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

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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: 12/09/2015 05:42:40 - Revision: 1.6

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