How to fix: DOCX files not showing Word icon in Explorer. (Solved)

Last updated on January 17th, 2019

On a Windows 7 computer, with Office 2013 installed, suddenly all DOCX files were not displayed with the default Word icon in Explorer, even though the DOCX file association was set up correctly and all docx files opened without problems with Word 2013 application. 

DOCX files not showing Word icon in Explorer

In this tutorial you 'll find detailed instructions to fix the following problem in Word 2016, 2013 & 2010: "The docx files displayed with a generic icon in Windows Explorer instead of the default Word icon". (Applied to Word 2010, 2013 or 2016)

How to fix: DOCX files are displayed with a generic icon in Windows Explorer.

Step 1. Scan your computer for viruses.

Viruses or malicious programs can cause your PC to work abnormally.  So, before you continue to troubleshoot your problems, use this Malware Scan and Removal Guide to check and remove viruses or/and malicious programs that may be running on your computer.

Step 2. Temporally set DOCX files to open with WordPad and then revert back to Word.

1. Right click on a DOCX file and select Open with…

docx files generic icon fix

2. At "How do you want to open this file" options, click More apps.

word 2016 invlaid icon

3. Scroll down and select WordPad and then check the "Always use this app to open .docx files" checkbox. Click OK when done.

fix docx icon explorer

4. Close WordPad.
5. Now right click again to a DOCX document and select Open with…
6.
Select the Word program from the list and then check the "Always use this app to open .docx files".
7. Click OK.
8. Close
Word application and then check if the DOCX files displayed with the right Word icon in Explorer. If the problem persists continue to the next step.

Step 3. Set DOCX files to open with "winword.exe" application.

1. Right click on a DOCX file and select Open with…
2. At "How do you want to open this file" options, click More apps.
3.
First, scroll down and check the "Always use this app to open .docx files" checkbox.
4. Then click above at Look for another app to open .docx files option.

restore docx icon to default

5. Select the WINWORD.exe application, from one of the following paths, according to the installed Office version and click Open:

  • Word 2016 (64-bit): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • Word 2016 (32-bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • Word 2013 (64-bit): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 15\
  • Word 2013 (32-bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 15\
  • Word 2010 (64-bit): C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 14\
  • Word 2010 (32-bit):  C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\

fix generic docx icon word 2016 or 2013

8. Close Word application and then check if the DOCX files are displayed with the Word icon in Explorer. If the issue persists, then continue to the next step.

Step 4. Modify Default Word icon in Registry.

1. Simultaneously press the Win image + R keys to open the run command box.
2. Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.

fix DOCX files are displayed with a generic icon

3. Navigate to this key from the left pane:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\DefaultIcon

fix word 2016 icon

4. Double click at Default value at the right pane and according your Word version and architecture (32 or 64 bit), copy/paste the corresponding value in the value data box:

  • Word 2016 (64-bit):
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\wordicon.exe,13
  • Word 2016 (32-bit):
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\wordicon.exe,13
  • Word 2013 (64-bit):
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 15\wordicon.exe,13
  • Word 2013 (32-bit):
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 15\wordicon.exe,13
  • Word 2010 (64-bit):
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 14\wordicon.exe,13
  • Word 2010 (32-bit):
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\wordicon.exe,13

word icon registry

5. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
6. If after restart, the Word icon is not displayed in docx files, then the final step is to repair your Office installation.

That it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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