'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents' Fixes

Ever have this error pop up: 'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents' error message while trying access your office documents like .docx or .xml files? On this page, we have provided three solutions including EaseUS office file recovery software to help!

Table of Contents

Overview

There are three ways in all to fix 'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents' problem. The table below is an overview of the solution, read detailed content for full steps. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Use Open and Repair  Start Word. On the "File" menu or the Microsoft Office button, click "Open". In the Open dialog box...Full steps
Fix 2. Use Google Doc  Send the corrupted Word file to your Gmail account. Click the attachment to open it in Google...Full steps
Fix 3. Use Word recovery tool You can troubleshoot by using EaseUS disk data recovery to retrieve corrupted DOCX...Full steps

"When I try to open a .docx file, Microsoft Word 2013 doesn't allow me to access the file and flashes an error message saying 'The file [.docx] cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents.' Clicking on the details, it displays an 'unspecified error'. Is there a way to recover the word document or its contents?" 

The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents

Causes of the Error

There are many reasons to stop Microsoft Office from working correctly and saying the .docx or .xml file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents. The following are the most common causes for Word file cannot be opened.

  • Large sized files (Files are over 200kb threshold and contains non-text elements.)
  • Old and new versions are not compatible
  • Complicated functioning and advanced operations
  • Corruption or damage of the storage media that used to save Word document

'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents' Fixes

Getting error prompt, 'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents' is quite common when you try to open your office documents like .docx or .xml files. In this page, we have created three solutions, including a third-party Word file recovery software to help! Now, you can opt for any solution accordingly.

Fix1. Use Open and Repair Feature 

The Word built-in "Open and Repair" feature can probably fix the issue or corruption that detected on the document.

Step 1. Start Word.
Step 2. On the "File" menu or the Microsoft Office button, click "Open".
Step 3. In the Open dialog box, click to select the blank Word file.
Step 4. Click the down arrow on the "Open" button, and then click "Open and Repair".

'The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents'

Fix2. Use Google Doc 

Step 1. Send the corrupted Word file to your Gmail account. 
Step 2. Click the attachment to open it in the Google Docs previewer.
Step 3. Click "Open With Google Docs". The document should open and be viewable.
Step 4. Click "File" > "Download As" > "Microsoft Word (.docx)".
Step 5. Use Microsoft Word to open the document you just downloaded.

Fix3. Use Word Recovery Software 

If the above two direct solutions don't work and the problem still exists when you open the Word document, you can continue troubleshooting with EaseUS disk data recovery to retrieve damaged or corrupted DOCX files of MS Office 2019/ 2016/ 2013/ 2010/ 2007.  Apart from Word documents, this tool also can help you recover deleted or lost Excel files, PPT/PPTS, HTML/HTML, PDF, and more.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Recover files from SD card, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, connect it to your computer first. Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, click "Filter" and choose "Word" from the drop-down list to navigate the wanted Word documents. 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to double-click and preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired Word file and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

Except for file recovery, EaseUS data recovery software is capable of recovering lost files from formatted disk/partition, emptied recycle bin, lost partition, damaged/corrupted hard drive, etc. 

Don't miss: How to recover unsaved Word document on Windows 10

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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