How to troubleshoot Office 2016 problems on Windows 10?

October 12, 2018 |

greater than 12 minutes

Considering the volume of errors, bugs, and problems that afflict applications like Word, Excel, and other apps that make up Office 2016, there is a reasonable chance that we might fail to explore a specific issue.

Fortunately, you can apply a good number of solutions provided here to a wide range of problems. Here we go.

How to fix the Word experienced an error trying to open the file issue?

You probably tried to open a file with the Microsoft Word program but your attempt was a failure, and Windows displayed this message: Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Please try the following suggestions.

We believe the error in view occurs when users attempt to open a file saved with the Word 2010 or Word 2007 program (or a document in their formats). The issue has something to do with the alterations made by third-party applications (Outlook and other email clients, for example) during the transmission process for the file.

If you ended up on this page due to this problem, then you are in luck. We have excellent solutions you must go through until you arrive at the one ideal for the issue in your case.

1. Unblock the file:

Observe the affected file and recall where it came from or how it ended up on your computer. Maybe, you are not even the person who created the file. In that case, there is a good chance the file is blocked, and Word being unable to open it is merely a consequence of the blockage. Perhaps, you received the file via email, and your mail client downloaded it on your behalf.

To fix the problem, do this:

Locate the affected file in a File Explorer window. Right-click on it, then select Properties from the list of options that show up

  • After the Properties window appears, you must navigate to the General tab, and there, you must locate the Unblock button under the Security menu or section. Click on it
  • Click on Apply. Windows will save the changes you just made. Exit the windows you opened. Now, you must try opening the affected document once more and see how things go.

If you are unsuccessful in your fresh attempt to launch the file with the error in view appearing again, then you must move on to the next fix.

If you experienced the same problem when you tried to open numerous files and had success with the solution above, then you might be tempted into applying this fix for multiple documents. However, this approach is an impractical one. We recommend you move on to the next solution. There, we will show you how to unblock many files in bulk (or in one go).

2. Disable Protected view:

This solution is ideal when the error you are struggling with is associated with numerous Word files or in cases when the same problem afflicts Excel files too. In such defined scenarios, we believe a setting or parameter in your Trust Settings caused the issue.

Moreover, we can infer that the file you could not get to open when Microsoft Word displayed the Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File message is located in a directory Microsoft Office deems to be unsafe. With some little tweaking, you can make things right.

Here are the instructions that will guide you on making the necessary modifications or changes:

  • Launch the Word app. You could also open the Excel application or any similar program included in the Microsoft Office suite. After the required program window shows up, from the ribbon you see, you must expand the File tab
  • Click on Options. From the list of items visible on the left pane, click on Trust Center. From the list of options under the Trust Center menu, click on Protected view
  • On the right pane, you will see the Protected view parameters. Now, you must move to untick the checkbox for the following options to deselect them:
  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
  • Now, you must save the changes you made and exit the Office program you launched. Finally, you must try opening the files you struggled with earlier to find out if the disturbing error is still active.

3. Add a new trusted location:

The first two fixes are practical solutions for the vast majority of scenarios where users see the Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File notification. However, we must also account for exceptional or unusual cases where Windows is failing to open only specific files with the same error appearing.

Here, you are going to change some settings to make the entirety of your drive or a specific folder appear as a trusted location to Windows. If you do this successfully, then Windows will stop blocking your files from opening because it will not have any reason to do this.

You need to follow these instructions:

  • You have to open the Word app. The Excel application or any similar program from the Microsoft Office package should work fine too for what you are about to do.
  • Expand the File tab from the ribbon you see. Now, click on Options to continue. Once the Word Options screen comes up, click on Trust Center Settings
  • Once the Trust Center menu is up, click on Trusted Locations. On the right pane, check for the Add new location button (usually close to the bottom of the screen) and click on it
  • Now, you must select the drive you want to mark as a safe place. If you have all your Word files or documents in a specific folder, then we recommend you select that folder. If you want to choose a broader directory, you are free to do as you please.

You must tick the checkbox for the Subfolders of this location are also trusted option for obvious reasons

  • Click on the OK button and Windows should move on to save the changes you just made. Exit the program windows you launched.
  • Verify that the problem has been resolved by trying to open a file you could not view earlier and see how things turn out this time. If the issue you were dealing with afflicted multiple files, then you will do well to perform checks on as many of them as possible to be sure that everything is now in order.

