File open bug in Word & Office for iPad! Try this

The latest releases of Office for iPad are crashing when opening documents. Here’s what to do while Microsoft fixes the bug.

The problem appears to happen when trying to open documents from OneDrive, which is the vast majority of documents because Microsoft encourages use of OneDrive.

The bug is reported in the latest releases of Word for iPad (v2.49), Excel and PowerPoint for iPad.


The Microsoft dev team has worked with commendable speed to fix the bug. Go to the App Store and force an update to your apps. The Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office apps should all update to at least 2.49.1.

If you hit the Word / PowerPoint bug

There’s no formal confirmation from Microsoft of the exact problem and versions affected, let alone fixes or workaround.  A few strategies to try. 

Office ‘All in One’ app

Use the Office ‘all in one’ app which combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint into a single app.  There are no reports of the bug in the combined app. See Four ways to put Microsoft Office on your iPad

Copy the document off OneDrive

Crashes seem to occur if a document is opened from OneDrive.  A workaround would be to download a document in the OneDrive app, then choose ‘Open in another app’ then ‘Save to Files’.  That copies the document to the Files app where you can open the document.  Don’t forget to copy your changed document back again.

Reset the app

Microsoft recommends this to workaround that ‘may’ help. It’s early days of this bug so it’s not clear if this technique actually helps or, as sometimes happens, MS Support is as much in the dark as customers.

Go to iPad Settings and scroll down to the Office app (Word, PowerPoint etc).

In the app settings, scroll down to the Reset option.

Clear all Documents / Presentations will remove documents that haven’t been saved to the device or synced to a server.  In other words ‘Open’ documents are lost.

Office all-in-one app for Apple iPhone and iPad
Beware using the new iPhone and iPad emoji
Right-click menus now in Office for iPad
Spilt view arrives for Excel on the iPad
Four ways to put Microsoft Office on your iPad