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Summary: This article addresses the “file is corrupted” error in Microsoft Word. It covers causes, manual solutions, and recommends the Kernel for Word Repair Tool for efficient recovery without system changes.

Microsoft Word is an integral part of the renowned Office Suite, a product line created and consistently updated by Microsoft. Alongside its counterparts like Excel and PowerPoint, MS Word holds substantial significance for a wide range of working professionals and individual users alike.

Microsoft Word stands as one of the most extensively utilized commercial word processors, serving as a versatile tool for drafting documents and text files, whether for professional or personal purposes. However, akin to various file formats, .docx files do exhibit certain imperfections. Frequently, when users attempt to access a previously saved or downloaded Word file, they encounter a discouraging error message stating, “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened.

Within this article, our attention will be directed towards addressing critical aspects such as the origins of this error and the methods for successfully opening corrupt Word DOC and DOCX files in MS Word.

The inaccessibility of Word files can be attributed to a multitude of factors, spanning from the intricate process of round-tripping, involving the conversion of file formats back and forth, to the transition between different Office software versions. A prevalent scenario leading to this error occurs when users attempt to open a Word 2007 file using the Word 2010 version.

Reasons behind this error

We have listed some of the most common reasons behind inaccessibility or corruption of Word files.

  • Disrupted Internet connection
    Fluctuations in the internet connection during the download or transfer process can indeed lead to the corruption or damage of Word files.
  • Inappropriate installation of the software
    Improper installation of the Microsoft Office Suite can hinder the seamless operation of its applications, impacting files associated with various components such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
  • Header Corruption
    Corrupt or damaged header components often leads to inaccessibility of Word files.

This type of error is not exclusive to a specific MS Office module, such as Word; instead, you may encounter this issue in Excel and PowerPoint as well. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most common methods to recover corrupt Word Documents.

Method 1: Try to open with another application

A reliable way to verify the integrity of your Word document and check for corruption is to attempt to open it with alternative applications like Notepad or WordPad, which are readily available on Windows operating systems.

Method 2: Use the ‘Open and Repair’ utility

To resolve the error “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened in Word,” Microsoft Word provides a highly useful built-in feature that can effectively repair minor damages in the Word file. Simply browse to the specific file and select the ‘Open and Repair’ option.

Method 3: Change the Protected View Settings

The Trust Center settings deals with the security and privacy aspects of any Microsoft program.

Given below are the steps to change the Protected View Settings in MS Word.

Step 1: Launch MS Word and click New > Blank document.
Launch MS Word

Step 2: Go to File > Options.

Step 3: In the Word Options window, select the Trust Center tab. Then, click on the Trust Center Settings button.
Trust Center Settings

Step 4: Select the Protected View tab and uncheck all options under the Protected View Settings. Then, click OK to save the changes.
Protected View Settings

If restarting MS Word and attempting to load the affected Word file again does not resolve the issue, it’s advisable to explore other available options to address the error.

Method 4: Change the manual Settings of ‘Component Security’

Change these settings to default settings by following the steps given below.

Step 1: Press Win + R to launch the Run Command dialog box. Then, type ‘dcomcnfg’ and hit the OK button.
launch the Run Command dialog box

Step 2: Expand Component Services from the Navigation Pane. Then, expand Computers and right-click on the My Computer icon > Select Properties.
Select Properties

Step 3: Select the Default Properties tab and make the following changes:

Default Authentication Level: Connect

Default Impersonation Level: Identify

Click OK to save the changes.
save the changes

If none of the previously mentioned methods succeed in resolving the error, you may consider utilizing a reputable third-party tool to repair your corrupt Word files. The Kernel for Word Repair Tool is highly recommended for recovering data from your damaged MS Word files.

Benefits of using Kernel for Word Repair:
  • You can recover multiple .doc/.docx files at the same time.
  • The tool works efficiently even with large sized Word files.
  • Repairs corrupt Word files without affecting the original format.
  • You can preview data before saving the files to your local directories.
Kernel for Word Repair – How the tool works?

Download and install the application in your computer system and follow these simple steps to recover your corrupt MS Word files.

Step 1: Launch Kernel for Word Repair tool.
Word Repair tool

Step 2: Click Add File(s) option to navigate to the folder containing the corrupt MS Word files. Select the files and click Open.
Add File

Step 3: Click Repair Files(s).

Note: You can remove unnecessary files by selecting the files and choosing the Remove/Remove All options.
Repair Files

Step 4: Select a destination folder to save the recovered MS Word files. Then, click OK. Click Repair again to start the recovery process.
start the recovery process

Step 5: The tool processes the files for recovery, wait until the process gets completed.
process completed

The recovered files get saved to the specified location.
save the file to the specified location


The article delves deeper into finding a solution when MS Word displays the error “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened.” The manual approach involves making adjustments to system component settings or disabling protected view settings, which can potentially expose your system to unwanted threats and intrusions. In contrast, Kernel for Word Recovery doesn’t necessitate any changes to your system components. Furthermore, it streamlines the data recovery process, requiring only a minimal number of steps. Within a matter of seconds, this tool delivers impressive results for your data recovery needs.

Kernel for Word Repair