A file does not open in the program that you expect when you try to open the file in Office

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 918957 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Office, you open a file by double-clicking the file, or you open an attachment in e-mail. When you do this, the file does not open in the program that you expect. For example, a Microsoft Word document may open in a program other than Word.

CAUSE

This issue occurs because the file associations for the program are incorrect.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, correct the file associations for the program by repairing Office or the Office program, or by using the regserver command.

Note Make sure that you have the correct program installed for the file association. You can verify this by viewing the file name extension. For example, a Word document will have a ".doc" extension.

Method 1: Repair Office or the Office program

When you repair Office, the correct file association will reassociate with the corresponding Office program. To repair Office or the Office program, follow these steps:
  1. Close all Office programs, and turn off any antivirus software.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then press ENTER.
  3. Click Office or the Office program, and then click Change/Remove. For example, click Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office 2000 Standard, Microsoft Office XP, or Microsoft Office 2000 Professional. The Setup program starts automatically.
  4. In the Setup program, click Repair Office (or Repair Word).

    Note The Setup program performs the following functions:
    • Checks the installed files
    • Replaces or installs any files from an earlier version of Office that are the wrong size, are damaged, or are missing
  5. After you repair Office or the Office program, turn on the antivirus software that you turned off in step 1.

Method 2: Use the "regserver" command to reregister the Office program

The regserver command forces the Office program to reregister itself and then exit. Use this command when you want to rewrite all the program's registry keys and reassociate the program together with the appropriate program files. To do this, and to write the correct file association information in the Windows registry, follow these steps.

Note In these steps, program.exe is a placeholder for the program file for the program that you want to reregister. If you installed Office to another location, use the path that is correct for that location.
  1. Exit the program that you want to reregister.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type program.exe /unregserver in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  3. Click Start, click Run, type program.exe /regserver in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
Note This method will not work for Microsoft Outlook.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
211494 Excel opens without displaying a workbook

320516 You cannot open Excel files in Windows Explorer after you use the Text Import Wizard to open a text file

290852 You cannot double-click to open an Excel attachment in Outlook 2002

Properties

Article ID: 918957 - Last Review: May 24, 2006 - Revision: 1.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Students and Teachers Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Access 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project Standard 2003
  • Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
  • Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Office Visio Standard 2003
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Professional
  • Microsoft Office XP Students and Teachers
  • Microsoft Office XP Small Business Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Publisher 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Publisher 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000
Keywords: 
kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB918957

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com