Word Starter not working with Windows 10

I’ve heard from a couple of folks that their Word Starter program stopped working after a Windows 10 update. Word Starter is a limited version of Microsoft Word that came pre-installed on some PCs.  It wasn’t a trial version of Office, so technically it shouldn’t expire, though people are reporting getting a message that their subscription has expired.

I checked Microsoft’s help pages hoping for additional answers and found that you have the choice of three different ones!

The first, the one that seems most likely to me, is that recent changes with the latest Windows 10 updates mean that the starter version of Word is no longer compatible. They suggest that you use Microsoft’s free online Office apps. To be fair, Word online has exactly the same functionality as Word Starter. So, you wouldn’t be any worse off. Except that you’d need an Internet connection if you wanted to create, read, or edit a document.

You could also install free LibreOffice or Open Office suites.

However, there is an answer that says installing a particular update will help. You can click here to read about it.

You can also look into any of these free alternatives:

If you don’t mind going online when you work, you could use Microsoft’s free Office Online Service or Google Drive’s suite of office applications.

First, let’s check out your cloud-based options:

Microsoft Office Online

Office Online offers the ability to read, create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote documents. Just log onto Outlook.com with a Microsoft account and start working. If you have an Outlook.com, HotMail, MSN or LiveMail address, you already have an account. If not, it only takes a few minutes to create one.

Your account also comes with 15GB of cloud storage in OneDrive. Of course, the downside is that it is cloud-based. So you will need an Internet connection to work. The up side is that since it’s cloud-based, you can open it on any computer. These are fully-functional Office documents that you can save to your computer and that will open in other versions of Office.

Google Drive

Google Drive is free for anyone with a Gmail address and offers the ability to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and also comes with a basic drawing program.

Google Drive also offers 15 GB of free cloud storage. Like Office Online, it is cloud-based. You’ll need an Internet connection to work, but you also have the flexibility to access your documents from other computers or devices.

If you’d rather download your office suite, consider the following:


OpenOffice is an open-source software suite that handles word processing spreadsheets, graphics, databases, and presentations.  You can install it on as many computers as you like and you don’t need to be tied to a particular e-mail service to download.  You are also free to use it for your business or home with no restrictions. It is created and supported by volunteers. Versions of OpenOffice are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (x86-64 only)


LibreOffice also offers the ability to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as make basic graphics and charts.  It is compatible with Microsoft products and is absolutely free.

You can install LibreOffice on as many computers as you wish. It is available in both a “Fresh” version with new features and a “Stable” version. You can run LibreOffice on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

WPS Office Suite

This freeware Office Suite offers a word processor, spreadsheets program, and a presentation program and supports saving files in the DOCx and XLSX formats for Windows compatibility. It is available for Windows, Android and Linux systems.

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