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This article describes what the /a switch is, what it does, and how to use it.
The /a SwitchThe /a switch is a troubleshooting tool that you can use to determine where a problem may exist when you are working with Microsoft Word.
When you use the /a switch to start Word, the switch prevents add-ins and global templates, including the Normal.dot template, from being loaded automatically.
The /a switch also locks the setting files.The setting files cannot be read or modified when you use this switch.
Note We do not recommend that you use the /a switch as a typical operating startup switch. This switch prevents your preferred settings in Word from being retained. Use the /a switch only when you must troubleshoot Word to determine where a problem may exist.
How the /a Switch Starts WordNote The default installation paths that are mentioned in the following list are the default locations and may be different on your system. The /a switch starts Word, bypassing or locking the following:
How to Use the /a SwitchTo start Word by using the /a switch, follow these steps:
Cannot find the file 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Winword.exe /a' (or one of its components). Make sure the path and file name are correct and that all required libraries are available.
Windows cannot find 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Winword.exe /a'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.