You receive this error when you try to open an Excel workbook. The error message may be different, depending on the version of Windows. See the Symptom section.
To have us fix it for you in Excel 2003 through Excel 2013, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you would rather fix it yourself, or if you have a version Excel that is earlier than Excel 2003, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Symptoms


When you double-click an Excel workbook or a shortcut to an Excel workbook, Excel starts. However, the Excel workbook does not open, and you receive an error message.

The error message may be different, depending on the version of Windows that you are using.

In Windows 7 and Windows 8, you may see this error message:
There was a problem sending the command to the program.

In Windows Vista, you may see this error message:
Windows cannot find 'FilePath\FileName', Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

In Windows XP, you may see this error message:
Cannot find the file 'path ' (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.

There was a problem sending the command to the program.


Resolution: Turn off the "Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)“ setting

Fix it for me

To automatically fix this problem in Excel 2003 through Excel 2013, click the Fix this problem" link. Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in this wizard.

For Windows 8

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Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 20074
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For Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003

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Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50392
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Notes:
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or to a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback, or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog. Or, send us an email message.

Let me fix it myself

To resolve this problem yourself, follow the steps for your version of Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013

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  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  2. Click Advanced, scroll down to the General section, and then clear the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.

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Microsoft Excel 2007

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  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Excel Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then clear the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.

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Microsoft Excel 2003 or earlier versions of Excel

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  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Clear the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box, and then click OK.
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For more information

This problem may occur if the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) setting in Excel is selected.

When you double-click an Excel workbook in Windows Explorer, a dynamic data exchange (DDE) message is sent to Excel. This message instructs Excel to open the workbook that you double-clicked.

If the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) setting is selected, Excel ignores DDE messages sent to it by other programs. As a result, the DDE message sent to Excel by Windows Explorer is ignored, and Excel does not open the workbook that you double-clicked.

About this article

Article ID: 211494
Last review: March 15, 2014
Applies to: Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2003
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