There was a problem sending the command to the program is an error message you may receive when you want to open a Microsoft Office program like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. This error will stop you from opening the file successfully. But, you can read this MiniTool article to get some methods to fix it.

As a Microsoft Office user, you must have encountered different kinds of issues like Excel not responding, Word not responding, and more when using the software.

We have talked about many Office issues before except there was a problem sending the command to the program. This is a very common issue that can be encountered by many Windows users. Perhaps, you are also a member that is facing this error. If yes, this article is helpful to you.

You can read the following contents to get some information about Excel/PowerPoint/Word problem sending command to program and some approaches to solve this issue.

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About There Was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program

The error of there was a problem sending the command to the program is associated with the Office Package and it always occurs when you want to open your Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc. This error can affect all versions of Windows including Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, and so forth.

Why does this issue happen?

When Windows sends Dynamic Data Exchange commands (DDE) to your Microsoft Office apps, but the OS fails to connect with the application, it will trigger an error: there was a problem sending the command to the program.

This is an annoying issue. But, you still can take some measures to get rid of it. In this article, we gather some effective solutions. You can try them one by one to help you out.

The following solutions are based on Excel 2016/2013/2010. But, these solutions are also available for there was a problem sending the command to the program Word/Excel/PowerPoint….

Solution 1: Stop Running the Program as Administrator

At times, you need to run some certain programs with the administrative privilege to make them work successfully. However, administrative privilege is not a good thing all the time. It may interfere with the application you try to run and trigger there was a problem sending the command to the program Excel/Word/PowerPoint….

So, you can disable the Run as Administrator option in the program to fix the issue. Here is how to do this job:

1. Click on Start.

2. Find the program that is bothered by the error and right-click on it.

3. Select Properties. If there is no Properties option, you can click Open the file location and then right-click the target program in the new window to select Properties.

select Properties

4. Go to Shortcut > Advanced to uncheck the box in front of the Run this program as administrator option.

5. Click OK to execute the change.

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Solution 2: Disable Dynamic Data Exchange

Some users reflect that the Dynamic Data Exchange feature in Microsoft Office can also cause there was a problem sending the command to the program error. After they disable this feature, the error message disappears.

So, you can also try this method to see whether the problem can be solved.

Here is a guide:

  1. Open the program that is bothered by this error.
  2. Go to File > Options > Advanced > General.
  3. Uncheck the box before the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) However, if this option has been unchecked, you need to check it to enable it, close the program and then repeat the above steps to uncheck it to disable it.
  4. Click OK to save the change.

disable DDE

At last, you can go to check whether the message of there was a problem sending the command to the program goes away.

Solution 3: Disable the Antivirus Software

If you have installed antivirus software on your computer, you need to consider whether the issue is caused by it. To rule out this possibility, you can temporarily disable it to have a try.

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Solution 4: Repair Microsoft Office

If your Microsoft Office installation is damaged or corrupted, you can also encounter this error: there was a problem sending the command to the program.

You can do these things to fix the damaged Office installation:

1. Click on Start.

2. Go to Settings > Apps.

3. Under the Apps and Feature section, you need to scroll down to find the Microsoft Office option. Then, click on it and select Modify.

Modify

4. Select Repair.

5. Click Continue.

The repair process will start and you need to wait until the whole process ends. After that, you can open the program to see whether the error is disappeared.

If the error still pops up, you can reinstall Microsoft Office to have a try.

Solution 5: Turn off Add-Ins

Microsoft Office add-ins can bring new features to the program. But, some users say that it may cause issues like there was a problem sending the command to the program that can prevent you from using the program normally.

So, you’d better go to check whether it is necessary to turn off some add-ins in your Microsoft Office. You can follow these steps to do the work:

1. Open the faulty Office program.

2. Go to File > Options > Add-Ins.

3. Go to the last line of that section and click the arrow down button behind the Manage option.

4. Select COM Add-Ins.

5. Click on Go.

remove add-ins

6. Select one add-in and then click Delete to remove it from the program.

7. Click OK to save the change.

After that, you can reboot the program to see whether the issue goes away. If you still receive the error message, you can repeat the above steps to select another add-in to remove.

If this method doesn’t work, it means that there was a problem sending the command to the program error is not caused by add-ins. Thus, you need to try other solutions to solve the issue. The next solution is also worth trying.

Solution 6: Disable Hardware Acceleration

The hardware acceleration feature can bring better performance for the application. But, in some cases, it is also the cause of the there was a problem sending the command to the program error. You are not sure whether this is the real cause of the issue. But, you can disable this feature to see whether it can solve the problem.

