The error “Word experienced an error trying to open the file” occurs when you try to open a file saved in Word. The issue is caused by third-party software that is altering the file during the transmission process. This post from MiniTool can help you fix the issue.

The “Word experienced an error trying to open the file” issue can be caused by several reasons, the following are the methods to fix it.

Word experienced an error trying to open the file

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Method 1: Unblock the Word File

If you don’t create the Word file yourself, maybe the file will be blocked. Then Word document won’t open. When you receive the word file via Outlook or a similar email client, this issue will occur. Here is how to fix it:

Step 1: Right-click the file that can’t be opened to choose Properties.

Step 2: Then, in the General tab, click the Unblock button in Security. Then, click Apply and

OK.

Note: If you have many files with the same behavior and one of them is successfully repaired, then it is better to follow Method 2 and unblock in bulk instead of performing Method 1 manually for each.

Once the file has been unlocked, check to see if the “Word experienced an error trying to open the file” issue has been resolved. If not, you can move down to the next method.

Method 2: Disable the Protected View

If the problem is not restricted to Word or you have many Word files with the same behavior, then the issue is caused by a Trust Center setting. You can try disabling the Protected view to fix the “can't open Word document” issue. Here’s a quick guide with the modifications.

Step 1: Open Word. Click the File tab from the ribbon and click Options.

Step 2: In Options, click Trust Center. Then click Trust Center Settings.

Step 3: In Trust Center settings, select Protected view and uncheck the following boxes:

Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet

Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations

Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments

Save the changes and check to see if the issue still exists. If yes, try the final method.

Method 3: Add a New Trusted Location

If the first two methods have proved to be ineffective, there is the last method for you- add a new trusted location. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Open Word. Click the File tab from the ribbon and click Options.

Step 2: In Options, click Trust Center. Then click Trust Center Settings.

Step 3: In Trust Center Settings, select Trusted Locations and click the Add new location button on the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Select the drive in which you saved your word files and check the Subfolders of this location are also trusted box and press OK to save your changes.

You should now be able to open Word without issues.

Tip: You can also try to disable Windows Defender to fix the issue, this post - 3 Ways to Disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10 can help you disable it.
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Final Words

To sum up, this post has introduced 3 useful and feasible methods to fix the “Word experienced an error trying to open the file” error. If you encounter the same issue, you can try the methods mentioned above.

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