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

Does the Microsoft Word application pops up an error message telling that Word experienced an error trying to open the file? Relax. On this page, we'll explain what the specific error of 'Word experienced an error trying to open the file' is, the causes and solutions to fix this issue, making your .docx/.doc Word document accessible again.

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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. Word Recover and Repair Tool
  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. Unblock Word

Source from: Microsoft

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-resolve-the-problem-word-experienced-an-error-trying-to-open-the-file-when-opening-a-word-2007-2010-file-easy-fix-article-0903bb9b-d8e4-aabd-0364-f832d26ecff7

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

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-resolve-the-problem-word-experienced-an-error-trying-to-open-the-file-when-opening-a-word-2007-2010-file-easy-fix-article-0903bb9b-d8e4-aabd-0364-f832d26ecff7

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. Word Recover & Repair Tool

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

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

Here are the steps: 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and then scan disk with corrupted documents. This software enables you to fix damaged Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files in same steps. 

select the disk with corrupted documents

Step 2. EaseUS data recovery and repair tool will scan for all lost and corrupted files. You can find the target files by file type or type the file name in the search box. 

find corrupted documents

Step 3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can repair your damaged documents automatically. After file preview, you can click "Recover" to save the repaired Word, Excel, and PDF document files to a safe location.

repair corrrupt documents

#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. 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.

Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open The File Is Fixable in 2022, 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 2022 now. 

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.

Editors Pick: 

For the most effective methods, Method 1, 2, and 3 provided by Microsoft deserves a try. But if you need to fix damaged Word documents, EaseUS file repair software is here to help.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

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 one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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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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