Here is a problem that affects Microsoft Publisher 2016, 2019, and Office 365. You can open Publisher, but after you try to start a new document or open an existing one, it crashes. The problem is likely caused by a bad printer, bad settings in the registry, or both. There is also a chance it could be caused by corrupt Office files.

The first thing to try is to repair the Publisher registry settings.

  1. Create a new and temporary user account. Since you are likely using the horrible Windows 10, the easiest way to do this and to avoid all the nonsense about creating a Microsoft account is to run open a command prompt as an Administrator and run this command: (P.S. You should never ever without exception use a Microsoft account to log in to your computer.)
    net user Temp * /add

    If you do not want to use a password, just press enter twice. Otherwise enter a password.

  2. Either log off or switch users. Then log in to the Temp account.
  3. Open Publisher and start a new document. The close Publisher. If that works, proceed to the next steps, otherwise skip to the section on printers.
  4. Open the registry editor. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Publisher — where xx.0 is 14.0, 15.0, 16.0, or greater.
  5. Right-click the Publisher hive and left-click Export.  Save the registry file to a location where you can open it on your real user account.
  6. Log off and go back to your real user account.
  7. Make sure Publisher is closed. Then open the registry editor and go the same registry hive as above. Right-click the hive and left-click delete.
  8. Now immediately import the registry file you exported from your temporary account.
  9. Try Publisher again. And make sure you try the printing.
  10. If Publisher crashes while printing, you will have to do the steps in the next section and steps 7 to 9 again.
  11. Remove the temporary user account.

The next steps to try is to fix the printing issue. The above steps may fix the problem temporarily but the Publisher problem may return unless the steps below are taken.

  1. Uninstall any obsolete printer software and drivers; also remove any obsolete printers. Run the command printui.exe /s and then click on the Drivers tab at the top. Remove any obsolete and duplicate printer drivers in that list. Then repeats steps 7 to 9 above again.
  2. If Publisher still crashes, uninstall and remove all printers one at a time then repeat steps 7 to 9 above again. Make sure you also run the command printui.exe /s again and remove the driver after you uninstalled the printer.
  3. If Publisher still crashes, do a quick repair then try again without any extra printers installed.
  4. If Publisher still crashes, do a full repair then try again without any extra printers installed.
  5. If Publisher still crashes, do a full uninstall of Microsoft Office, including all registry keys and files in the appdata folders, then re-install and try again.
  6. Download and install the newest printer driver one at a time and then try Publisher again after each printer.