File opening error on password protected documents... not the password

When I open a password protected file, I get an error that reads "Word experienced an error trying to ope the file."  This ONLY happens with password protected documents but it happens with ALL password protected documents.  It's not the file... it also happens on portable drives with files that will open on another computer.


Question Info

Last updated January 23, 2019 Views 383 Applies to:

Since the commonality seems to be files with security protection (e.g. passwords) and files from historically non-secure locations (e.g. thumbdrives, etc), I would suggest that your anti-virus is being overly protective and/or cannot deal with the issue correctly.

Start Word in safe mode by tapping the Windows key +r and typing,

winword.exe /a

  ... or,

winword.exe /safe

This will start Word with no add-ons like anti-virus that could be causing the problem. With Word opened in this way, try opening your password protected files or a file from an external drive.

How to use startup command line switches to start Word 2010, Word 2007, Word 2003, Word 2002, and Word 2000

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