Solving MS Word menus that disappear too quickly

Both my father’s computer and mine had an unusual problem: when using Microsoft Word and trying to select an item from a menu, the menu went away before it could be selected.  It was as if there was a timer, and it was only going to stay visible for 3 seconds.   Maddening if you want to select something at the bottom of the menus.  Both primary menus and pop-up menus showed this premature disappearing behavior.  The way a popup menu is supposed to work is it stays up until you select something or leave the visual zone of the menu.  Both our computers are Windows 7.  I have Word 2007, he has Word 2010.

You can test for the problem by doing a right mouse click in the writing area of a document, taking your hand totally off the mouse, and counting to 10.  If the menu disappears, you’re seeing the problem.

A search of the internet showed many potential solutions.  They did not help me, but I’ll mention them anyway.

These didn’t solve the problem:

  • Remove all Word Apps
  • Clean install  (too much work!)
  • Create a new user profile and use Word from there.   This is not really a good solution, but it proved that the problem was somehow with the original user.
  • Change the MenuShowDelay value of registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

What did solve the problem was to set MS Word to run with administrator privileges. Now you’d think that because we installed as administrator and ran as administrator, it would have already done that, but apparently not.


Give MS Word administrator authority by the following steps:

  1. Finding the MS Word program object in the file system or menus.  I found it by Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Office ->  Word
  2. Right click on that icon and select Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab
  4. Select Run this program as Administrator  (see image)
  5. Press OK
  6. Restart MS Word

Hopefully that works for you, too.


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