Troubleshoot opening files

ShowI can't open a file.

ShowThe file may be damaged

The file you are trying to open may be damaged. Your Microsoft Office program may let you try to recover the text from the damaged file, or if recovery doesn't work, you can delete the damaged file and open a backup copy.

ShowHow?

  1. If the Microsoft Office program you are using is not responding, recover the program.

ShowHow?

  1. On the Microsoft Windows Start menu, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
  2. In the Application list, click the program or document that is not responding.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To attempt to recover the files you were working on, click Recover Application or Restart Application.
    • If you just want to close the program, and lose recent changes to the files, click End Application.
  4. The error that caused the problem can be reported to Microsoft for use in improving future versions of the program. Click Send Error Report or Don't Send.

 Note   If you are not connected to the internet you can click Send Error Report Later to be prompted to send the report the next time you connect.

  1. Open the Office program.
  2. Review the files listed in the Document Recovery task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.), and decide which to keep.

ShowHow?

  • If a file has [Recovered] in the title it is usually a file that contains more recent changes than a file with [Original] in the title.
  • If you want to view what repairs were made to a file, point to the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click the arrow next to the file's name, and then click Show Repairs.
  • If you want to review the versions that were recovered, open all of the versions and save the best one.
  1. For each file you want to keep, point to the file in the Document Recovery task pane, click the arrow next to the file's name, and then do one of the following:
  • To work with the file, click Open.
  • To save the file, click Save As, and then enter a name for the file. By default, the file is saved in the same folder as the original file. If you use the same name as the original file, the original is overwritten. When you see a message asking whether you want to replace the existing file (with the changes you made up to the last time you saved the file), click Yes.
  1. When you have opened or saved all of the files you want to keep, click Close in the Document Recovery task pane.

ShowThe file name may be too long

The file name or the path name may exceed 223 characters. Do one of the following:

  • Shorten the file name.
  • Move the file to another folder that is closer to the top of the folder hierarchy.

Try to open the file again.

ShowThe disk the file is on may be too full

Try moving files to another disk to make more space available.

ShowThe Open dialog box doesn't list the file I'm looking for.

ShowCheck the file type

Make sure you have the correct file type selected in the Files of type box.

ShowConduct a search

In the Open dialog box, click Tools, and then click Search. Select the options you want, and then click Search.

ShowCheck the network connection

If you're looking for a file on the network and the network drive doesn't appear in the Open dialog box under Look in, do the following:

  1. Click Tools, and then click Map Network Drive.
  2. In the Drive box, click the drive letter you want to use to connect to the network.
  3. In the Folder box, enter the path where the file is located on the network — for example, type \\server\share.

ShowTip

You can also look for files on a network drive if your network supports the UNC (universal naming convention (UNC): A naming convention for files that provides a machine-independent means of locating the file. Rather than specifying a drive letter and path, a UNC name uses the syntax \\server\share\path\filename.). Just type the UNC path in the File name box in the Open dialog box — for example, type \\plans\documents.

ShowLook in My Network Places

If you're looking for files on a Web server (Web server: A computer that hosts Web pages and responds to requests from browsers. Also known as an HTTP server, a Web server stores files whose URLs begin with http://.):

You can also type the folder path in the File name box in the Open dialog box — for example, type http://myserver/public.

ShowI can't open a password protected file.

Passwords (password: A sequence of characters needed to access computer systems, files, and Internet services. Strong passwords combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.) are case-sensitive. Check to see whether the CAPS LOCK key is on, or retype the password to make sure that you didn't mistype it.

ShowMy file opened in a separate window.

When you create or open a file in a Microsoft Office program, the file opens in a separate window. You can quickly switch from one file to another by clicking the file's button on the taskbar or by pressing ALT+TAB.

ShowThe shortcut to my file doesn't work anymore.

ShowThe file may have been renamed or deleted

The shortcut will not work if there has been any change to the target file's name or extension. Use the Microsoft Office Search feature to look for files that have similar names or that were created or modified on the same date as the file you are trying to open.

ShowConduct a search

In the Open dialog box, click Tools, and then click Search. Select the options you want, and then click Search.

ShowThe file may be temporarily unavailable

  • If the file is located on a network server, consult your network administrator to find out if the server drive is unavailable.
  • If the file is located on removable media such as a floppy disk, make sure the media with the target file is properly inserted in the drive or device.
 
 
Applies to:
Access 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003