Note: If you used any of the first 3 fixes to get rid of your problem, then you must understand that your system is generally now more vulnerable to threats due to the nature of the operations you carried out. You might want to beef up the security of your PC to counter the effect of the unwanted downsides.

You will do well to install Auslogics Anti-Malware. The addition of this superb app will bring about an improvement in your current security setup.

4. Enable Windows Firewall:

Some reports indicate that Windows sometimes displays the Word Experienced An Error Trying to Open the File message when Windows Firewall is inactive. Therefore, to fix the issue (so that you can open your files), you have to check and enable Windows Firewall if it has been disabled.

Do this:

  • Open the Run app. You can do this by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard, and while you are holding it, tapping the letter R key to continue. After the small run program window appears, you must input the following code into the text field there: services.msc

To force Windows to execute the inputted code, click on the OK button. A tap of the Enter key should also do the trick.

  • The Services program window should be up and running by now. Go through the list of services you see and locate the Windows Firewall service. Right-click on it, and from the short menu list that appears, click on Properties.
  • The Windows Firewall Properties window should come up. There, under the General tab, you must check for the Startup type parameter. Expand the available options and select Automatic
  • Click on the OK button. Now, you must reboot your computer. After your system restarts, Windows will run the service automatically, and finally, you can try opening the document or Word file.

How to repair Microsoft Office 2016 on Windows 10?

Before you begin, you need to find out if your Office installation is Click-to-run or MSI-based. You can do this quickly by following these instructions:

  • Open Microsoft Word. You can launch Excel or any other Microsoft Office app for the work you are about to do. Once the program window is up, click on File (usually located close to the top of the window)
  • From the options available, click on Account or Office Account. At this point, if you see Update options as a button, then your Microsoft Office is based on a Click-to-run installation. Otherwise, your Microsoft Office installation is MSI-based.

Take note of what you have just discovered. You are free to exit all program windows.

Now you can move on to carry out the primary operation. Here are the instructions you have to follow:

  • Open the Control Panel app. You can do this by right-clicking on the Windows Start icon that is always visible on your desktop screen, then selecting Control Panel from the available programs and options

(Note: you can also launch the Settings app and carry out the necessary operations through the Apps and Features menu)

  • After the Control Panel program window shows up, you must click on Programs or search for Programs and Features in the text field available to see the results you must click on to enter their menu
  • Once you are in the Program and Features menu, you will see all the applications currently installed on your PC. Locate Microsoft Office suite, right-click on it, then select Change from the short menu list
  • Now, you have arrived at the stage where the information you obtained earlier about your Microsoft Office installation comes in handy.
  • If your installation is Click-to-run, we recommend you select Online Repair.

Of course, we know Quick Repair is the faster option. It is not as thorough as the alternative, though. Well, if you ended up on this page to find how to repair your Microsoft Office installation, then we would like to believe there is a serious issue you are trying to fix. Therefore, Online Repair is the better choice because you are more likely to resolve your problem with its help.

The Online Repair reinstalls your Microsoft Office on your device to get rid of issues. If you go with it, you will end up having to activate your copy of Office once the job is complete. If you prefer to avoid such operations or complications, then you can go with Quick repair and see if it does enough to deliver the result you need. If it fails, then you must return to this menu and use Quick Repair.

  • On the other hand, if your installation is MSI-based, then you just have to select Repair to continue
  • You might see a confirmation dialog. There, you have to click on the Repair button once more, and finally, Windows will now move on to initiate the repair operations.

If you went with Online Repair, then you might have to wait a while. The speed of the operation depends mostly on your internet connection as Windows will be downloading the required files from the internet most of the time.

If you used Quick Repair instead, then you should be good to go any moment from now.

How to fix the problem associated with the Word has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly message?

This error typically comes up when users try to open a specific Office app. Here is the basic form of the notification that indicates the same problem: We’re sorry, but [Office App] has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly.

We believe that this problem manifests after an upgrade to Windows 10 from an older iteration or build of Windows. From this vital piece of detail, you might have figured that compatibility issues are in play, and this inference more or less defines our approach to resolving the issue.

