Fixes

Fix: Microsoft Word isn’t your Default Program for Viewing and Editing Documents

The Microsoft Word isn’t your Default Program for Viewing and Editing Documents error is often triggered for users that have installed the program and haven’t yet set it as the default text editor in their Windows Settings. However, this can also sometimes be triggered if the user has already set the program as a default and due to a miscommunication between the program and the pc, this error might be seen.

Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents

In this article, we have compiled some solutions, fixes, and workarounds to completely fix the “Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents Windows 10” error. These methods can also be applied to other versions of the operating system so hover down below to read through all of the reasons due to which this error occurs and also through their solutions.

What Causes the “Microsoft Word isn’t your Default Program for Viewing and Editing Documents” Error?

After some investigation, we came to the conclusion that the following were some of the major reasons due to which this error occurs in the first place.

  • Default Application not Set: It is possible that this issue has been legitimately been triggered because you didn’t set any default application for viewing and editing word documents. If that is the case, then simply selecting the Microsoft Word app as the default one using the method below will automatically get rid of this issue.
  • Damaged Office Installation: In some situations, the “Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents” message is shown in spite of having selected it as the default app. This can be because your Office installation has been damaged or corrupted due to which Windows is unable to set it as the default application properly.
  • Office Versions Issue: If you have installed multiple versions of Office on your computer, it is possible that the message is being shown despite having set Microsoft word as the default app for viewing documents. Therefore, getting rid of multiple versions and settings one app as default can get rid of this annoying message at Office startup.
  • Outdated App: Another possibility might be that the Microsoft Word app has been outdated due to which you are getting the “Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents” error because Windows is unable to properly set it up as the default app for text documents.
  • Registry Issue: The computer’s registry is responsible for setting up and configuring all the settings and changes that you make. If the Registry hasn’t properly conveyed to the operating system that the default app has been changed then this message will be seen every time Microsoft Office starts up.

Now that you have been made familiar with most of the reasons behind this error, we can finally move on towards implementing the fixes.

Fix the Microsoft Word isn’t your Default Program for Viewing and Editing Documents Error:

Solution 1: Set Word as Default Application

Settings the Microsoft Word application as the Default Word Viewing and Editing app can fix this issue if you genuinely haven’t set it up before. The message basically prompts you to set the Microsoft Office app as the default one instead of the Windows Default.

Windows 10 Users:

  1. Press the “Win + R” keys simultaneously and type the following command in the Run prompt:
    ms-settings:defaultapps
  2. Then click on the “Set Defaults By App” option, search “Word” from the list of all available applications and set it as the default application.
    Set defaults to fix microsoft word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents issue
    Set Defaults By Application
  3. If this method doesn’t fix the problem, then click on “Choose Default Apps By File Type”.
  4. Once the list is loaded successfully, look for the “.docx” file format and select Word from the list.

Windows 8 Users:

  1. Press the “Windows” key or start icon at the bottom left of your screen.
  2. At first, select “Settings” and afterward select “Make a File Type Always Open In Specific Program”.
  3. After that, double-click “.docx” from the list of file types.
  4. Now select “MS word” from the list of all applications.
  5. Repeat the same procedure for “.doc, .docm, .dot, .dotx, dotm”.
  6. Close all windows and see if Microsoft Word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents windows 10 issue gets resolved.

Solution 2: Repair the Office Installation

Sometimes, the Microsoft Office application can get damaged due to a storage or application failure. This can easily be remedied by performing a repair on the MS Word app. In order to perform a repair, follow the steps below, and hopefully, the “Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents” error message will be resolved.

  1. Press the “Win + R” keys simultaneously to open the Run prompt and search for the “Appwiz.cpl” command.
    Typing
    Typing “appwiz.cpl”

  2. A list of installed programs will be displayed in front of you and from there navigate to the “Microsoft Office Professional”.
    Choose MS Office
    Choose MS Office Professional
  3. After that, select “Repair”, click on “Continue” and wait until the Repairing process is complete. Now, try opening your file again to see if Microsoft Word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents windows 10 issue gets resolved successfully.

Solution 3: Choose An Alternate Application

As a workaround, temporarily setting another application as the default viewing app for the document that is spurring this issue and then changing back to Word might fix this error message from being displayed when you open the document. Therefore, we will be doing exactly that in the method below.

  1. Right-click on the Word document which is displaying the error message and select “Open With” from the displayed menu.
  2. After that, select “Notepad” from the list of apps. Make sure to checkmark the box stating “Always Use This App to Open .docx Files” and click “OK” and open the file.
  3. Now close the file and again perform steps 1 & 2.
  4. This time, select “Word” from the list of displayed apps and checkmark the box stating “Always Use This App to Open .docx Files”.
  5. If Word is not available in the list, then select “Choose Another App” and from here select “Word” from the list of available applications.
  6. Hit the “OK” button and restart the PC.
  7. Now open the file again to see if Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents 2016 issue gets resolved.

