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Microsoft Word: A delete key that doesn’t delete.


A little tidbit of Windows knowledge.  When highlighting a section of a Microsoft Word document and pressing the delete key, nothing happens.  No errors or messages at all.  Try this to fix it…


Here's the workaround to this issue:

  • Go to Tools -> Options-> General Tab
  • Uncheck the following options if selected (See Image Below):
    • Help for WordPerfect users
    • Navigation keys for WordPerfect users

 Microsoft Word Options Dialog - Delete Key

  • Click OK and try to delete again.
  • If above doesn't work, try unchecking Typing Replaces Selection instead from Tools -> Options -> Edit Tab


3 Responses to “Microsoft Word: A delete key that doesn’t delete.”

  1. Thanks a lot. problem has solved as per your direction.

  2. This fix doesn't work for Word 2010 (as there are no options regarding Word Perfect).

    I've managed to fix the issue by saving the normal.dot file to the dotx-format. Apparently, Word 2010 saves key-bindings in those files.

    Try the following:

    Go to C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\ and find the normal.dotm (or normal.dot) file. Open it in Word (Make sure no other word document is open at the same time) and save it as .dotx (the most recent file type). Restart Word and the del-key should work again.

    In case the file already has the .dotx-extension: close Word, delete the file and open a new document in Word. Word should automatically create a new normal.dotx-file.

    In case there is no Templates folder, then Office might be installed under the "All Users"- or "Default User"-folder. See if you can find it there.


    I hope this helps! ~Aelias

  3. To fix this issue on a Mac laptop, and maybe others too. Go to WORD, PREFERENCES, and EDIT, and UNDER EDITING OPTIONS make sure the "typing replaces selction" box is checked.

    This resolves the issue of the dlete key not working.





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