Unable to Open .DOC Attachments from Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail

When you attempt to open a .DOC file that came as a mail attachment in Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail, the following error may occur and the document does not open. This may happen even though you have Microsoft Word installed. Also, the same file may open correctly when saved to disk and then viewed. This article and the utility discussed below, are applicable for Windows® Vista and Windows® 7 systems with Microsoft® Word installed.

[Error Message]

This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel.

To fix the problem, download DocFix.zip and save it to Desktop.

Unzip the contents (docfix.exe and readme.txt), and run the file DocFix.exe.

When you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Important: After running the fix, in some cases, you’ll need to open StartDefault Programs – Associate a file type or protocol… and reset .doc file type association for Microsoft Word even though it may be already associated with Microsoft Word.

If that does not fix the problem, see if repairing Microsoft Word helps.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

16 thoughts on “Unable to Open .DOC Attachments from Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail

  1. Windows live mail does not have an operatinv custom dictionary recover. Does anyone know how to access this file to replace words?

  2. Worked perfectly on a Windows 7 x64 machine also FYI. Thank you, had been looking for a fix for this problem for some time.

    Any chance of a ‘what it does’ please ?

  3. I downloaded and ran Ramesh Srinivasan’s excellent piece of software, “docfix.zip”. I then unzipped it ran docfix.exe and it fixed the problem straight away.

    Thanks for your excellent piece of software, Ramesh!!

  4. aaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwweeesome……it has been embarassing trying to open these files only to have the win32 message coming….wwoowww…!?

  5. Very good, worked first time, instantly!

    I’m using Win 7 and Windows live mail (32 bit), sometimes I’ve only got the mail header, the mail has disappeared, and that’s the same with my imported contacts, they all disappear now and then, annoying! any ideas?

  6. For some reason, the file would not extract properly. I have AVG running as anti-virus, and ran the file as Administrator. Any help would be appreciated. Microsoft .NET Framework comes up and says an attempt to perform an operation not allowed by the security policy.
    It says to contact system administration (which I am) or use Microsoft .NET Framework Configuration Tool. Don’t know where or how to do this.

    I am running Vista-32bit on an HP with lots of room on the hard drive, but I cannot get windows mail to open .doc opens everything else.

  7. This worked brilliantly. I’m having so many of these little issues with windows 7, I wonder if it was worth all the hassle of upgrading.

    Many thanks

  8. Hi,
    As what Trendon replied, Win 7 users please use unassoc 1.4, delete .doc association. Not the “User option” but the second button. You must delete not unassociate. Then please reassociate under Control Panel, Default Program. Worked like a charm.

    You will notice that the associated file icon for .doc will change once it is done properly.

  9. Are we any closer to getting DocFix for Windows 7? I’ve tried everything to fix this issue. Can’t see any reason why Windows Live Mail won’t open .doc attachments. All other attachements are OK. Can you tell me what DocFix actually does? Can I fix this RegEdit?

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