Word experienced an error trying to open the file [Full Fix]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Word experienced an error trying to open the file error that arises for some users when they try to open Word documents.
  • This troubleshooting guide includes some of the best fixes for this Word issue, so keep reading.
  • To fix other software errors, check out our extensive and easy-to-follow Fix Hub.
  • Don't hesitate to explore our How-To section for more useful guides on a variety of topics.

Important .doc/.docx file corrupted? Fix it in 1 minute
Don’t lose any of your Word documents that have been corrupted. This tool will repair and retrieve severely corrupt or damaged .doc or .docx files and deliver a full report when finished. You will use it to:

  • Fix all corrupt .doc and .docx files up to Word 2007
  • Repair fonts, text, headers, footers and everything else a Word document contains
  • Get back your original content from the repaired files in its initial form

Word File Repair Tool

Some Word users have encountered an error message that states, Word experienced an error trying to open the file.

This error arises for some users when they try to open MS Word document files.

As a consequence, documents don’t open when Word displays this error message:

There are a few confirmed fixes for this issue, and in this guide we will discuss them all.

Why am I getting Word experienced an error trying to open the file message on Windows 11?

If you get this message, it’s possible that the file is in use by another application, and that’s what preventing you from opening it.

It’s also possible that the installation is damaged because Microsoft Office encountered an error during setup, and if that’s the case, you might have to reinstall it.

This isn’t the only issue that you can encounter and many have reported that Microsoft Word has stopped working, so you might have to check your installation.

How can I fix the Word experienced an error to open the file?

1. Use specialized repair software

This issue can occur if your Word file is corrupted, and if that’s the case, you might have to repair it with a specialized software such as Stellar Repair for Word.

Using this tool you can repair multiple documents simultaneously, and preview the recovered files before saving them. Regarding the compatibility, the software works with all versions of Word.

As for recovery process, there are three methods available, so you can easily recover any corrupted Word document.

Get Stellar Repair for Word

2. Unblock your Word file

  1. Right-click the document file that the error arises in.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Press the Unblock button on the General tab if you can see it.
  4. Click the OK button to close the window.

3. Disable Word’s Protected View options

  1. Click onWord’s File tab.
  2. Next, click Options on the left of the File tab.
  3. Select the Trust Center tab.
    Trust Center tab word experienced an error trying to open the file
  4. Press the Trust Center Settings button.
  5. Click Protected View to open the options shown directly below.
    Protected View options word experienced an error trying to open the file
  6. Deselect all three of the selected Enable Protected View checkboxes.
  7. Press the OK button to close the Trust Center window.
  8. Click OK to exit Word Options.

4. Add the files to a trusted folder location

  1. Open File Explorer with its Windows key + E hotkey.
  2. Move all the document files the Word experienced an error issue arises for, to an alternative folder.
  3. Open the Word application.
  4. Click the File tab and choose Options.
  5. Press the Trust Center Settings button on the Trust Center tab.
  6. Select the Trusted Locations tab shown directly below.
    Trusted Locations tab word experienced an error trying to open the file
  7. Press the Add new location button.
  8. Click the Browse button.
  9. Select the folder that you moved the Word documents to.
  10. Click the OK option.
  11. Select the Subfolders of this location are also trusted checkbox.
  12. Finally, click OK on the Microsoft Office Trusted Location window.

5. Repair the MS Word document

  1. Open MS Word.
  2. Click Open on Word’s File tab.
  3. Select the Browse option.
  4. Select the Word document the error arises for.
  5. Click the Open button’s small arrow to open the submenu in the shot directly below.
    Open and Repair option word experienced an error trying to open the file
  6. Select the Open and Repair option.

For more details on how to repair MS  Word documents, you can always check out this thorough guide.

6. Open the document with an alternative word processor

The Flip Writer word experienced an error trying to open the file

This resolution is more of a workaround than a fix. However, your MS Word document might open fine with other software that supports its file format.

Lots of word processors support MS Word file formats. So, try opening the file the issue arises with alternative software.

Then you can view and edit the document as required if it opens ok in alternative word processors.

The above resolutions will probably fix the Word experienced an error issue for most users, and if you are included in that group, feel free to share you experience with us.

You can do so by using the comment section below this guide.

idee restoro Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:
  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated Great on TrustPilot.com (download starts on this page).
  2. Click Start Scan to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click Repair All to fix issues with Patented Technologies (Exclusive Discount for our readers).

Restoro has been downloaded by 0 readers this month.

This article covers:Topics: