I want to reset the normal.dotm template on a Mac with the latest version of MS Word (15.x.x).

I found instructions on doing this on Windows here.

What's the equivalent for Mac Word?

Rationale for doing this is to try to avoid the problem addressed in this question.


From this thread in Apple Exchange, the folder's location has changed for Office for Mac 2016. It's now located in

~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Templates

For Office for Mac 2011 or if you upgraded from this edition to 2016, browse to this location

~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Templates

In Windows, I can delete the file normal.dotm to reset it. So you should try doing so in your Mac. You need first to close Word before deleting.

  • Thanks for the quick reply - are you aware of any potential risk attached to deleting normal.dotm before I try that out? – Michael May 11 '16 at 13:00
  • normal.dotm is built into Word's code so if Word didn't find it, it'll recreate it from scratch with default settings. You don't need to delete it if you are not convinced; just move (not 'copy') the file to another safe folder if things have gone awry so you can restore it back. – Sanny May 11 '16 at 20:54
  • Any idea how long Word takes to do this? I renamed the normal.dotm file and opened Word, tried creating a new doc and saving it, restarting the Mac etc. but so far... no new normal.dotm file! – Michael May 12 '16 at 12:47
  • If you managed to get a new document in Word then Word recreated normal.dotm successfully. The new template is probably hidden or in another directory. Try finding a folder called Templates (not User Templates, or My Templates) somewhere within ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft. – Sanny May 12 '16 at 16:38

For those who wind up here looking for how to find the Normal.dotm file on a Mac, (OSX 10.13.3 and Word v16.10, US English) I found it here:

cd ~/Library/Group\ Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User\ Content.localized/Templates.localized/
rm Normal.dotm
rm normal.dotm.bak

And as the instructions here say, deleting or moving the corrupted Normal.dotm fixes the problem, by auto-creating a new template when Word next runs.

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