Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I try to open a word document that is already open, I want it to just activate the window where the file is open.

How can I do that?

sometimes it takes time to check if an ms word document is already open, I don't to have to have to check through a bunch of open word documents to see if it's in there or not, I just want to double click the icon of a word document, and if it's open then go to it, if not then open it.

With the doc/docx or shortcut to the doc/docx , I have some files where when I double click , it activates it when already open. I have other files where double clicking will bring up a "file in use" dialog box. I can't find what is the cause. I want it to always activate the window rather than reopen it.

update- maybe that is default behaviour to activate when already open, and after a crash I had that stopped. i'll try deleting the working files and starting ms word again, idea from here

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

My update was correct. Activating when already open is the normal behaviour.

I removed the temp files that were in the same directory as the files I wanted to open, then I didn't get the "file in use" message. Those temp files i've no doubt appeared there after a crash of ms word.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.