Corrupted Word 2013 files

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  • Updated 5 years ago

Two days ago, suddenly I couldn't open Word files by double-clicking them, but only by right-clicking and selecting "Edit." Starting Word alone and then doing a "File / Open" didn't work either.

I ran an Office repair, but that did noting. If though, I open the file via "Edit" and make *any* change and then resave it, it would open.

Has this happened at all before, and is there a way to prevent it? I had thought I had lost several documents totally until I figured out how to open them.

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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of M3 Sweatt

M3 Sweatt, Official Rep

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Thor Kogstad

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< Try opening other documents in Word on the same computer. Your document may not be corrupt. If you have trouble opening other Word documents on the same computer, your version of Word may be at fault, not the document.
< Save the document in a different file format. If you can open the document with your version of Word, saving it in a format such as .rtf (rich-text format) or .txt (ASCII text format) may strip out whatever codes corrupted the file in .doc or .docx format. After opening the converted document, you can then re-save a new version of the document in .doc or .docx format to see if the problem returns.
< Be aware that .txt format does not support text-formatting features such as bold, italics, and underline. If your document featured extensive formatting, save it in .rtf format to preserve the formatting before re-saving it in .doc or .docx format.
< Note also that some Word documents may be corrupted in such a way that a file saved in a different file format in Word may not be able to be opened again.
< Extract the text with another word processor or text editor program. 
< If you can't open the document in Word, you may still be able to open it with a different word processing program or with a text editor program that reads the .doc or .docx format. Either of these may let you recover the text from your document.
< Use Word's built-in text converter utility. If your Word document was saved in the older .doc format, you may be able to recover it with Word's "Recover Text from Any File" converter. How you access this utility depends on your version of Word.
- In Word 2003, select Open from the File menu.
- In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office button in the upper left and then select Open from the File menu.
- In Word 2010, click the File tab and then select Open from the File menu.
< From the Open dialog in your version of Word, select "Recover Text from Any File" from the Files of type dropdown list and then select the file you wish to convert. Your text will be recovered, but any formatting or graphics will be lost. (Header and footer text will be saved but will appear in the body of the recovered text; the headers and footers themselves will be lost.)
< After using this utility, reset the Files of type dropdown list to one of the Word document formats to prevent Word from using the recover text utility unnecessarily.
< Use Word's Open and Repair feature. This feature repairs (or attempts to repair) Word documents on opening as a matter of course. To use this feature, follow these steps:
- Choose the Open option for your version of Word as described in the previous step.
- Select the file you wish to open and repair in the Open dialog.
- Click the down arrow beside the Open button and select Open and Repair from the menu.
< Use a third-party recovery utility. If neither of Word's recovery features works, you may need to use a third-party recovery application Recovery Toolbox for Word to repair your Word document. However, if your file is severely corrupted, a third-party utility will assist you.