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Opening a file is blocked by your registry policy setting or File Block settings in Word

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.

Symptoms
Error messages you may receive when you open a file in Microsoft Word. 

Error message 1
You are attempting to open a file type that is blocked byyour registry policy setting.
Error message 2
You are attemptingto open a file that was created in an earlier version of Microsoft Office. Thisfile type is blocked from opening in this version by your registry policysetting.
Error message 3
You are attempting to open a filetype File_Type that has been blocked by your File Block settings in the TrustCenter.

Resolution
To fix this issue, disable the restriction on opening documents of certain types.

Method 1: Disable the restriction by yourself

Word 2013 and Word 2010

  1. Click theFile tab.
  2. Under Help,click Options.
  3. Click TrustCenter, and then click Trust Center Settings.
  4. In the Trust Center, click FileBlock Settings.
  5. To enable the opening of a filethat is blocked, clear the check box for that file type.
  6. Click OK two times.

Word 2007

To disable this restriction in Word 2007, change the value of the FileOpenBlock subkey.

To have us disable this restriction for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you would rather enable Windows Installer logging yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it forme

To automatically disable or enable the file restriction, click the Fix this problem link for the Disable or Enable restriction. Then, click Run in theFile Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in this wizard. 

DisableRestrictionEnable Restriction


Note These wizards may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD. Then, you can run it on the computer that has the problem. 

Let me fix it myself

To disable or enable the file restriction yourself, follow these steps:
  1. ExitWord.
  2. Click Start, clickRun, type regedit in theOpen box, and then clickOK.
  3. Locate and then click the followingregistry subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Security\FileOpenBlock
    Ifthe FileOpenBlock subkey does not exist, you must create it. To do this, followthese steps:
    1. Select theSecurity subkey.
    2. On theEdit menu, point to New, and then clickKey.
    3. TypeFileOpenBlock, and then press ENTER.
  4. After you select the subkey that isspecified in step 3, locate the DWORD value.

    Note If this value does not exist, you must create it. Todo this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Edit menu, point toNew, and then click DWORDValue.
    2. Type the DWORD value for which you want todisable the restriction, and then press ENTER. For example, typeFilesBeforeVersion.
    You may check the different DWORD values in the "More Information" section of this article based on the version of Word that you are running. For example, if the opening of files that were saved in earlier file formats is restricted, locate the FilesBeforeVersion DWORD value in the registry for the FileOpenBlock subkey. When you change the value of FilesBeforeVersion from 1 to 0, you can open files that were saved in earlier file formats.
  5. Right-click the DWORD value that you want, andthen click Modify.
  6. In the Valuedata box, type 0, and then clickOK.
  7. On the File menu,click Exit to exit RegistryEditor.

Word 2003


For more information about how to disable the restriction in Word 2003, see Information about certain file types that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3.



Method 2 Using Administrative Template files and the Office Customization Tool to disable the restriction


Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007

Download the Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool from the following websites:
Office 2013 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool
Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool
2007 Office system (SP2) Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX, ADML) and Office Customization Tool

Note This update provides updated Group Policy template files either to enable an override of the files that are blocked by default or to block additional file types.

The opening of the following file types can be controlled through Word 2013 and Word 2010: File Block Settings


  • Word 2007 and later documents and templates
  • OpenDocument text files
  • Word 2007 and later binary documents and templates
  • Word 2003 binary documents and templates
  • Word 2003 and plain XML documents
  • Word XP binary documents and templates
  • Word 2000 binary documents and templates
  • Word 97 binary documents and templates
  • Word 95 binary documents and templates
  • Word 6.0 binary documents and templates
  • Word 2 and earlier binary documents and templates
  • Webpages
  • RTF files
  • Plain text files
  • Legacy converters for Word
  • Open XML converters for Word
  • PDF files (available for Word 2013 only)

Word 2007: Block opening of files before version


  • Word 1.x for Windows
  • Word 4.x for Macintosh
  • Word 1.2 for Windows Japan
  • Word 1.2 for Windows Korea Word 5.x for Macintosh
  • Word 1.2 for Windows Taiwan Word 2.x for Windows
  • Word 2.x for Windows BiDi Word 2.x for Windows Japan Word 2.x for Windows Korea
  • Word 2.x for Windows Taiwan Word 6.0 for Windows
  • Word 6.0 for Macintosh Word 95 Released Word 95 Beta
  • Word 97 for Windows Word 98 for Macintosh Word 2001 for Macintosh
  • Word X for Macintosh Word 2000 Word 2002
  • Word 2003 Word 2004 for Macintosh
  • Word 2003 as saved by Word 2007

The file type can be selected only if the Enabled option is selected to select a file type.




To fix this issue if you do not want to disable the restriction:

Method 3 Use a trusted location, or create an exempt location

Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007

If you trust the file that you want to open, you can open that file even if the file type is blocked by the registry. You can override the registry policy settings by moving the file to a trusted location.

For more information about how to create, to remove, or to change a trusted location for files, go to one of the following websites:
Plan Trusted Locations settings for Office 2013
Plan Trusted Locations settings for Office 2010
Create, remove, or change a trusted location for your files in Office 2007

Word 2003

In Word 2003, there are no trusted locations. You can create an exempt location to override the registry policy settings.

