Double-clicking an Office file fails to open it

When you try to open an Excel workbook, a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation with Excel, Word, or PowerPoint 2016 the following errors may occur:

  • The file doesn’t open in the expected application. For instance, an Excel workbook doesn’t open in Excel 2016; instead, it opens in another app.

  • An error indicating a file association problem may occur. For instance, you may get an error similar to “This file does not have a program associated with it…”

    If you see either of these errors, a Quick Repair of Office 2016 will often resolve it.

Run a Quick Repair to fix the file association problem

  1. In Control Panel, choose Programs > Programs and Features.

  2. Next, select the Office product you want to repair and then choose Change.

  3. Choose the Quick Repair option and then choose Repair.

For more information about the repair option in Office, go to Repair an Office application.

If that doesn't resolve the issue try manually associating the files to the correct app.

Manually associate files to the correct Office app

  1. Right-click the Start button

    Note: If you're using Windows 7, just click Start > Control Panel then you can skip to step 3, below.

  2. Choose Control Panel

  3. Click Default Programs (if you don't see Default Programs, type it into the search box at the top right corner of the window and press enter)

  4. Choose Set your default programs

  5. Select the Office 2016 app that isn't opening correctly and choose Set this program as default.

  6. Click OK

Tip: You may want to repeat this process for the other Office 2016 apps while you're here.

See also

Still have a question about Office 2016?

Visit the Microsoft Answers Community to see questions and answers posted by others or get answers to your own questions.

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