Solution 4: Uninstall the Excess Office Versions

If you have multiple office versions installed on your device it can also lead to the occurrence of this error. Uninstalling all the other versions, except the one you are using, can rectify this issue.

  1. In order to perform this task, press the “Win + R” keys simultaneously and type “appwiz.cpl” in the Run prompt.
    Typing
    Typing “appwiz.cpl”
  2. Once you hit the Enter key, the “Program and Features” window will appear.
  3. Right-click on the installed office version, and select the “Uninstall” option.
    Uninstall Office
    Uninstall Microsoft Office
  4. Once it gets done, download MS Office from here, and have a look at “Solution 1” to set that office version as your default program.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to configure MS Word as the default viewing app and still want to get rid of this message, you can change some of the app’s settings to make sure that you aren’t asked to set it as your default application every time you launch or edit a document.

  1. Open the Word application on your PC and look for the “File” tab at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on that option and afterward select the “Options” below the Account from the left menu.
    Click on Options
    Choose Options
  3. After that, click on the “General” tab from the left vertical pane.
  4. Uncheck the box stating “Tell Me If Microsoft Word Isn’t the Default Program For Viewing and Editing Documents”, click “OK” and close all the windows.
    Uncheck the option
    Uncheck the option

Solution 6: Reinstall Microsoft Office

If the issue is being spurred due to improper installation of the application, you can simply perform a complete reinstall to refresh the configurations. This can sometimes end up fixing the “Microsoft word isn’t your default program for viewing and editing documents’ message by refreshing the system status regarding MS Word.

  1. Press the “Win + R” keys simultaneously and type the “appwiz.cpl” command in the Run prompt.
    Typing
    Typing “appwiz.cpl”
  2. Once you hit the Enter key, the “Program and Features” window will appear.
  3. Find the Office, right-click on it and select “Uninstall”.
    Uninstall MS Office
    Uninstall Microsoft Office
  4. For reinstallation of Microsoft Office download it first by clicking here.
  5. Once the software is downloaded, proceed to its installation process by following the on-screen instructions.

Solution 7: Re-register Word /Office

Sometimes this glitch also occurs when the registry of your office product expires. Reregistering with a new key or using the previous key again can fix this issue. For this purpose first, navigate to “File” then “Account” and lastly “Change Product Key”. Here enter a new activation key or previous one (if not expired).

Solution 8: Installation Of Updates

Basically, sometimes, if the application is outdated, you might run into the message every time you try to open MS Word. We have highlighted some updates in particular which might be the most important ones that need to be installed as soon as possible. If these updates are missing from your computer, you might run into this error message.

  1. Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Service Pack 1 Redistributable Package MFC Security Update.
  2. 2020-06 Servicing Stack Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4560959).
  3. 2020-06 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4560960

Copy-paste any of the above suggestions in your browser and download and install the most suitable software that is compatible with your device.

Solution 9: Temporarily Uninstall the Windows Update

Many users report that after installing the latest available Windows Update, this error message starts popping up. Unfortunately, this can be due to a number of unknown reasons because Windows updates are known to spur issues with applications and it wouldn’t be out of the question that one of them broke your MS Word installation.  So in order to resolve this problem, uninstalling the Windows updates might work well:

  1. Press the “Windows + I” keys simultaneously to open the Window settings.
  2. Here look for “Update & Security”, click on “View Update History” and then select “Uninstall Updates”.
    Update and Security
    Choose Update and Security
  3. A control panel window will open listing all the recent updates installed on your device.
  4. Finally, right-click on the recent update and press “Uninstall”.
    Uninstall Update
    Uninstall Latest Windows Update
  5. Click “OK” to finish the uninstallation process.

Solution 10: Tweak Registry Settings

The computer’s registry is responsible for propagating all configuration and setting changes to the operating system. However, if the Registry didn’t properly propagate that you have set up MS Word as the default application for viewing documents, you might run into this issue. Therefore, in this step, we will be making some tweaks to the computer’s registry to propagate these changes manually. To do that:

  1. Press the “Win + R” keys simultaneously and type “Regedit” in the Run prompt.
    Typing
    Typing “regedit”
  2. Now from the vertical pane on the left-hand side, select “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT”.
  3. After that go to the ”.doc” folder and here select “8”.
  4. Now proceed to “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT” and select “document.12” and change the value data to document 12 if not by default.
  5. Now navigate to the following path:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTWord.Document.8shellOpencommand
  6. After that put “C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14WINWORD.EXE” “%1” value in value data section.
  7. Click “OK” and then visit “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTWord.Document.12shellOpencommand” address and type “C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14WINWORD.EXE” “%1”.
  8. Finally, click “OK’’ and restart your PC.

Hopefully, these fixes would help eradicate the problem, or otherwise, you can Contact Us here.

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