The problem was widespread enough (occurring on a large number of PCs), so it came to Microsoft’s attention. Subsequently, the operating system maker developed a troubleshooter that users can download and run to fix the issue.

Nevertheless, we will guide you through a manual operation you can perform to get your Office apps working again.

  • Open the File Explorer app by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard, and while holding it, moving on to tap the letter E key
  • Once the required program is up, you must locate the folder that contains your Microsoft Office installation.

If your PC is running a 64-bit version of Windows 10, then you can get there by navigating through the following items: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16

If you have a 32-bit version of Windows 10 installed on your computer instead, then you must go through these folders: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

Note the final folder on the path depends on what version of Microsoft Office you have. If you have Office 2012 installed instead of Office 2016, for example, then Office12 is the folder that contains your installation files.

  • Once you are at the required place, you must go through the items there to locate the application you struggled to open. The executable file for the app is what you need

If you need to work on Microsoft Word, then you must locate Winword.exe or WINWORD

If you need to work on Microsoft Excel, then you must locate Excel.exe or EXCEL

If you need to work on PowerPoint, then you must locate Powerpoint.exe or POWERPOINT

If you need to work on Outlook, then you must locate Outlook.exe or OUTLOOK

  • Once you find it, you must right-click on it, then select Properties from the options list you see
  • The Properties window for the selected app should be up by now. You must navigate to the Compatibility tab, and there, you have to tick the checkbox for Run this program in compatibility mode for.
  • Click on the Apply button. Continue by clicking on the OK button. Finally, you can exit the program windows you opened and check if you can now get the Microsoft Office app in view to open without issues.

If the same problems persist, then we recommend you follow the steps above to apply the fix again, but this time, you must go with a different Windows build (one that differs from the default compatibility option). Windows 7, Windows 8, for example. Try as many iterations or versions of Windows as possible until you stumble on the one that works perfectly in your case.

Additional fixes to problems affecting Microsoft Office apps

We would rather have you avoid issues with Microsoft Office applications than try to solve them. For one, if you came here to find out how to upgrade to Windows 10 on new devices that include Office 365, then it is imperative that you install Office before you initiate the update operations. Microsoft recommends you do this to avoid complications.

On the other hand, for example, if you have already upgraded to Windows, and as a result of this, you are now experiencing problems with Microsoft Office applications, then we recommend you go through this additional list of fixes.

  • Solution to Office apps missing after an upgrade to Windows 10:

To be fair, Microsoft has long resolved this issue in a specific Windows updates release. Therefore, the ideal fix for the missing apps problem requires you to download and install all updates. However, if you are unable to download and install updates for some reason or if the same problem persists even after you did so, then you can always launch the missing apps through some manual operations

  • Press the Windows button on your keyboard (or click on the Windows Start icon). Search for Word or the Microsoft app that is missing.
  • From the results that appear, click on Word (Desktop app) or the needed Microsoft Office app to open it.

Do this to create a setup that lets you access the apps fast:

  • Search for the Microsoft Office app once more. Once it appears, right-click on it, then select Pin to the taskbar or choose Pin to start.

Fix for the files not opening problem that manifests after an upgrade to Windows 10:

This solution is effective in the vast majority of the scenarios where this issue occurs, so you will do well to use it correctly.

  • Right-click on the Windows Start icon to see some programs and options from which you must select Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Once the Administrator: Command Prompt window shows up, you must input the following code: cd %userprofile%

Hit the Enter key to run the inputted command

  • Now, continue by typing in the following code: cd OneDrive

(Note: OneDrive represents the folder location for the file you were unable to open. If the file in your case was in a different folder, then you must replace OneDrive with the appropriate directory)

Hit the Enter key once again to run the code.

  • Now, it is time you typed in the final code: icacls %userprofile%\ folder_name /inheritance:e

(Remember to replace the OneDrive part of the code with the appropriate term if necessary)

  • Press the Enter key. You are done this time. You can move on to check if you can now open the files you struggled to launch earlier using a specific Microsoft Office app.


If you are experiencing system-wide slowdowns on your computer, then you might want to check out Auslogics BoostSpeed. We recommend you let this app to run tests on your device to diagnose the source or cause of the problems, and furthermore, you can use to it carry out numerous performance optimization operations to make your PC deliver peak performances.

    Share it:
    Do you like this post?
    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)