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I have an error Error message Add-in template is not valid: N:\WindowsSettings\..\, how do I fix this?

Symptom: Error message Add-in template is not valid: N:\WindowsSettings\..\


The problem is caused by temporary files not being removed by Word.  These files need to be deleted in order to solve the issue.  To do this you will need to temporarily display all files so that you can see the files to be deleted.

Step 1: Show hidden files

  1. Close Word on the PC(s) you are using.
  2. Open Windows Explorer from the task bar.
  3. On the toolbar click on Organize.
  4. Select Folder and search options which will open a new dialog box.
  5. Select the View tab as shown below.
  6. In the list of Advanced settings, under the Hidden files and folders heading, select Show hidden files, folders or drives by clicking the button alongside.
  7. Click on OK.

Show hidden files, folders and drives - Windows 7

Step 2: Find the files to be deleted

Note: Windows Settings contains various essential settings for applications, so take care not to delete or move any files except the files below.

  1. Still in Windows Explorer, in the left hand panel, under Computer select Home Directory.
  2. At top right, click in the Search Home Directory (N) box to start a search.
  3. Type: – a search should begin
  4. Delete any and/or ~$ files.  Do not delete any other files shown.
  5. When you restart Word, you should find the problem has been fixed.
  6. Follow Step 3 below.


Step 3: Turn off showing hidden files

  1. Return to Windows Explorer, on the toolbar click on Organize.
  2. Select Folder and search options which will open a new dialog box
  3. Select the View tab.
  4. Select the Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives option.
  5. Click on OK.

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This is question number 2584, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Samantha Jane Elmer on 22 July 2013 and last updated by Mark Wilson on 8 August 2016