MS Word file won’t open in a program that you expect

Oswald Foster
Oswald Foster | Updated On - 08 Apr 2021 |

Read time 3 min

When you try opening a file at times in Microsoft Office or opening an attachment in the email, the file may not open in the program you expected.

For example, a Microsoft Word document might not open in MS Word but in a program other than Word. This issue occurs because file associations for the program are incorrect in order to solve the issue, correct the file associations for the program by repairing the Office program or by using the regserver command.

Note– Ensure that you have the accurate program installed for the file association. This can be verified by viewing the file name extension.

Method 1: Repair the Office program

When you repair Office, the accurate file association will re-associate with the corresponding Office program. To repair the Office program, follow the steps given below:

  • Close all Office programs and halt all anti-viruses.
  • Click Start, click Run, type appqiz.cpl then press ENTER.
  • Click Office or the Office program and then click Change/Remove, and the Setup will start automatically.
  • Click Repair Office (or Word Repair) in the Setup program.

Note– The Setup program performs the following functions:

  • Checks the installed files
  • Replaces or installs any files from an earlier version of Office that is damaged or is missing
  • After repairing Office or the Office program, turn on the anti-virus software that you turned off

Method 2: Use the regserver command to re-register the Office program

The regserver command forces the Office program to re-register itself and then exit. Utilize this command whenever you want to rewrite all the program’s registry keys and re-associate the program together with the appropriate program files. In order to do this and to write the correct file association information in the Windows registry, the steps are mentioned below:

Note– The program.exe is a placeholder for the program file for the program that you want to re-register. If you installed Office to another location, then use that path.

  • Exit the program that you want to re-register
  • Click Start, click Run, type program.exe /unregserver in the Open box, and press ENTER
  • Now click Start, click Run, type program.exe /regserver in the Open box, and press ENTER

However, these methods might not always work. In such a situation, you can opt for an effective and efficient data recovery software for MS Office file recovery. They include recovery solutions for MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc. These MS Office file repair programs are very popular and widely used by MS Office users for fixing all MS Office-related problems. They instantly repair .doc, .xls, and .ppt files and save them to the desired location with all the details. Moreover, they support all MS Office versions, including MS Office 2019 and MS Office with Office 365. They are suitable for all types of MS Office users even if they are not tech-savvy. The friendly interface and intuitive features help them perform MS Office recovery without any technical help.

Although this method does not works for Microsoft Outlook. In such situation you can opt effective and efficient data recovery software for MS Office file recovery.


MS Office applications are widely used by all types of users. Though relatively mature applications, they also are vulnerable to various issues. For example, they may not open the Outlook attachments as expected. If you are facing problems with the MS Office applications, you should use professional MS Office recovery tools.