How to Repair MS Word File Error And Cannot Be Opened?

The following error message "The file is corrupted and cannot be opened" occurs in new Microsoft Word versions when you try to open a document that has been created in older versions like 2007 or 2003. This error message usually appears after an upgrade. You might get frustrated, being unable to access an important document. However, you shouldn't worry too much about it because we will show you some ways to repair corrupted Word files.

First, we are going to look at two Word file repair methods that you could apply right away. One method involves changing Word options, and the other one involves changing system settings. If none of the two methods are effective, then we have prepared a Word Repair Tool tutorial using a third-party software application. Hopefully, you'll learn how to fix documents and ultimately recover your presumptuously lost data.

Part 1: How to Repair MS Word file cannot Open Error

Update "Trust Center" Settings: New Word versions have a stricter security policy on copied or downloaded files. Sometimes you are unable to open a Word file because of the "Enabled Protected View" settings. What you need to do is change the policy. Here's how:

  • Launch Microsoft Word;

  • Navigate to "File", and click "Options";

  • Go to "Trust Center" and tap the button located just below the "trust Center Settings";

  • Tap "Protected View";

  • Uncheck everything and then click the "Ok" button;

  • Restart Microsoft Word and try to open the same document again.

If everything went ok, you should now be able to open the document without being prevented to do so.

Change "Component Security" Settings: Sometimes your document is prevented from opening by the Windows security level, and in that case, you need to change "Component Security" settings to default. Here's how you can change it:

  • Type "dcomcnfg" in the search box and hit the "Enter" key;

  • A new window opens. On the left pane, select "Component Services";

  • The "Computers" folder is shown in the middle pane. Double click to expand it;

  • You can now see the "My Computer" icon. Right-click on it and select "Properties";

  • Navigate to the "Default Properties" tab;

  • In the "Default Distributed Com Communication Properties" section, set the "Default Authentication Level" from the drop-down menu to "Default";

  • Now right beneath, set the "Impersonation level" from the "Default impersonation level" drop-down menu to "Identify, and click the "Ok" button.

It's time to check the results of this Word file repairing method. Open the document again and see if it works. If you are still displayed the same error message, please go to Part 3 where we'll talk about a Word Repair Tool that will help you repair corrupted Word files.

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Part 2: How to Repair Corrupt Word Files with Tool

Don't worry if every method you have tried so far failed to repair your corrupted Word file. An alternative solution that is usually a quite effective Word file repair method is using a professional Word Repair Tool. I suggest using a third-party software application like Wondershare Repairit - File Repair. This program can safely help you recover files that have been corrupted while preserving the document the way it used to be in terms of formatting, and layout. You don't need to worry about compatibility. It can be used to recover documents created in Word 2000 up to 2013. You will love the fact that the support for this app is so well documented.

1. Overview of Word Repair Tool

Wondershare Repairit - File Repair for Word Repair Tool is very efficient in recovering corrupted documents. You have to try this Word file repair software and you'll convince yourself of its value. Take a look at the features of Wondershare Repairit - File Repair for word repair.

  • This repairing tool supports .docx files format.

  • It can safely repair corrupted Word files without modifying the original file.

  • In case you have added a wrong file to repair, you can remove it or trash it.

  • It covers text, images, font, hyperlinks, header, footer, etc. on the corrupted Word file.

  • The tool supports MS Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and earlier versions.

2. Simple Steps to Repair Corrupt Word file

Step 1: Upload Corrupted Word files on Wondershare Repairit

  • Firstly, launch the Wondershare Repairit on your system and choose "File Repair".

  • Click on the “Add” button to locate the Word file which cannot be opened. Multiple files can be added here.

add file in wondershare repairit
  • The application will filter out incompatible format to improve efficiency. Once you choose the files, the tool starts uploading them.

Step 2: Start the Word repairing process

  • Once you have selected files that cannot be opened, click on the “Repair” option at the bottom to get started.

  • The tool will start scanning the documents.

  • You can check the repairing progress during the repairing process. Additionally, the tool will display different status of being scanned, waiting to be repaired, or already completed.

start repair in wondershare repairit
  • Then, a prompt will appear to show the number of files that have been repaired.

  • Also, if the word file is corrupted badly and cannot get repaired, the tool will guide you to an expert for dealing with this issue.

Step 3: Preview and save repaired files

  • After the repairing process is done you can click on "Preview" button to check the files that have just been recovered.

  • Click the “Save” or "Save All" button to export all repaired files at once.

preview file in wondershare repairit
  • You can also choose the certain folder to save your repaired files.

save file in wondershare repairit

Video Tutorial on How to Recover an Unsaved/Deleted Word Document?