This has happened a few times on our staff laptops. A user has recieved a .doc attachment in Outlook 2007 but when they double click on the attchment it opens word but not the attachment (such as the image below). This can also affect word documents in the computer, i.e. desktop, and in work areas. Also, when you try to quit Word it crashes with "Word is not responding". enter image description here Before we've got around this by deleting the (local) profiles which seems a bit drastic and a web search shows a lot of identical/similar problems but no concrete answer.

Windows 7, 32-bit, No SP1 installed (yet) Office Enterprise 2007.

5 Answers 5


I've finally found an answer that works.

Involves editing registry. Make sure you don't delete the wrong bit or you could wreck your machine. Not my fault if this happens.

  • Check that Word is closed. Open RegEdit and find:


  • Delete the whole "Data" folder and subkeys.

  • Thats's it!

  • And what does this do exactly?
    – Bora
    Sep 13, 2011 at 9:46
  • @Bora, it deletes (and then re-creates) the users profile settings. For more information, see this Microsoft KB article and this one too.
    – tombull89
    Sep 13, 2011 at 9:50
  • I've answered this myself (and accepted it) as it was not just happening with Outlook, so unfotunately your "don't display the preview" was not an answer.
    – tombull89
    Sep 13, 2011 at 9:56
  • No it's okay, I was just curious how you solved it..
    – Bora
    Sep 13, 2011 at 10:29
  • This did not work for me by the answer of @Frank helped me.
    – SuperSpy
    Aug 18, 2016 at 20:09

This happens sometimes when you already activated the document preview feature and want to open it in the "real" application (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.).

I know of no way to prevent this from happening, except not to display the attachment in the preview mode first.

Same problem occurs also with Windows Explorer's Preview pane.

  • 1
    I can have the preview open on my computer and when I double click on the attachment it opens just fine.
    – tombull89
    May 16, 2011 at 12:00
  • Perhaps you have a fast computer. On my work PC, it takes time for the preload engine to initialize, and if you double click the file in that period Office sometimes skips a beat and can't cope.
    – Bora
    May 16, 2011 at 12:49
  • Go to Help → Detect and Repair
  • Check "restore my shortcuts..."
  • Uncheck "Discard my customized settings..."
  • this was indeed the solution after i uninstalled a trail version of word 2007
    – Fearghal
    Aug 29, 2015 at 16:47

Had the same problem on a couple of client PCs (probably after office update installation). Only solution was to re-associate Word with it's file types by running the following command (needs local administrator privileges):

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE /R

(change the path if your office installation folder is different)


I've had one user have this after each our WSUS approved updates. Each time I was able to do the "run Microsoft Office Diagnostics" or the repair function from appwiz.cpl. In all but the very first case, these processes do not find anything wrong but in the process of running appear to correct the issue until the next update.

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