copy of Word's theme had changed, I went to open mine and check. As soon as I go to open the app (via Pinned on Start, or under the All Apps) it immediately gets caught by Malwarebytes with an attempted exploit.

Screenshot 2022-01-24 14.34.04.png

And when I click View Report, I get:

Screenshot 2022-01-24 14.35.42.png

I've used the taskkill command a few times over the last few days, but no idea how/why Word would have anything to do with it. I also did NOT follow the directions to add restart explorer to my context menu, but did create a basic batch file with the taskkill command and the start explorer command.

I didn't do extensive tests on if other Office apps did this as well (Excel does this though), but I was able to open the Microsoft Store via the Pinned to Start to see if that was affected and it opened fine.
 
Windows Build/Version
Version 21H2 Build 22000.438

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Archigos

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Side Note: If I right click the Malwarebytes systray icon, I can turn off Exploit detection and Word will open fine... It does not restart explorer either.
I tried a "Quick Repair" on Office and this did not work... I'm trying the "Online Repair" now.
 

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glasskuter

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Alexey2912

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Side Note: If I right click the Malwarebytes systray icon, I can turn off Exploit detection and Word will open fine... It does not restart explorer either.
I tried a "Quick Repair" on Office and this did not work... I'm trying the "Online Repair" now.

Maybe some hacked your system?🤔
 

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Archigos

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Running the "Online Repair" didn't work either... I also tried to add an exception into Malwarebytes for Word's executable and the Office root folder. None of this worked, so now I'm running the "Office Scrub" Tool from Microsoft: Repair an Office application and will just reinstall Office from scratch to see if that works.
 

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Alexey2912

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Running the "Online Repair" didn't work either... I also tried to add an exception into Malwarebytes for Word's executable and the Office root folder. None of this worked, so now I'm running the "Office Scrub" Tool from Microsoft: Repair an Office application and will just reinstall Office from scratch to see if that works.

I'd recommend reinstalling Office.
 

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Alexey2912

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Side Note: If I right click the Malwarebytes systray icon, I can turn off Exploit detection and Word will open fine... It does not restart explorer either.
I tried a "Quick Repair" on Office and this did not work... I'm trying the "Online Repair" now.

What's the build #?
 

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The-Hive

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I agree with @glasskuter is it possible to delete the batch file? I know a lot of AV programs don't like programs or batch files that change things as them see them as possible risks as they seem unable to determine it is from a trusted source .
 

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IanMosley

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The latest available build of Office 2021 is v 2112 (Build 14729.20260 C2R), for Windows 11 it is v 21H2 (Build 22000.466) x64, and for Malwarebytes is v 4.5.2.157. Are you up to date?
 

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Archigos

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The first thing I did when the error came up was delete the batch file and try to open it again. Right now, I'm letting Microsoft's tool find and remove Office. Oddly, this is a brand new laptop about a week or so old and only had Office 2021 put on it, yet their tool has detected both Office 2010 and Office 2007 so far. Gotta love how MS just piggybacks older versions instead of doing 'scratch' installs. Once the tool is finished, I'm going to reboot and reinstall Office. I'll let you know how it went.
 

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The-Hive

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Good luck I would also do a search and see if any remnants of the batch file are still on the system
 

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Alexey2912

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The latest available build of Office 2021 is v 2112 (Build 14729.20260 C2R), for Windows 11 it is v 21H2 (Build 22000.466) x64, and for Malwarebytes is v 4.5.2.157. Are you up to date?

I have the same latest updated!
 

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Archigos

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I just don't get how the batch file or running the command manually would have any effect on Word, Excel, etc. I mean, I created the file in Atom and have never had this problem before with system altering batch files.
 

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IanMosley

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I agree with @glasskuter is it possible to delete the batch file? I know a lot of AV programs don't like programs or batch files that change things as them see them as possible risks as they seem unable to determine it is from a trusted source .
I run this batch file to run Windows diagnostics -

@ECHO ON
rundll32.exe pnpclean.dll,RunDLL_PnpClean /drivers/maxclean
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /Startcomponentcleanup
sfc /scannow
PAUSE
EXIT

with no interference from Malwarebytes.

Have you 'unblocked' your batch file? Do you run it as 'Administrator'?
 
Last edited:

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Archigos

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There was no block/unblock on the batch file since I created it myself and didn't download it. Yes, I ran it as Admin (it gave an error when run in standard)... Once MS's tool is finished, I'll run your commands before reinstalling Office and see if it comes up with anything.
 

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glasskuter

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FYI Instead of a batch file you can make a shortcut to
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c taskkill /im explorer.exe /f & start explorer.exe
Name it something like Kill Explorer. It works perfectly, doesn't interfere with any other app, and MWB will never see it as malicious.
I then assigned a keyboard shortcut to it which made it even easier. I used ctrl + alt + k (in properties of shortcut)
I was turned onto this by another smart member here (can't remember who to acknowledge them.)
 

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Archigos

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I ran all the commands that @IanMosley put and they all came up with no error. It's still technically running the sfc command, but it's only 10% so I got impatient and I'm reinstalling Office 2021 now. :)

So far, so good.
 

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    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
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    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
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    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
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    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" 5K, 34" UW
    Screen Resolution
    Mon 1: 5120 × 2880 Mon 2: 2560 x 1080
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Archigos

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Everything is installed and running fine. Thanks for the help and input.
 

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    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Operating System
    macOS Big Sur
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
    CPU
    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    Memory
    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" 5K, 34" UW
    Screen Resolution
    Mon 1: 5120 × 2880 Mon 2: 2560 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    32GB NVME, 1TB SSD

glasskuter

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
12:53 AM
Posts
2,223
Location
The Lone Star State of Texas
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.832
Everything is installed and running fine
Great! Consider my suggestion in post #16 to accomplish what you want to do without using a batch file.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.832
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium

Archigos

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
1:53 AM
Posts
373
Location
Upstate New York
OS
Windows 11 Pro β
Forgot to mention that @glasskuter I created the shortcut on my desktop. :D
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro β
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Laptop 15-eg0070wm
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Operating System
    macOS Big Sur
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
    CPU
    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    Memory
    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" 5K, 34" UW
    Screen Resolution
    Mon 1: 5120 × 2880 Mon 2: 2560 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    32GB NVME, 1TB SSD
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