Fix: Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File

The error Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Please try the following suggestions occurs when the user tries to open a file saved in Word 2007 or Word 2010. Most of the time, the issue is caused by a third-party software (Outlook or other email client) that is altering the file during the transmission process.

If you’re currently struggling with this issue, you are in luck. This particular issue is quite common and we managed to identify a couple of methods that will definitely resolve your problem. Please follow the potential fixes below in order until you find a method that resolves your problem. Let’s begin!

Method 1: Unblock the Word file

If you didn’t create the Word file yourself, there’s a high chance that the file is blocked – this is why Word is unable to open it. This typically happens when you receive the word file via Outlook or similar email client.

You can easily fix this by right-clicking on the file that is refusing to open and choosing Properties. Then, in the General tab, look for an unblock button under Security. If you identify one, click on it and then hit Apply to save your changes.

Once the file has been unlocked, re-open the World document and see whether the issue has been resolved. If you still see the Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Please try the following suggestions“, move down to the next method.

Note: If you have a lot of files with the same behavior and this fix was successful on one of them, it’s best to follow Method 2 and unblock them in bulk rather than doing Method 1 manually for each one.

Method 2: Disabling Protected View 

If the problem is not restricted to Word (you have this problem with excel files also) or you have many Word files with the same behavior, the problem is likely caused by a Trust Center setting. It’s likely that the files that you’re trying to open are located in a location that Office considers to be unsafe.

Here’s a quick guide with the modifications that need to be done in order to eliminate the problem:

  1. Open Word, Excel, or any other application from the Office suite. Expand the File tab from the ribbon and click on Options.
  2. In Options, click on Trust Center, then click on Trust Center Settings.
  3. In Trust Center settings, select Protected view and uncheck the following boxes:
    Enable Protected View for Files originating from the Internet
    Enable Protected View for Files located in potentially unsafe locations
    Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments
  4. Save the changes and close the Office program, then open the files that were displaying the Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Please try the following suggestions“. They should now open without any issue.

In the event that you’re still seeing the error when trying to open certain files, move down to the final method.

Method 3: Adding a new trusted location

If the first two methods have proved to be ineffective, there’s a couple of more steps that you need to follow in order to resolve the issue. By adding your entire drive/drives as trusted, Office will have no reasons to block any of the files from being opened.

Here’s a quick guide on adding new trusted locations in Office:

  1. Open Word, Excel, or any other application from the Office suite. Expand the File tab from the ribbon and click on Options.
  2. In Options, click on Trust Center, then click on Trust Center Settings.
  3. In Trust Center Settings, select Trusted Locations and click the Add new location button somewhere on the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select the drive in which you saved your word files and make sure to check the “Sub folders of this location are also trusted” checkbox and hit Ok to save your changes.
  5. Close Word and open any of the files that where showing the Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Please try the following suggestions error. You should now be able to open any of them without issues.

Method 4: Viewing Version History

One of the easiest ways that you can recover a corrupted document is by viewing its version history and then going back to the latest available version so that you recover the document with minimal loss of data. For that:

  1. Open the folder containing the files and right-click on them.
  2. Click on the “View Version History” option and select the last available one.
    Clicking on “View Version history”
  3. Check to see if the document is recovered.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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