What is "Office XML Handler"? It seems to be a program from MS Office that likes to be unhelpfully associated with various file formats on Windows. Here's what has been happening when I double-click ".log" files and it opens with Office XML Handler:

Error message: This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action...

Of course I can fix this by right-clicking and changing the program it opens with.

But what is Office XML Handler? Are there any file types that it should be associated with?

  • Do you have Microsoft Office installed on the machine? Which version of it if you do? How do you normally open these log files?
    – Tim G.
    Jul 28, 2016 at 1:02
  • I have Office 365 installed. I use Notepad++ for standard text files. Jul 28, 2016 at 17:35
  • The Office XML Handler has to do with how Microsoft Office files are XML compatible (since Office 2007). I don't think "Office XML Handler" is a program to begin with either. Check this page out. Are you missing the IsShortcut in that registry file? If so, maybe try the fix in the article.
    – Tim G.
    Jul 28, 2016 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


"Office XML Handler" is the display name of the process MSOXMLED.EXE, which is locaded in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE15 on my computer. It is used to open XML files (perhaps also other extentions?) and detect which MS Office program the file should be associated with (if any), and then open the file with that program.

This is explained in https://stackoverflow.com/a/1569619/1858923:

So when an XML file is double-clicked in Explorer, Windows will launch MSOXMLED.EXE. This application is now looking inside the XML file and searches for an XML processing instruction. This processing instruction named mso-application can specify a ProgId:

<?mso-application progid="Word.Document"?>


So finally MSOXMLED.EXE will start the appropriate Office application or launch the default XML application which is specified under


Clearly I got the error message because the file it was trying to open did not have an mso-application tag that would tell MSOXMLED.EXE how to open the file, and I don't have the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XEV.GenericApp\shell\open\command set, so it doesn't know what to do with the file.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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