Word 2016 can't open older .DOC files

I chatted with MS technical support about this yesterday, but I'm curious if anyone else is experiencing this problem.

When I try to open older .DOC files, which our business has thousands of these legacy files that we still reference from time to time, and most of which were created by Word '95 and Word '97 for Windows, Word 2016 for Mac simply tells me that the 'file cannot be opened.' 

There's nothing wrong with the files, insofar as opening them up in Word 2010 for Windows, or even open source options like LibreOffice, but since that worked, the technician said to use this as a work around to re-save the files into .docx format. 

There's nothing peculiar about the files; some have embedded pictures, but others are just simple letters with nothing special about them.

Surely, Microsoft can offer better compatibility with their older .doc format?  

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? 

I wish I could submit my doc files for Microsoft to look at and see why they won't open at all. 

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You finally convinced me.... I downloaded LibreOffice and look forward to try it out!

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I bumped into this problem today, and landed here, looking for a solution. Didn't find one to my liking-- I really don't like installing unnecessary software on my computer. So I spent the morning testing online file conversion websites, and found ONLY ONE that will convert every single misbehaving .doc file to a functional .docx file-- Zamzar.com. 

It's a tiny bit of a workaround, but no more complicated, in my opinion, than any of the others. It allows me to update the files for free, one at a time, as I need them. 

Posting here in case others, like me, prefer not to install Libre Office, or upload and then download from Google Drive. 

Microsoft-- what's up??? Three years and you can't fix this bug? 

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Last updated May 14, 2021 Views 58,964 Applies to: