"There was a problem sending the command to the program" error in Excel

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 this problem for you, go to the "Here's an easy fix" section. If you prefer to fix this problem manually, 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

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the "Here's an easy fix" section. If you prefer to fix this problem manually, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Here's an easy fix

To fix this problem automatically in Excel 2003 through Excel 2013, click the Download button. In the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and then follow the steps in the easy fix wizard.
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you’re not on the computer that has the problem, save the easy fix solution to a flash drive or a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
For Windows 8


For Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003
Fix this problem
Easy fix 50392
To resolve this problem yourself, follow the steps for your version of Microsoft Excel.
Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013
Microsoft Excel 2007
Microsoft Excel 2003 or earlier versions of Excel

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.
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Article ID: 211494 - Last Review: Dec 8, 2015 - Revision: 1

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