Excel Error 0xc000142 – Trouble Opening Microsoft Office 2016 Excel and Word “EXCEL.EXE Application Error. The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142)”

The Problem: Microsoft Office tried to update itself this morning and wouldn’t complete the process. Instead, Windows threw the error “EXCEL.EXE Application Error. The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142)”.

Fantastic. We can’t open Microsoft Excel/Word for a mail merge and a client deadline is approaching.

After some digging, the most common cause for this error is a corrupted or missing system file.

Another failed update for Microsoft and Windows 10 in 2020.
Here’s a few that have stopped/delayed production and rendered legacy printers useless
(for a little while at least).




The Solution: We are going to “Repair” the Windows Office installation.

1. Press your “Windows Key” on the left hand side of your spacebar and start typing “remove programs”.
2. Click “Add or Remove Programs” under “Best Match” in the Start Menu. Don’t worry. We are going to “Repair” the software instead of “Removing” it. A window labeled “Apps & Features” will open.
3. Scroll down to “Microsoft Office 365 – en-us” and click “Modify”.
4. A “User Account Control” window will pop up and ask permission to make changes to your device. Click “Yes”.
5. Another window will then ask “How you would like to repair your programs?”. Click “Quick Repair”. Wait for the process to complete.

After double-clicking Excel or Word, we are back in business! Hopefully this will save someone else the time and hassle.