Word Could Not Create The Work File, Check The Temp Environment Variable [How To Fix]

Microsoft Office is a great software package that contains all your user applications. From creating documents to presentations and even spreadsheets for that matter. The software package has been around for a long time and is widely used around the world. While the application suite is useful, it sometimes has its issues. One of the issues or rather problems one would face while using Microsoft Word is ‘Word could not create the work file, check the temp environment’. This is super annoying especially when you might want to be saving a file urgently and it simply refuses to do so. In today’s guide let’s take a look at how to fix such an issue.

This very same issue can also occur when you might want to just preview your document. Because this is an error, it can be fixed easily. It would be annoying to not be able to save or preview your Word documents because of an error. However, we do have several solutions that you can follow to fix this type of issue on your Windows-powered PC.

Fix Word Could Not Create The Work File, Check the Temp Variable

Every problem has a solution and this one has many solutions. We have mentioned multiple methods that can fix the error. But it is possible that only a few methods work for you. So make sure to check all of them to find which is working in your case. So let’s start with our first method.

Method #1: Scan your System

Viruses are known to cause havoc and mess around with files and programs. So, to ensure that there is no virus running around, fire up your Antivirus program and perform a full scan. Once you have completed the scan look through the scan results and see if you’ve spotted any type of virus. If not, well and good. Or else try to remove the virus from your system and then try to open the Word file. If it is possible to save or preview it without any issue, then the problem has been solved.

Method #2: Perform Disk Checks

Sometimes, your hard drive might have a few issues that might cause a few problems with your files and prevents them from being read or previewed. It can also cause error ‘Word Could Not Create The Work File, Check The Temp Environment Variable’. There are a few commands that you can use to get this function working.

  1. From the Start Menu type and search for the Command Prompt.
  2. When you find it, make sure to run it as an administrator.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  3. Now you need to enter the sfc.exe /scannow command and hit enter.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  4. The system will now check for any issues with your hard drives. It will also try to fix any errors that it may find.
  5. Finally, you need to use the chkdsk /r /f command.
  6. This will simply check the disks on your PC.
  7. Once done, perform a system reboot and then try to preview or save a document file.
  8. You should be able to save or preview the Word file without any issues.

Method #3: Create an Environment Variable

In this step, you will have to create your variable and assign it a particular value. This will also affect how a running process will be affected.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Start Menu.
  2. Select System followed by About in the Settings.
  3. Now, scroll over to Related Settings and click on Advanced System Settings.
  4. With the Advanced System Settings page open, select Environment Variables. Search for it in Settings if you don’t see it in
  5. Click on the Add New or just New button that can be seen under the User Variables.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  6. Enter %userprofile% under the field that says Variable Name.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  7. Now type in C:\Users\(your user name) in the Variable Value field.
  8. Click on the OK button to apply the changes to it.
  9. Restart your Windows PC and check if you are still receiving the same error.
  10. If you aren’t getting the error message while saving or previewing the Word document, you are good to go.

Method #4: Create a Temporary Internet Files Folder

  1. On your keyboard press the Windows and E keys to open the File Explorer.
  2. Now, head over to the particular folder C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache. Don’t forget to change your username which is in italic.
  3. When you open the above folder path, right-click inside the folder and create a new folder called Content Word.
  4. Once that has been done restart your PC.
  5. Now check out the word file to see fit any type of errors.

Method #5: Repair Microsoft Office

Sure you could uninstall Microsoft Office from your system and then reinstall it. But why do that when you can simply repair the program?? When you repair a program it searches for any files that might be missing or corrupted and fixes all of them perfectly. 

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for the Control Panel.
  2. Now click on uninstall programs.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  3. You will see a list of all the installed programs on your computer.
  4. Scroll through the list and select Microsoft Office.
  5. Right-click on it and select the Change option from the Context Menu.
  6. The Microsoft Office setup screen will appear.
  7. Choose the repair option and go ahead with it.
    Word Could Not Create The Work File
  8. The Microsoft Office setup will begin to repair it and replace files that are missing or corrupted.


These are the multiple ways you can use to fix the issue ‘Word Could Not Create The Work File, Check The Temp Environment Variable’ that pops up whenever you try to save a Word document file or for that matter even preview it. The issue is annoying but can be gladly fixed right away by following these methods. Do let us know in the comments below if you’ve faced this issue and, if you did, what method did you follow to fix it.

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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