Double-clicking an Office file fails to open it in the correct Office program

When you try to open an Excel workbook, a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation with Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, 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 or an older version of Excel.

  • 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 for performing this action. please install a program or if one is already installed create an associate in the default programs control panel"


    This action is only valid for products that are currently installed

Note: If you've tried to open an Excel workbook but instead Excel only opens a blank screen see: Excel 2016 opens to a blank screen.

Fix it for me

  1. Click this easy fix button to attempt to resolve this issue.

    Easy fix download button indicating an automated fix is available
  2. Select your browser from the drop-down list to see how to save and then launch the file.

    1. At the bottom of the browser window, select Save.

    2. In the next box that indicates officefile.diagcab is finished downloading, click Open.

    3. The Office File Association wizard launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. At the bottom of the browser window, select Open to open the officefile.diagcab file.

      If the file doesn’t open automatically, choose Save > Open Folder, and then double-click the file (it should start with "officefile") to run the easy fix tool.

    2. The Office File Association wizard launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. In the lower-lower left corner select the officefile file and from the drop down, select Show in folder.

    2. Double-click the download, officefile, to run the easy fix tool.

    3. The Office File Association wizard launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. Select Save File, and then OK.

    2. In the upper-right browser window, select Show all downloads. In the Library, select Downloads > officefile.diagcab, and then select the folder icon. Double-click the officefile.

    3. The Office File Association wizard launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

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.

  1. 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. Type and 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.

If you have multiple versions of Microsoft Office...

Consider uninstalling the versions you don't need. To do that:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program and select the version of Office you want to remove.

  2. Click Uninstall.

  3. Restart your computer.

Having too many versions of Office on your computer can cause issues, including files opening in the wrong version of Office.

Tip: In some cases you'll get your best result by uninstalling ALL versions of Office, then reinstalling just the version you want.

If all else fails..

You should still be able to open your file by opening the application first, then opening the file from there. To do that:

  1. Start the program needed to access your document; Word, Excel or PowerPoint

  2. When the program opens, click File > Open, find your file in the file navigator and open it.

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.

We're listening!

This article was last updated by Ben on April 5th, 2018 in response to your feedback. If you found it helpful, and especially if you didn't, please use the feedback controls below and leave us some constructive feedback so we can continue to make it better.

See Also

Need Help with Office 2016?

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