Microsoft Word (Protected View) has stopped working. Microsoft experienced an error trying to open the file

Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook Attachments, Visio, Access, Etc.) Crashes / Errors when Opening Files

If you’re having tried opening any office documents from email attachments, outlook attachments, gmail attachments, file shares, a different author, edited by someone else, another computer, downloaded from Onedrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, backup/synch service, then you are probably getting pretty annoyed at the following error/errors. If you’re a network admin looking to solve the same issue through group policy, then click here.

Microsoft Word (Protected View) has stopped working Windows is checking for a solution to the problem


Microsoft experienced an error trying to open the file. Try these suggestions. *check the file permissions for the document or drive. * make sure there is sufficient free memory and disk space * open the file wih the text recovery converter. (C:\users\…\filename.docx) show help > > OK

There is currently an error that prevents Office programs from opening anything in protected view. Until Microsoft releases a fix / update for Office there are two known work arounds to the problem.  This appears to be a problem in Microsoft Office 2013 and 2016 but I am not 100% sure if 2010 and older are also affected. Also, this appears to affect all Office programs which means Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Word, Access, Outlook, OneNote, etc.  It can happen even if you have the folder trusted including your OneDrive. The fixes are basically the same no matter which version you are running though.

First fix: Temp Fix/Unblock protected view on a per document basis (will have to do this every time you download otherwise skip to second option). On a file by file basis save the attachment or file to your computer (if it’s in outlook, browser, file share, or otherwise not already saved to your local system)

  1. Right click the file your having trouble opening and choose properties 
  2. Check the box that says “unblock this file”
  3. Click Apply and/or OK
  4. You can now open you file

Second fix: If you would like to permanently fix the issue then do the following:

  1. Open the office program you would like to fix 
  2. Go to the file menu and choose Options
  3. Under options go to Trust Settings click the Trust Center Settings… Button 

  4. Under trust center settings go to Protected View and uncheck all the boxes on this menu dialog and click OK

  5. Click ok on the main options menu
  6. Close the program and now try and open the document again it should work and not have this issue again.
  7. You will need to do this for each one of your Microsoft Office Programs manually one by one unfortunately.

   If you implement the second fix, make sure you keep an eye out for when this is fixed so that you can optionally turn protected view back on in the future as it does offer quite a few security/safety features. However, for now you will want to probably do this if you open a lot of files that were created other than on the PC your trying to open them on. Further, if you’re a network admin you may want to change this feature through group policy as well.


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