Solved: Word experienced an error trying to open the file in Outlook 2013/2016

Last updated on July 21st, 2018

The following error may occur while trying to open Word (attachments) in Outlook 2016, 2013 or 2010: "Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Try these suggestions. Check the file permissions for the document or drive. Make sure there is sufficient memory and disk space. Open the file with the Text Recovery converter". The same error happens if the user tries to open the attachment file, after saving it to the disk.

Word experienced an error trying to open the file


In this tutorial you will find detailed instructions to resolve the following problems in Office 2010, 2013 or 2016:

  • Unable to open Word files or Word attachments in Outlook, with error message "Word experienced an error trying to open the file".
  • Unable to open Excel files or Excel attachments in Outlook, with error message "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened".
  • Previewer is not Working in Outlook – Outlook can't preview Word & Excel Files.

How to fix: Word experienced an error trying to open the file.


Method 1. Unblock File Security.

If you face the "Word Experienced" problem on a file that came from an external source (email, download, USB, Network) first unblock the security on the file. To do that:

1. Right click on the file and select Properties.
2. At General tab, click the Unblock button and click OK.
3. Try to open the file. If the problem persists, then continue to the methods below.

unblock security - ublock file security



Method 2. Enable Windows Firewall.

The "Word encountered an error while trying to open the file" problem, is usually displayed when Windows Firewall has been disabled. To enable Windows Firewall:

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + R keys to open run command box.
2. In run command box, type: services.msc and press Enter.




3. Right click on Windows Firewall service and select Properties.

firewall properties


4. Set the Startup type to Automatic and click OK.

enable firewall windows


5. Restart your computer.
6. After the restart, open Outlook and try to open the Word attachment.


Method 3. Modify Protected View Settings.

1. Open Word application. *

* Note: If you face a similar problem when you open Excel attachments then perform the steps below in Excel.

2. From File menu select Options.
3. Select Trust Center on the left pane and then click Trust Center Settings on the right side.

disable protected view settings word


4. Click Protected view on the left pane.
5. Uncheck all protected view options * on the right pane.

* 1. Enable Protected View for Files originating from the Internet
2. Enable Protected View for Files located in potentially unsafe locations
3. Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments

6. Click OK twice to apply changes and exit Word.

trust center protected view settings


7. Open the attachment in Outlook.


Method 4. Diagnose Office problems with Office Configuration Analyzer Tool.

1. Download and save the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool on your disk. *

* Select the OffCAT.msi and click Next.


fix office issues with Office Configuration Analyzer Tool.

2. When the download is completed, run the OffCAT.msi file and click Next.

Office Configuration Analyzer Tool.


3. Accept the License Agreement and click Next on the next screens.
4. When the installation s completed run the Office Analyzer tool.
5. Select "I've read this notification" and click Continue.

fix excel file is corrupt and cannot be opened


6. Select to scan all Office programs and then press "Click to scan"

fix word file is corrupt and cannot be opened


7. When the scanning is completed review the results for Outlook and Word and apply the suggested fixes or see the possible solutions online.

That's it! Which method worked for you?
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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