How Do I Fix Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File? Here Is the Guide

Is the Word document not opening but keeping showing the error message 'Word experienced an error trying to open the file'? Don't worry and you are not losing the file. Follow this guide, you'll learn what the error is, causes, and solutions to fix the 'Word experienced an error' issue on your own. For a quick Word file recovery and repair, EaseUS file recovery software is here to help.

Table of Contents

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.

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 next part and follow to make your Word file openable and accessible again in Windows 10/8/7.

Solutions: Fix (DOCX/DOC) Word Document Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File

Fix Word Experienced An Error Immediately - 5 Methods:

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

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. Unblock Word

Source from: Microsoft

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. 

#2. 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 has a "Word experienced an error trying to open the file" error, it should be openable by then.

#3. Add Trusted Location

Source from: Microsoft

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 in which 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 which 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.

#4. 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. And 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.

#5. Word Recover & Repair Tool

The last way that you can try is to turn to a Word recover and repair tool for help. 

Here, EaseUS file recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard will fully scan and repair the corrupted or unopenable Word file in Windows 10/8/7 in only 3 steps.

Before you start: Copy the problematic Word file > Save to another location > Delete it and run EaseUS file recovery software.

Here are the steps: 

Step 1. Select a Location to Start Finding Crashed Word Files

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and then scan the missing or damaged word files.

repair word file

Step 2.  Scan for Lost and Damaged Word Documents

You can use "Filter" to find the damaged word files quickly.

repair damaged word files

Step 3.  Repair and Recover Word Files to a Secure Location

Choose the word file and click "Preview."  This program will automatically repair corrupted and damaged files. Click "Recover" to save the repaired word files to a safe location. (Please note: DO NOT save the files back onto the same hard drive partition or external device where you lost the data from)

Save repaired word files to safe place

Word Experienced An Error Trying To Open The File Is Fixable in 2021, Do It Now

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 in 2021 now. 

All you need is to stop using the Word file, disable background programs, especially some cleaning tools. Then follow the above-recommended methods for help.

Editors Pick: 

For the most effective methods, Method 1, 2, 3 provided by Microsoft deserves a try. But if you lost a Word file or the corrupted Word file is missing, the EaseUS Word recovery and repair tool is here to help.

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. 

Was This Page Helpful?

author icon

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 323 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More