Can't open .docx after Office 2016 Professional Plus upgrade; XML parsing error (grouped elements)

We are currently upgrading Office 2010 STD in our network to Office 2016 Professional Plus (with latest August 2016 updates).

We have however experienced a problem with selected (very few) .docx file, where they will not open on some machines after upgrading to Office 2016.  This is the error:


We're sorry. We can't open xxxxx.docx because we found a problem with its contents. 


Xml parsing error

Location: Part: /word/document.xml, Line: 2, columnL 4363639


Some machines can however open the files without issue, so the files are not corrupted.

In each of the files with issues, it seems to be related to "grouped" elements/images.  When, from a machine that can open the file, you ungroup the element and save, then the machine who can't open the file, can open them.

This is a very strange issue, and there doesnt seem to be anything on the net about it.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?





To who-ever experience this problem, we finally found the fix...

This appeared to affect most of our machines (all Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise x64), so this was a major problem for us.

We’ve tried:

  • Uninstalling, restarting and installing Office 2016 Professional Plus (using the same admin image); still wont open
  • Updated Office 2016 with the August updates; still wont open
  • Office 2016 repair; still wont open

We found that this works:

  • Saving the file as a .doc file (not recommended or practical)
  • Ungrouping the images/element (not practical as it’s ALL files with grouped elements)

We then found that this works:

  • Installed all Windows Updates from online updates (rather than only the WSUS approved updates) restarted and it worked!

It then took a few days of narrowing down the single update that fixes this error and this was the one (KB2563227):

Updating this single update and restarting, sorts the problem out and we can now open files without getting the XML parsing error above.

Hope this helps someone in the future!



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Question Info

Last updated September 1, 2020 Views 7,832 Applies to: