HotDocs COM Error: Failed to create or access an instance of HotDocs

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In a variety of situations, you may see the following error:

"HotDocs COM Error: Failed to create or access an instance of HotDocs"

One typical case is where Windows User Account Control prevents Microsoft Word from communicating with HotDocs via COM.


To resolve this problem:

  1. Close HotDocs and Word.
  2. Open Windows Explorer.
  3. Browse to C:\Program Files\HotDocs or C:\Program Files (x86)\HotDocs (depending on your operating system).
  4. Right-click hotdocs.exe or hotdocs6.exe (depending on your version of HotDocs).
  5. Click Properties.
  6. Click the Compatibility tab.
  7. Under Privilege Level, check the box next to Run this program as administrator.
  8. Click OK to close HotDocs Properties.
  9. Browse to the location of Winword.exe (e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 for Word 2010).
  10. Right-click Winword.exe.
  11. Click Properties.
  12. Click the Compatibility tab.
  13. Under Privilege Level, check Run this program as administrator.
  14. Click OK to close Winword Properties.
  15. Open Command Prompt as Administrator by Start > (Type Command) Right Click on Command Prompt)
  16. Type "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\WINWORD.EXE" /R

Or Type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\WINWORD.EXE" /R for 32bit systems.

  1. Launch HotDocs.

This should resolve the problem. One minor drawback of this solution is that Windows User Account Control will now display the prompt "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?" whenever you launch HotDocs or Word.