Sometimes while trying to open an MS Office document like .docx, .doc, etc. you come across an error, “The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents” and you are not able to have access to it.

In the present blog, we are going to discuss various reasons for this issue and more importantly, how to fix this issue.

Probable reasons for the issue, “The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents”

Various reasons for this error can be listed below:

  • Corruption or damage of Word document: This can be due to corruption or damage of the storage media or due to virus or malware.
  • Large size of the word file: The size of the Word file exceeding 200KB and containing non-text items like media items etc. may lead to this error.
  • Incompatibility of older and new versions: Opening an older .doc word file in a new Word version causes issues.
  • Complications in Word functioning and advanced operations.
  • Corruption of Word file header.
  • Crashing of Microsoft Word application.
  • Interruptions during transfer of .docx files.
  • Frequent upgrading of Word document from one version to another version.

Potential fixes for the issue, “The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents”
Before trying any of the following methods to fix this issue you are recommended to open another Word file on your PC. If it is unable to open it, then the Word version may be creating the issue. Try to open your file in another version of Word. If your PC is able to open another Word file then try to open the troubling Word file on some other computer or device to confirm that the file has no issue, but the device is finding problems in opening the same. You may even try to change the format of your document to .rtf or .txt and then try to open the file. If the file still does not open, follow the under-given fixes.

Check the ‘Trust Center’ settings

Sometimes sharing Word files with other devices (s) may lead to this error. If this is the scenario or reason then, you need to work on the Trust Center Settings of Microsoft to customize the settings of Privacy and Security. To do so follow the steps given:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click File>Options.
  3. Click Trust Center>Trust Center Settings.Trust Center Settings
  4. Select the Protected View tab.
  5. Uncheck all the boxes. Click OK.
  6. Note: Protected View is meant for the security of your computer, and it opens the file in
    read-only mode. It blocks editing those files which have the potential to harm your system.

  7. Close the Word application.
  8. Open the file again.

Check if the file opens. If it doesn’t work then try the next method.

Use the ‘Open and Repair’ feature of Word

(Note: Before you proceed to repair your word file, you are recommended to take back up of the file in the flash drive or any other external storage drive.)

  • Open the Word application.
  • Open File. Click Open.
  • Select Filename by browsing and click Open.
  • Click Open and Repair.Click Open and Repair
  • This will repair and open the file. If it still does not open, try the next fix.

Use Google Doc

  • Send your corrupt Word file to your Gmail account.
  • Open this attachment in Google Docs previewer.
  • Click ‘Open with Google Docs.’
  • The file will open and you shall be able to view it.
  • Click File>>Download As>> Microsoft Word(.docx).
  • Open the document using Microsoft Word.

Using third-party tool

When nothing above works for you and you are running short of time, or you desire to save your time while opening any file which is showing this error then the most intelligent choice and the decision is to use any reliable and efficient third-party tool to repair and recover any Word document.

Word Repair is a powerful yet easy-to-use Word repair tool which can repair corrupt MS Word files like .doc, .dot, .docx, .docm, .dotx, and .dotm from MS Word 2019/16/13/10 and previous versions. It repairs multiple files simultaneously and more importantly retrieves text, tables, lists, hyperlinks, bookmarks, inserted images, etc. from corrupt Word files irrespective of the size of the file, retaining the original properties like font, style, etc.



To repair and retrieve corrupt Word files without any damage, one needs a tool that offers security and privacy. Word Repair is a completely reliable tool that also helps you to fix all kinds of specific and common Word document issues. It works in three simple steps: Launch>Add>Repair. You can save the repaired files at any desired location. We hope this blog has helped you in fixing various issues arising while opening Word files.