  1. Open the program.
  2. Go to File > Options > Advanced.
  3. Scroll down to find the Display
  4. Check the box before the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option.
  5. Click OK to keep the change.

disable hardware graphics acceleration

Solution 7: Modify the Registry Key

A registry issue can also cause the error because if the registry key interferes with the application, there was a problem sending the command to the program error can occur.

Tip: To avoid trouble, you’d better back up your registry key beforehand.

To modify the registry key, you should do these operations:

1. Press the Windows key and the R key at the same time to open Run.

2. Type regedit into the box and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

3. Navigate to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.8\shell\Open.

4. Right-click on the ddeexec folder and then select Rename from the popup menu.

rename ddeexec

5. Change the name to old.

6. Now, click the command key folder that should be on the top of the ddeexec folder.

7. Double-click on the Default string from the right pane.

8. In the box under the Value data section, you should replace /e or /dde with “%1” (the quotes are included. That is, the value should be "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\EXCEL.EXE" “%1”.

change registry value data

9. Click OK to save the change.

10. Double-click the command string from the right pane.

11. In the box under the Value data section, you should replace /e or /dde with “%1” (the quotes are included. That is, the value should be like zn=BV5!!!!4!!!!MKKSkEXCELFiles>]-z5hw$l[8QeZZR4_X=$ “%1”.

12. Click OK to save the change.

Then, you still need to repeat the steps from 4 to 12 to modify the registry key for Excel.Sheet.12.

At last, you can go to check whether the issue disappears. If you still have the problem, try the next method.

Solution 8: Remove Windows Compatibility Package

The leftover components from the previous Office versions can also lead to this error. According to some researches, the Windows Compatibility Package is the real cause. You should remove it and then check whether the issue is solved.

Solution 9: Reinstall Microsoft Office

If all of the above solutions don’t work for you, you will need to reinstall Microsoft Office to have a try. This can solve some program issues that can’t be found easily.

Solution 10: Ask a Professional for Help

Your last choice should be asking a professional for help. Of course, if you think you can’t solve the issue by yourself and you don’t want to cause some extra trouble, you can directly use this method.

You can contact the Microsoft Support online or bring your device to a Microsoft Support center and let the professional help you solve the issue.

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Bonus: Rescue Your Lost Office Files Using MiniTool

When you are dealing with the there was a problem sending the command to the program issue, some wrong operations may let you lose some of your files or the error itself may cause data loss.

When you want to recover your lost file, you can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery - a professional data recovery software. It is specially designed to retrieve your files from hard drives, memory cards, SD cards, USB flash drives, and more.

With the trial edition of this software, you can check whether it can find your needed data. You can click the following button to get it.

Free Download

Then, we will tell you how to use this software to get your lost data back:

1. Open the software and stay at the This PC interface.

2. Select the drive that contains the files you want to recover.

3. Click Scan to start the scanning process.

select the target drive to scan

4. When the scanning process ends, you will see the scan results that are listed by path. You need to unfold each path and then find your needed files. If there are so many files, you can also use the Type feature or the Find feature to find your files easily and quickly.

scan results

Since the trial edition only supports scanning drive but not recovering files, you will need to use a full edition to recover data. You can go to the MiniTool store to get one based on your own situation. For example, if you are a personal user, the Personal Ultimate Edition is enough.

After getting the license key, you can register the software directly in the scan results interface, select your needed files, and then click Save to recover them to your specific path. You should not save them to the original location to avoid data overwrite.

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Bottom Line

This issue of there was a problem sending the command to the program brings you trouble, but the solutions mentioned in this article can help you get rid of the trouble. We hope they are useful to you.

Should you have any questions when using these methods to solve your Word/Excel problem sending command to program issue or using MiniTool software, you can contact us through [email protected] or let us know in the comment. You can also share your suggestions with us here.

There Was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program FAQ

?️ What is DDE in Excel?
The full name of DDE is Dynamic Data Exchange. It is a set of messages and guidelines that can send messages between applications that share data and make use of the shared memory to exchange data between applications.
? How do I enable DDE in Excel 2016?
  1. Open an Excel file.
  2. Go to File > Options > Advanced > General.
  3. Check Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).
  4. Click OK to save the change.
? How do you fix there was a problem sending the command to the program?
  1. Disable Run as Administrator for the program
  2. Disable Dynamic Data Exchange
  3. Disable the antivirus software
  4. Repair Microsoft Office
  5. Turn off add-ins
  6. Disable Hardware Acceleration
  7. Modify the Registry key
  8. Remove Windows compatibility package
  9. Reinstall Microsoft Office
? How do I reset my Excel settings?
You can go to Settings > Programs > Programs and features to find the Microsoft Office. Then click it and press Change. After that, you need to select Repair and press Continue to allow your computer to reset Microsoft Excel settings.
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