To create an exempt location, follow these steps
  1. Exit Word2003.
  2. Click Start, clickRun, type regedit in theOpen box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click one of the following registrysubkeys:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common
  4. Pointto New on the Edit menu, and then clickKey.
  5. TypeOICEExemptions for the name of the key.
  6. Point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value.
  7. Type astring name, and then press ENTER. For example, typeExemptDirectory.
  8. Right-click thestring name that you typed in step 7, and then click Modify.
  9. In the Value data box, type the path ofthe directory that contains the file, and then click OK. Forexample, if your document is in the C:\My Documents folder, typeC:\My Documents in the Value data box.

    Note You must create the folder. Subfolders are not automatically exempt. For additional folders that you would like to make exempt, repeat steps 6 to 9 by creating string values such as "ExemptDirectory1," and "ExemptDirectory2."
  10. On the File menu,click Exit to exit RegistryEditor.
Cause
This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • You are using Word 2013 or Word 2010, and you try to open a file that was saved in one of the following earlier Word formats. (Word 2013 and Word 2010 do not support documents that were saved in the following Word formats.)
    • Microsoft Word forWindows 1.x
    • Microsoft Word forWindows 2.x
    • Microsoft Word forthe Macintosh 4.x
    • Microsoft Wordfor the Macintosh 5.x
    • MicrosoftWord 6.0 Binary Documents and Templates
    • Microsoft Word 95Binary Documents and Templates
  • You are using Word 2007, and you try to open a file that was saved in one of the following earlier Word formats. (Word 2007 does not support documents that were saved in the following Word formats.)
    • Microsoft Wordfor Windows 1.x
    • Microsoft Wordfor Windows 2.x
    • Microsoft Wordfor the Macintosh 4.x
    • MicrosoftWord for the Macintosh5.x
  • An administrator restricted the kinds of documents that you can open or save in Word 2007 or in Word 2003. An administrator can set a registry key to restrict this functionality.

    For Word 2007, the registry key can beset in the 2007 Office System Administrative Templates. For more information,see the "Word 2007" subsection of the "More Information" section.

    For Word 2003, security update 934181 enables the administrator to block the ability to save or to open files in Word 2003. For more information, see the "Word 2003" subsection of the "More Information" section.
More information

How to restrict files in Microsoft Word

Word 2013

To restrict the kinds of files that you can open or save in Word 2013, an administrator can use the 2013 Office System Administrative Templates to configure the registry on the client computer.

Notes

Word 2010

Word 2007

Word 2003

An administrator can restrict the types offiles that you can open or save in Word 2003. This ability was not provided inMicrosoft Office 2003 when it was originally released. To restrict the types offiles that can be opened or saved in Word 2003, install security update934181.

For more information about securityupdate 934181, click the following article number to view the article in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:
To restrict the types offiles that you can open or save in Word 2003, an administrator can use one ofthe following methods:
  • Use the updated Office 2003 Administrative Templatesto configure the registry on the client computer.
  • Modifythe registry by adding a registry key setting on the clientcomputer.
To download the Office 2003 Service Pack 3Administrative Template (ADM), OPAs, and Explain Text Update, go to thefollowing Microsoft website:
The following table contains the DWORD values that an administrator can add to theregistry to restrict certain file types by using the FileOpenBlock subkey.Additionally, the table contains the corresponding file types that arerestricted.
DWORD valueFile types that arerestricted
BinaryFiles.doc,.dot
HtmlFiles.htm, .html, .mht,.mhtml
XmlFiles.xml (Word2003)
RtfFiles.rtf, .doc (Word 95), .doc (Word 97release version)
ConvertersAll file formats that areavailable by using a text converter (including the Office CompatibilityPack)
TextFiles.txt
WllFiles.wll
InternalFilesAllWord file types that have a non-RTM nFib value
FilesBeforeVersionAll Word files that have an nFibvalue lower than the minimum nFib value as set by anadministrator
To enable the FileOpenBlock subkey settings,follow these steps:
  1. ExitWord 2003.
  2. Install update 934181 if it is notinstalled.
  3. Click Start, clickRun, type regedit in theOpen box, and then clickOK.
  4. Locate and then click one of thefollowing registry subkeys:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Security\FileOpenBlock
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Security\FileOpenBlock
    Ifthe FileOpenBlock subkey does not exist, follow these steps to create it:
    1. Click to select theSecurity subkey.
    2. On theEdit menu, point to New, and then clickKey.
    3. TypeFileOpenBlock, and then pressENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu,point to New, and then click DWORDValue.
  6. Type the DWORD value that you want torestrict, and then press ENTER. For example, typeBinaryFiles to restrict the opening of .doc and .dotfile types.
  7. Right-click the DWORD value that you typed instep 6, and then click Modify.
  8. In theValue data box, type 1, and then clickOK.
  9. On the File menu,click Exit to exit RegistryEditor.
Properties

Article ID: 922849 - Last Review: 10/15/2013 06:59:00 - Revision: 24.0

  • Microsoft Word 2013
  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • kbsavefile kbopenfile kberrmsg kbsetup kbtshoot kbexpertisebeginner kbprb kbfixme kbmsifixme KB922849
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