SOLVED! “Word Is Waiting For An OLE Action To Finish”

Over the years, all sorts of programs have been developed for document creation, editing and publishing. However, Microsoft Word remains the top document processing software for millions of Windows computers around the world. Word provides a user-friendly interface that enables users to type, insert images, create tables, organize headings, design brochures, etc. Still, while Word usually performs well, it’s also susceptible to errors and “Word is waiting for an OLE action to finish” is a prime example.

The Usual Suspects


When many Office applications including Words run side-by-side, some of them could act up out of the blue. You tend to use multiple Office apps simultaneously and the “Word is waiting for an OLE action to finish” error keeps popping up on Word? In that case, you should give other Office applications some thought.


For your information, too many add-ins running at the same time can mess up the performance of Microsoft Word. On the bright side, if the use of add-ins is responsible for errors in Word, it takes little work to bring things back to normal. 

“Word Is Waiting For An OLE Action To Finish”: Fixes

Close Other Office Applications

Office applications may run into problems if people open too many of them at the same time. Hence, once it comes to the “Word is waiting for an OLE action to finish” error, you should consider closing other applications at the earliest opportunity. 

  • Step 1: The moment the error appears, press Alt + Tab and note down all running Office applications.
  • Step 2: Proceed to navigate to each of the applications then close it. In the case that you cannot close the applications manually, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, hit Task Manager and close the apps from there.
  • Step 3: Close Task Manager, continue using Microsoft Word and see how things turn out.

Disable Add-Ins

Overall, add-ins prove handy from time to time but they could cause errors such as “Word is waiting for an OLE action to finish” too. Thus, don’t hesitate to disable add-ins if an error is giving you a hard time on Word. 

  • Step 1: In Microsoft Word, choose File, select Options and navigate to Add-ins.
  • Step 2: Click Go at the bottom of the window under Manage.
  • Step 3: A dialog box will emerge and give you a list of add-ins. Uncheck the ones that you like to disable, hit OK and return to Microsoft Word.

Activate Microsoft Word In Safe Mode

When Windows and its app malfunctions, Safe Mode could help users deduce what might have gone wrong. Therefore, if errors prevent you from using Microsoft Word, give Safe Mode a go.


  • Step 1: Press the Windows Key + R to open Run.
  • Step 2: Type winword /safe and click OK.
  • Step 3: Use Microsoft Word normally and see if the error persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which features of Microsoft Word are best used for desktop publishing?

For desktop publishing, Windows users usually prefer to use font formatting, paragraph alignment, line spacing and bullets in Microsoft Word. Depending on the citation, it’s a good idea to make use of table insert, image editing, graphic design, layout indication, references and spell checking.

Is there anything MS Word can do other than document processing?

While Microsoft Word is perfect for creating and editing documents, it can also be used for changing the file format of a text document. That means Word can make files work with other programs such as Adobe PDF reader.

How can I prevent others from copying or editing my Word files?

You can create a Microsoft Word document and protect its contents using the Protect Document tool in the File Menu. As the name suggests, Protect Document provides various security options such as Read-Only Mode, Password Encryption, Restrict Format Editing, Restrict Content Editing, Digital Signature, etc. 

What is a Master Document?

A Master Document is a document that contains links leading to other Word documents as well as sub-documents.

Why is a macro helpful in Microsoft Word?

A macro enables you to automate formatting settings that are frequently used. It saves time when formatting multiple documents.

Tips And Tricks

  • For ease of convenience, you should use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste and Ctrl + X to cut as you work in Microsoft Word.
  • To remove all the formatting of a document, press Ctrl + Space.
  • Want to insert hyperlinks into your Word document? All you have to do is to press Ctrl + K.
  • If you want to look for words or phrases in long documents, press Ctrl + F to open Find. In addition to locating words or phrases, Find can be used to replace words or phrases as well.
  • Do you want to know the meaning of certain words in your document? Highlight the words, right-click them and select Smart Lookup. That will operate as a quick shortcut for Internet browsing without launching a separate web browser.

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