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Windows 7: Registry policy setting - can't open old word versions

19 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
Registry policy setting - can't open old word versions

I want to open old MSW documents, but I get a message saying "a Microsoft Office document and the file type for that document has been blocked by a registry policy setting". They give a link to learn how to bypass this security setting, but it doesn't apply to windows 7. Anyone know how to fix this? Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2010   #2


Mind giving us the link?

What version of Office are you using?

Is this a work computer? Is your computer joined to a domain?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you only want to read the docs, you could send it to doPDF (works like a printer, but converts to .pdf).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7

Sorry, of course. the link is: You receive an error message when you try to open or save a file type that was blocked by your registry policy settings in one of the 2007 Office programs or in one of the Office 2003 programs
I'm using office 2007. I'd like to open the documents and convert them to .docx documents so that I can continue using them. Thank you for your help. It's a home computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7
one more thing

for earlier versions of Windows there seems to be a way of creating trusted locations, in which I could open my files. But the directions for creating them doesn't seem to work in Windows 7, or at least I couldn't figure out how to do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #6


So you have done the below step and it did not resolve the issue?
Also what version of word was the document created with? I can open .doc files with no issues on my computers.

Word 2007

To disable this restriction in Word 2007, change the value of the FileOpenBlock subkey. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Word.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Security\FileOpenBlock

    If the FileOpenBlock subkey does not exist, you must create it. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Select the Security subkey. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
    2. Type FileOpenBlock, and then press ENTER.
  4. After you select the subkey that is specified in step 3, locate the DWORD value.

    Note If this value does not exist, you must create it. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
    2. Type the DWORD value for which you want to disable the restriction, and then press ENTER. For example, type FilesBeforeVersion.
    You may check for the different DWORD values in the "More Information" section of this article based on the version of Word that you are running.

    For example, if the opening of files that were saved in earlier file formats is restricted, locate the "FilesBeforeVersion" DWORD value in the registry for the FileOpenBlock subkey. When you change the value of "FilesBeforeVersion" from 1 to 0, you can open files that were saved in earlier file formats.
  5. Right-click the DWORD value that you want, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  7. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7
can't edit registry - different sub headings in Sys 7

when I go into the registry, I only can get as far as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft. Then the subdirectories are different: two choices, System Certificates and Windows, neither of which have the necessary sub categories.

as for the version of word used to create the original files: too long ago, I don't remember. I don't have any problem opening them up in word for Mac 2008, but I'm trying to get everything off the Mac and onto my PC, which I like better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #8


In that case the registry keys are not there (meaning they are not active), you can create them. I am uploading a .reg file that you can save and open to merge the changes into your computer.

Attached Files
File Type: reg office security.reg (2.2 KB, 2385 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #9

Windows 7
fixed the problem

Thanks so much, it worked. Really appreciate your time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #10


Glad that worked for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Registry policy setting - can't open old word versions

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