Help with Old Files - Microsoft Word File Type Blocked From Opening In This Version


When opening an old Word document, a newer version of Microsoft Word may report "Error: [Filename] uses a file type that is blocked from opening in this version".


This article applies to those trying to open Microsoft Word documents from old versions of Microsoft Office. Some older versions of Word documents cannot be opened in Word 2016 or newer.


File Block prevents outdated file types from opening and causes your file to open in Protected View and disables the Save and Open features. The code used to open and save the older formats have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. So they are security risks that should be avoided, if possible.


The steps to take for working through this error are to 'Recover Text from any file' from within Microsoft Word.

1 - In Microsoft Word, click the File menu, click Open.
2 - Navigate the Open location to where the document is on your computer from within the Word Open dialog box.
3 - At the bottom of the Open dialog box, click the Options button so you see the Open: Original pop-down menu at the bottom-right corner.  NOTE: If you are using an older version of Microsoft Word, you might see an 'Enable' menu with "Original" selected.  Change 'Original' to be Recover Text and go to step 6.
4 - Click Original and select the Recover Text command.
5 - This will show your files in the Open dialog box and make them selectable.
6 - Click the document once to select it.
7 - Click Open.
8 - If you get a warning, click OK.
     Note: When you open the file, some formatting might change. You will need to review the document for formatting updates.
9 - In the Show Repairs window click Close.
10 - Click the File menu, click Save As....
11 - Enter the file name and choose the location for the recovered file.
12 - In the File Format drop down menu, select Word Document (.docx).
13 - If you need to "Maintain compatibility with previous versions of Word" checkmark the box by that option.
14 - Click Save to save your Word document in the .docx format.

You will most likely have to go through the document(s) and update the formatting which was lost due to the 'Recover text' process.


See Related Articles to the right for more information.
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Article ID: 75787
Wed 4/10/19 11:50 AM
Wed 3/8/23 3:37 PM