Fix: Word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • The Word isn’t your default program dialog box window keeps popping up for some users when they try to open specific file types with the application.
  • You can disable the default program dialog box via the Word Options window.
  • Our Windows settings section includes more posts that provide further details for how you can configure settings in Windows 10.
  • You can find more Word tips and useful fixes in our detailed Microsoft Word Hub.

Some MS Word users have posted on Microsoft’s forum about a dialog box that says, Word isn’t Your Default Program for viewing and editing Docs.

The dialog box window keeps opening for some users when they try to open document files with Word. That issue can still arise even when users have configured the selected file type for Word.

Microsoft Word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents

Disable Word’s default program dialog box

  1. Select the File tab in Word.
  2. Click Options to open a Word Options window.
    Word Options window microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  3. Select General on the left of the Word Options window.
  4. Scroll down the window until you get to Startup options.
  5. Deselect the Tell me if Microsoft Word isn’t the default program for viewing and editing documents option.
  6. Click the OK button.

Repair Word’s Office Installation

  1. Open the Run dialog by pressing its Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl in the Run box and click OK to open the uninstaller Control Panel window.
    The Programs and Features window microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  3. Select your MS Office suite listed there.
  4. Click the Modify button to open repair options.
    Online Repair option microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  5. Select the Quick Repair or Online Repair radio button.
  6. Press the Repair button.
  7. Restart Windows after repairing Office.

Check the default apps by file type settings

  1. Check that all the file types for Word are configured to be the default ones. To do so, click Windows 10’s Type here to search taskbar button.
  2. Next, enter the keyword default in the search box.
  3. Click default apps to open the window in the shot directly below.
    The Apps & features tab microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  4. Click Set defaults by app to open a list of software.
    Set defaults by app list microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  5. Select the Word software, and click the Manage button for it.
  6. Then you’ll see a list of file types Word can open. Select Word for all file types its not the default app for.
  7. Select Word again for file types its already the default for just to refresh.
  8. Thereafter, restart your laptop or desktop.

Uninstall old Office suites

  1. Open the Run dialogue box.
  2. Then you can open the uninstaller by entering appwiz.cpl in Run and clicking OK.Run accessory microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  3. Next, look for an old Office installation listed in the Programs and Features.
  4. Select an old Office installation (not your current one), and click its Uninstall button.
  5. Click Yes on uninstall confirmation prompts.
  6. Restart Windows after uninstalling your old Office software.

Select Notepad and then Word as the default file type

  1. Right-click the file the dialog box opens for to select Open with.
  2. Select Choose another app > More apps > Notepad.
  3. Select the Always use this app checkbox.
    The app selection window microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents
  4. Click the OK button.
  5. Then right-click the same file again to select Open with > Choose another app > Word.
  6. Select the Always use this app option again, and click the OK button.

Those are some of the most probable resolutions for fixing the Word isn’t your default program dialog box.

If you still need further resolutions, you can get in touch with Microsoft support agent via the Contact Office Support page.

FAQ: Learn more about Microsoft Word

  • What’s the difference between Microsoft Word and WordPad?

The most important difference between MS Word and WordPad is that MS Word has much more text editing features than WordPad.

  • How do I fix Microsoft Word Problems?

To fix Microsoft Word problems, check out our detailed Microsoft Office not opening fix guide.

  • Can I get viruses from Word Documents?

Yes, there is a possibility that a corrupted Word Document could cause issues. Have a look at our 6 best Microsoft Word antivirus to protect your documents.

 

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