Applies to: Microsoft Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, etc.

"My Word document won't open. How do I fix the 'Word experienced an error trying to open the file' error on my own? I'm using Microsoft Word 2019, by the way."

Did your computer pop up the error message "Word experienced an error trying to open the file" while opening a Word 2019/2016/2013 file? Don't worry. Follow this guide for help.

Error: Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File

This error mostly occurs to Microsoft Word and Excel users when they try to open an MS Word or Excel document file. The complete error message is:

Word experienced an error

Word experienced an error trying to open the file.
Try these suggestions.

  1. * Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
  2. * Make sure there is sufficiently free memory and disk space.
  3. * Open the file with the Text Recovery converter.
  4. (C:\...\****.docx)

So what caused this error, and how to fix this issue? Let's see.

Solutions: Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File

Fix Word experienced an error immediately - 5 methods:

  1. #1. Word Recover and Repair Tool
  2. #2. Unblock Word
  3. #3. Disable Protected View
  4. #4. Add Trusted Location
  5. #5. Text Recovery Converter

Prerequisite - Here are some tips that you should first follow to get your device ready:

  • Stop using the Microsoft Office applications.
  • Exit and close all virus-cleaning programs.
  • Back up all the Word document files to another location immediately.

#1. Word Recover & Repair Tool

The most efficient way that you can try is to turn to a Word recovery and repair tool for help. EaseUS Fixo Document Repair software can quickly scan and repair corrupted or unopenable Word files in Windows 10/8/7. This file repair tool can fix corrupted Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files in various file formats.

 Free Download

Trustpilot Rating 4.7

 Free Download

Secure Download

You can first watch this tutorial video to familiarize yourself with the detailed steps:

  • 00:14 Method 1. Insert to a new Word document
  • 00:38 Method 2. Use open and repair
  • 00:55 Method 3. Default settings
  • 01:30 Method 4. EaseUS Fixo Document Repair

If you find it easier to read the steps instead of watching videos, you can read it down here: 

Step 1. Download and launch Fixo on your PC or laptop. Choose "File Repair" to repair corrupted Office documents, including Word, Excel, PDF, and others. Click "Add Files" to select corrupted documents.

add files to repair documents with Fixo

Step 2. To repair multiple files at once, click the "Repair All" button. If you want to repair a single document, move your pointer to the target file and choose "Repair". You can also preview the documents by clicking the eye icon.

select documents to repair

Step 3. Click "Save" to save a selected document. Select "Save All" to save all the repaired files. Choose "View Repaired" to locate the repaired folder.

save repaired documents in Fixo

#2. Unblock Word

Source from

Step 1. Right-click the problematic Word file that won't open, and select "Property".

Step 2. On the General tab, click "Unblock" and select "OK".

Unblock Word

After this, try to reopen your Word file and see if the problem still exists. 

#3. Disable Protected View

Step 1. Open the Word application on your computer.

Step 2. Go to "File" > "Options" > "Trusted Center" > "Trust Center Settings...".

Open Trusted Center

Step 3. Click "Protected View", uncheck the next three options, and click "OK".

  • Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet.
  • Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations.
  • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments.

Disable protected view

Step 4. Save the changes and close the Word application. 

Then, you can reopen the Word document when it has a "Word experienced an error trying to open the file" error. It should be open by then.

#4. Add Trusted Location

Source from:

Step 1. Open the Word application on your computer.

Step 2. Go to "File" > "Options" > "Trusted Center" > "Trust Center Settings...".

Step 3. Click "Trusted Locations" > "Add new location". 

Add new location for Word

Step 4. Click "Browse" to navigate the path where you saved your Word files and check "Subfolders of this location are also trusted". Click "OK" to save changes.

Select a new location for Word

After this, close Word and open the file that contains the "Word experienced an error trying to open the file" error. You may now be able to access the content inside the document now.

#5. Use Text Recovery Converter

When a Word file becomes unopenable, you can try to use Text Recovery Converter to fix a corrupted Word file that won't open with an error message.

Step 1. Open the Word application, go to "File" > "Open" > "Browse".

Open Text Recovery Converter

Step 2. Select the Word file that won't open.

Click "Recover Text from Any File (*.*) from the drop menu next to the File name column. Click "Open".

Use Text Converter to fix Word experienced an error

Step 3. Wait patiently. When the Word application displays and shows the content of the unopenable Word file, save it as a new file.

Causes: Why Is Word Won't Open

As the error message addressed, the reason why the Word document won't open could be:

  • File permission issue
  • Insufficient memory or disk space
  • Not opening the file in a proper application
  • File altered during the transmission by third-party software

Pick a proper solution as listed in the article and follow to make your Word file openable and accessible again in Windows 10/8/7.

Editor's Review

If you are trying to open a .docx or .doc file but continuously get denied with the error message 'Word experienced an error trying to open the file', don't worry. It is possible to resolve the problem. 

All you need is to stop using the Word file and disable background programs, especially some cleaning tools. Then follow the above-recommended methods for help. If you need to fix damaged Word documents, EaseUS file repair software is here to help.

 Free Download

Trustpilot Rating 4.7

 Free Download

Secure Download

Also, the best way to protect essential files and data is to create a backup in advance. When the file goes wrong, you can always restore it from the backup immediately. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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