Finding your Computer Specs

inserting a disk into the CD-driveBefore installing Microsoft Office, make sure your computer specs meet the system requirements.

Checking specs first helps you avoid installation problems that occur when your system does not meet the recommended or minimum requirements. Even if the software installs on an inadequate system, it may not function properly.

Determining software requirements

Most stores do not let you return opened software. So check the retail box or the download website for the system requirements BEFORE you buy the software (or at least before you open it).

Don’t try to install software that is not recommended for your system. It is a waste of time and money, and it can even crash your computer.

Software programs usually have hardware requirements for one or more of the following:

  • RAM – installed memory
  • Hard drive capacity
  • Hard drive available disk space
  • CPU speed
  • Monitor resolution
  • Graphics card specifications
  • Sound card
  • Operating system type and version

You need to make sure your computer meets at least the minimum requirements of the software you want to purchase.

Tech Note: Often the minimum system requirements do not provide the best performance. Microsoft Office will run faster if your system meets the recommended requirements.

Finding system specifications

It doesn’t do any good to know the software requirements if you don’t know what your system specifications are.

To find your computer specs, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. In Windows Vista, select System and Maintenance. In Windows 7, select System.In Windows XP, select Performance and Maintenance. (If you use Classic View in Control Panel, you can skip this step.)
    Performance and Maintenance icon
  4. Click the System icon.
    System Icon
  5. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, your system information is listed under the System section. In Windows XP, select the General tab to find your system information.

Compare your processor speed, installed RAM, and operating system with the software requirements. If your system meets or beats the minimum requirements, it is safe to install the software.

Signs that your system may be inadequate to run Word

If you have any of the following errors while running Microsoft Word or Office, that is an indication that your system does not meet the the recommended specifications:

  • Computer freezes up
  • Spell check is unavailable
  • Chunks of the document disappear while editing
  • Images intermittently disappear and reappear
  • Computer hangs while scrolling through a document
  • Microsoft Word takes a long time to load

There are other issues that can cause some of these problems, such as working on a document that contains more than 100 pages or too many large images, or a hardware failure. If you experience any of these problems, double-check that your computer meets the recommended system requirements for the Microsoft Office version you installed.