Word Cannot Open the File Because the File Format Does Not Match the File Extension🔥

Learn how to fix the error 'Word Cannot Open the File Because the File Format Does Not Match the File Extension' with simple solutions. Resolve compatibility issues and effortlessly regain access to your Word documents.

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The unmatched file extension error may be annoying when opening essential Word documents. This occurs when the file's format and extension differ, preventing Word from opening it. Opening files from external sources or after format conversions commonly causes this problem.

Word Cannot Open the File Because the File Format Does Not Match the File Extension. How can I change the file extension to .docx?— Report from Microsoft.

Fortunately, various efficient ways exist to fix this problem and restore document access. This tutorial covers file repair software, file extension changes, and built-in Microsoft repair tools to remedy this problem. Following these troubleshooting steps, you may fix the file format mismatch problem and reaccess your Word files.

Fix 1. Fix Word Cannot Open the File Because of the Unmatching Format with File Repair Software

When faced with the annoying error notice "Word Cannot Open the File Because of the Unmatching Format," people seek trustworthy alternatives to retrieve their critical Word documents. In such cases, EaseUS Fixo Document Repair is a solid solution to fix these errors.

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This file repair software is a complete program that fixes file format errors and repairs Word documents. This utility may restore and recover essential data corrupted by file transfer problems, sudden system shutdowns, or incompatible software. Other common Word cases can also be easily fixed with the help of this repair tool:

To fix corrupted Word documents and solve this file format issue, follow the steps 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

We encourage readers to share this information on social media to help others and raise awareness of this practical solution for Word file format mismatches.


Fix 2. Change the File Extension to Solve Word Not Opening the File Because the File Format Not Match

Sometimes, manually altering the file extension might fix the problem of Word not opening the file due to a mismatched format. Here's how:

Step 1. To open "File Explorer," press Windows + E.

Step 2. In the command bar of File Explorer, choose the "View" menu.

Step 3. Under Show, check the File name extensions option.

Step 4. Right-click the Word file and choose the "Rename" option from the context menu.

Step 5. Change the *.docx file extension to *.doc.

change file name

Step 6. A confirmation popup may appear, advising that altering the extension might render the file incompatible and useless. Click "Yes" to continue.

Step 7. Try reopening the file after changing the extension to check whether the problem has been fixed.

This method also works when you encounter an unsupported file format.

Fix 3. Unlock the Word File to Fix Word Cannot Open File Due to Unmatching Format

To unlock a Word file that displays the error "Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension," follow these steps:

Step 1. Navigate to the target file in "File Explorer."

Step 2. Right-click the file and choose "Properties."

open file properties

Step 3. To unlock the file, go to the General page and choose the "Unblock" option.

Step 4. Click "Apply", then "OK", to confirm the changes.

Fix 4. Utilize Microsoft Repair to Resolve the Word File Format Does Not Match the File Extension

A damaged Microsoft Office program may produce the "Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the extension" issue. You can also use this method to fix Word won't open. Follow these procedures to fix Microsoft Office.

Step 1. Press Windows + I to open "Settings", then pick "Apps."

Step 2. In Apps & Features, scroll down to "Microsoft 365 (Office)" and click Advanced Options.

Step 3. In the next box, choose "Repair" under the Reset tab.

choose repair

Step 4. Restart your computer and try opening the file after repair. See if it persists. This repair procedure may remedy the Word file format mismatch problem by correcting Microsoft Office difficulties.

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FAQs on Word Cannot Open File Because File Extension Doesn't Match

Below are some common queries that users search for related to Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension:

1. What do file format and extension not match mean?

This error indicates that the file format does not match its file extension, which may cause problems with Word compatibility.

2. How do I fix the file format that does not match the file extension?

To resolve this problem, manually change the file extension, repair Microsoft Office, or use file repair software such as EaseUS Fixo Document Repair to rectify any formatting discrepancies.

3. How do I fix an incorrect file extension?

You can try renaming the file with the right extension or using file repair programs to identify and resolve any extension irregularities.


The error "Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension" might be irritating—but worry no more! You can fix this problem using file repair tools, file extensions, or Microsoft Office. Following the procedures and advice, users may resolve this issue and reaccess their Word documents. Moreover, you can utilize EaseUS Fixo Document Repair to restore the file to its original format.

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About the Author

author Finley


Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.

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