How To Fix “There was a problem sending the command to the program” In Word 2007

This is an annoying issue with Word 2007 that I came across the other day whilst at work, which is actually fairly simple to fix.

The scenario I was having was that I would open up a Word file (either .doc or docx) and would then get the following error message resulting in the document being unable to open.

“There was a problem sending the command to the program”.

word problem

The way to fix this is to is to use the built-in Office tool for Word along with the command switch /r that will force a re-register of Word in the Windows registry. Here is how to do it:

First, close all instances of Word that may be running. Now click on Start and type winword.exe /r and hit Enter

start run winwordEXE

This will automatically start Word, start Set up, makes changes in the Windows registry, and then quit. This switch (/r) forces a re-register of Word in the Windows registry.


How long this process will take depends on the speed of your computer, but it should only be about 30 seconds or so.

Another workaround for this error, is to run Word as the administrator by right-clicking on Word via All Programs>Microsoft Office>Word>Compatibility (200*)>Run this program as administrator, as sometimes this can cause an issue depending on which error you are seeing:

Word 2007 Properties




















Word Fix


















Now you should hopefully be able to open the files again without issue.

  • Dawn

    I found an easier way to fix this on another forum. For Word/OneNote — right click on an unopened Word document (.docx), select Open With and change the default program to Microsoft Word. The setting was set for Microsoft Word Viewer.

    For an Excel document, I did the same but, after right clicking and choosing ‘open with’, I had to actually go into ‘browse’ and search for the Excel.exe as it didn’t show up in their lists – even though about 10 other options did (very weird). Super easy and now everything seems to be working fine!

    • Richard Gailey

      Thanks for the sharing your workaround Dawn.

    • Venkey

      thx dawn its working now

  • Ramos

    Good day,everyone!…I have this kind of problem with my Microsoft Office (Words particularly) too. I’m using Microsoft Office 2013 now. Strangely, even the error popped out, I still able to open my documents. I tried every ways recommended on the internet,but I’m not sure which one does working well because the error is still there. I’m getting confused and even stressful after trying so many ways which turned out to be failure. I hope and seeking for effective ways to solve this problem. I have searched throughout the microsoft website for any recommended solutions. As I expected, none of it works!! Sadly, I wasted all my times to read and download the “fix it for me” program but produced nothing. I still can open the documents but I’m just worried the error popping has something wrong with the software. I don’t want to cause more damage to my computer, so I really hope anyone out there can assist me.

  • trung

    I am getting the same problem as Ramos and also waste so much time searching for solution but still can’t get problem resolved. I purchased word 2013 thinking it will be the latest and best software; why am i getting this problem???????

    please help Ramos and me,

    • thegift73

      Hi trung, I have just updated the article with an extra workaround that may help. It is at the bottom of the article and involves running Word as Administrator.

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