Problems Opening Documents from Explorer

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 4, 2019)

If you have a problem opening Word documents from the Windows Explorer, the problem probably lies in how the document files are registered with the operating system. The first thing to try in correcting the problem is to unregister and reregister Word with Windows. From the command line, use the following command:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe" /unregserver

The quotes are necessary, but you may need to change the path so it reflects the location of the winword.exe file on your system. (You can use Windows' Search tool to locate the path to the winword.exe file.) The /unregserver switch "unhooks" all the references to Word in the Windows Registry. You should then, immediately, use the following command:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe" /regserver

This command causes Word to rewrite all its Registry keys and to reassociate itself with document and template files.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (200) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Shortcut to Merge Cells

Need to merge a bunch of cells together on a regular basis? You'll love the two macros in this tip which can make short ...

Discover More

Setting Consistent Column Widths in Multiple Tables

Tables are great for organizing and presenting information in a document. If you have a document containing multiple ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Everything Except Numbers

Got some numbers and letters mixed up in the same cell? You may need to get rid of those letters so you are left with ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Determining if a Document is Corrupt

Think you might have a corrupt document? There is no easy way to tell if this is the case, but there are some things you ...

Discover More

Reviewing Document Versions

If you save different versions of your document using the versioning feature of Word, you'll want to know how you can go ...

Discover More

Working with Other People's Files

When you get files from other people, you may want a quick way to apply your formatting to their text. Provided that the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.