Microsoft Office Problem - "There was a problem while sending the command to the program"

Hey there everyone,

I recently purchased Microsoft Office, but i'm actually having issues with it and i can't figure out the problem. Basically whenever I open up a document, I get the following message "There was a problem while sending the command to the program". I've done some research, and looked up forums, but i still haven't found a fix. I've tried deleting the data from the registry, disabling DDE, and reinstalling the program itself. Nothing has worked so far. However, if I open Microsoft Word on it's own, and then select any document from the recent sidebar, the message does not appear. It should also be noted that I have it linked to my OneDrive. However I don't think this is a problem, as the message appears even from locally saved documents. I might be wrong though. Software is Microsoft Office 2016 (updated) and Windows 10. Another thing that should also be noted is that this error only appears on Microsoft Word. Other MS programs such as PowerPoint, Publisher etc don't have the message (tested in same environment). I have also tried all the solutions shown in this Microsoft fix but none of them work.



For the error message "There was a problem sending the command to the program", use the File Explorer or Windows Explorer to access the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16 folder and right click on WINWORD.EXE then on Properties, go to the Compatibility tab and uncheck all the boxes. 

It has also been reported that the problem can be overcome by editing the registry at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\shell\Open and deleting the ddeexec key.

The ddeexec can also be deleted from


That fix is described at ...

Hope this helps,
Doug Robbins - MVP Office Apps & Services (Word)
Screen shots by Snagit from

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Question Info

Last updated March 1, 2021 Views 1,193 Applies to: