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I installed a Trial version of Microsoft office (against my will) as a requirement for a class I attended. Once installed all .docx files opened with Microsoft Word 2010. When the Trial ran out, i uninstalled the software and now none of my .docx files will open.

I can open them manually after opening Word Starter, but I cannot open the files directly.

I've seen people all over the internet suggest that changing the default program to "Microsoft Office Virtualization Handler" will work, and while that may technically 'be' Word Starter, it does not work.

Doing that changes my icons to a weird sheet of paper looking thing and when I double click them I get a ding error sound, no pop-up and nothing opens.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You simply need to repair your installation of Office Starter. This will rebuild the file associations.

Go to Programs & Features, right-click Office Starter, then click Change. The next window to open will ask you if you want to repair Office. Click yes, and after the repair, documents should open properly again.


Do not uninstall Office Starter. You cannot reinstall it unless you reformat your computer from an OEM recovery partition.

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If this does not work, a system restore would. – Moses Sep 1 '13 at 12:18
You, sir, are my hero. This did work thankfully. Precisely what I was hoping for. And I'm in no position to do a system restore, which is a reality check perhaps its time to back up. – leigero Sep 1 '13 at 16:42

You can convert your .docx files to .doc file by using online conversion tools like .
The free OpenOffice Writer program will also open DOCX files, as will the also free AbiWord program.

Alternatively you can get Office 2007 which is capable of opening .docx files.

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Is there no way to go back to the days before I installed the trail version? Word Starter worked before, why can't it now? – leigero Sep 1 '13 at 11:32

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