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Why is Word 2010 not able to open docx files?

    Question

  • Recently more and more people are sending me word (docx) files that have been sent to them, and they cannot open. Getting the MS Word error "Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension"

    This has been occurring for Word 2003 and 2010 users. I rename the docx back to doc and the file opens without an issue. I am just trying to figure out why

    User running Office 2010 cannot open this docx file.

    Users running Office 2003 (with the Compatibility Pack installed) cannot open the docx file. 

    I have not idea if the doc was created as the word doc's with this issue have all be sent to us via email. I assume it was created in 2007 or 2010. But still not sure why we cannot open without renaming it to .doc?

    Any insight on this would be appreciated. Thanks - SJMP

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010 7:59 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    The error indicates that the file has a file name extension that does not match the actual file format of the file. For example, the file has a .docx file name extension but it really is a text file that should have a .txt file name extension. Please make sure the file is created in Word.

     

    Create a new file in Word 2010 or Word 2003 program and save it. Then, try to open it. Can you open it?

     

    Open the Word program, then click File > Open to open the files, can you open it?

     

    Best Regards,

     

    Sally Tang

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum

    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com  

    Friday, September 17, 2010 3:59 AM
  • If the files can be opened by changing the file extension from docx to doc, then they were probably not docx files in the first place.

    If you change the file extension of a Word 97-2003 document from .doc to docx and then try to open it in any version of Word (2003, 2007 or 2010) you will get the error message that you mention.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP,
    dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Posted via the Community Bridge

    "SJMP" wrote in message news:de9e21df-34c8-44b7-b7c9-ecf8c98c4b7d@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Recently more and more people are sending me word (docx) files that have been sent to them, and they cannot open. Getting the MS Word error "Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension"

    This has been occurring for Word 2003 and 2010 users. I rename the docx back to doc and the file opens without an issue. I am just trying to figure out why

    User running Office 2010 cannot open this docx file.

    Users running Office 2003 (with the Compatibility Pack/ installed) cannot open the docx file. /

    I have not idea if the doc was created as the word doc's with this issue have all be sent to us via email. I assume it was created in 2007 or 2010. But still not sure why we cannot open without renaming it to .doc?

    Any insight on this would be appreciated. Thanks - SJMP


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Friday, September 17, 2010 5:24 AM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    I am writing to see how everything is going with this issue. Is the problem resolved? If there is anything I can do for you, please feel free to let me know.

     

    Best Regards,

     

    Sally Tang

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum

    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com   

    Monday, September 20, 2010 6:29 AM
  • I confirmed that the file ext was not changed by anyone. It was created and sent as .docx. When trying to open in office 2010 it says it cannot. I rename it to .doc and it opens without an issue. No issues with Word all other documents are opening without a problem. 
    Monday, September 20, 2010 12:16 PM
  • Are you trying to open the file from the e-mail attachment? If so it appears that the file association for docx is missing or incorrect.
    Word 2010 is quite capable of recognising its own file types regardless of the extension, so that suggests that doc is correctly associated.

    <SJMP> wrote in message news:1b211fc8-e164-49a7-8553-571251b2d01c@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    I confirmed that the file ext was not changed by anyone. It was created and sent as .docx. When trying to open in office 2010 it says it cannot. I rename it to .doc and it opens without an issue. No issues with Word all other documents are opening without a problem.


    Graham Mayor - Word MVP
    www.gmayor.com
    Posted via the Communities Bridge
    http://communitybridge.codeplex.com/
    Monday, September 20, 2010 12:56 PM
  • I think you nailed it Graham. And once this occurs, how can I correct it. 

     

    Thanks

    Monday, September 20, 2010 1:07 PM
  • In theory at least - reregistering Word should do the job - See http://www.gmayor.com/Document_Not_Found.htm

    <SJMP> wrote in message news:e63e6e99-6d8c-4976-a134-e5fbeedaeb0e@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    I think you nailed it Graham. And once this occurs, how can I correct it.



    Thanks


    Graham Mayor - Word MVP
    www.gmayor.com
    Posted via the Communities Bridge
    http://communitybridge.codeplex.com/
    • Marked as answer by Sally Tang Friday, September 24, 2010 4:31 AM
    Monday, September 20, 2010 1:18 PM
  • I have Office 2010 - all you have to do is right-click on the link, and while saving it your computer, rename the extension ".doc" and then try to open it from your computer. I had the same problem and it works for me.
    • Marked as answer by Sally Tang Wednesday, October 27, 2010 8:09 AM
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:00 PM
  • I am not sure if this is related, but I am receiving files from a Word 2010 source.  When I try "Save As", the file is using a compressed file extension and turning the document to a directory with XML files.  I can change the file type to "All Files" (the only other choice) and type the .docx extention.  That does the trick, but why is this happening?  When the source converts the documents to 2007, there is no issue.
    • Proposed as answer by Labête Thursday, July 5, 2012 12:55 AM
    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:26 PM
  • Right click the file and select Properties, then select "Unblock". The file should be able to open after that.
    Thursday, July 5, 2012 12:57 AM
  • If you go to the properties of the file, in General Tab, you will see that this file is blocked, since it came from another computer. You click unblock. It opens then.
    Monday, December 9, 2013 7:00 PM
  • What if you have a large number of documents affected by that. Do you have to manually remove them one by one. Those documents were fine until we update to Office 2010 w/o removing 2003.
    Tuesday, March 3, 2015 12:46 AM