A file is blocked when you open or save the file in a Microsoft Office program. In this situation, you may receive an error message that resembles one of the following:
  • You are attempting to open a file that is blocked by your registry policy setting.
  • You are attempting to open a file type <File Type> that has been blocked by your File Block settings in the Trust Center.
  • You are attempting to open a file that was created in an earlier version of Microsoft Office. This file type is blocked from opening in this version by your registry policy setting.
  • You are attempting to save a file that is blocked by your registry policy setting.
  • You are attempting to save a file type <File Type> that has been blocked by your File Block settings in the Trust Center.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, try the following general resolutions to change the File Block settings based on the version of Office that you installed:

For Office 2013 or Office 2010

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Change the File Block settings to disable the restriction of certain file types:
  1. Click File > Options.

    If you cannot open a file in Office 2013 or Office 2010, open a blank document to start the Office application. For example, if you cannot open a Word file, open a new document in Word 2013 or Word 2010 to see the option.
  2. In the Options window, click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings.
  3. In the Trust Center window, click File Block Settings, and then clear the "Open" or "Save" check box for the file type that you want to open or save.

    Note
    Clear the option means allow user to open or save the file. Check the option means block the file.

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    FileBlockSettings
  4. Click OK two times.
  5. Try to open or save the file that was blocked again.
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For Office 2007 or Office 2003

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There is no "Trust Center" in Office 2007 or Office 2003. Therefore, you have to change the value of the FileOpenBlock registry subkey to disable the restriction of certain file types.

Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.
  1. Exit Office.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

    For Office 2007:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\<Application_name>\Security\FileOpenBlock


    For Office 2003:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\<Application_name>\Security\FileOpenBlock


    Note
    • Application_name should be the Office application (for example, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio)that has the problem.
    • If the subkey does not exist, you must create it manually. The following screenshot is a sample of Word 2007 FileOpenBlock subkey:
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      The screen shot for step 3

  4. After you select the subkey that is specified in step 3, locate the following DWORD value: BinaryFiles, FilesBeforeVersion and Converters.

    Note If this value does not exist, you must create it. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click FileOpenBlock , select New, click DWORD Value, and then type BinaryFiles as the name of the DWORD Value.
    2. Right-click FileOpenBlock , select to New, click DWORD Value, and then type FilesBeforeVersion as the name.
    3. Right-click FileOpenBlock , select to New, click DWORD Value, and then type Converters as the name.

    For more information about these DWORD value, check the FileBlockOpen DWORD values list.
  5. Right-click the BinaryFiles DWORD value, and then click Modify. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  6. Set the Value data of the FilesBeforeVersion and Converters to 0. The following screenshot is a sample of Word 2007.

    Note Value data 0 means allow user to open the file. 1 means block the file.

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    The screenshot for step 6
  7. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.
  8. Try to open or save the file that was blocked again.

Next step if you still cannot open or save the files in Office 2007 or Office 2003

If you still cannot open or save the files, try the following steps:
  1. Determinate the type of the file that cannot be opened: Right-click the file and select Properties. Check the Type of file property.
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    The screenshot for step 1
  2. Check the FileBlockOpen DWORD values list, and find the corresponding DWORD value.
  3. Add the DWORD value into the FileOpenBlock subkey, and set the value data to 0.
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For more information

For more application-specific resolution methods that you can try, see the following articles.

Word: I receive an error message when I try to open or save a file in Word
Excel: I receive an error message when I try to open or save a file in Excel
PowerPoint: I receive an error message when I try to open or save a file in PowerPoint
Visio: I receive an error message when I try to open or save a file in Visio

The issue can also occur when you open an embedded or linked Office file in an Office application. For example, you have a Visio object embedded in a Word document. When you try to open the Visio object, you receive a similar error message in Word. To resolve this issue, you must change the File Block settings in the application that owns the blocked file type. In this example, you must change the File Block settings in Visio instead of in Word. If the error message mentions Excel file type, go to Excel to change the File Block settings.

FileOpenBlock DWORD values list

The following tables contain the all DWORD values that you can add to the FileOpenBlock subkey and the corresponding file types.

Word
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DWORD valueFile types that are affected
OpenXmlFiles.docx, .dotx, .docm, .dotm, .xml (Word Flat Open XML)
BinaryFiles.doc, .dot
HtmlFiles.htm, .html, .mht, .mhtml
XmlFiles.xml (Word 2003)
RtfFiles.rtf, .doc (Word 95), .doc (Word 97 release version)
ConvertersAll file formats that are available by using a text converter (including the Office Compatibility Pack)
TextFiles.txt
WllFiles.wll
InternalFilesAll Word file types that have a non-RTM nFib value
FilesBeforeVersionAll Word files that have an nFib value lower than the minimum nFib value as set by an administrator

Excel
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DWORD valueFile types that are affected
OpenXmlFiles.xlsx, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlam
BinaryFiles.xls, .xla, .xlt, .xlm, .xlw, .xlb
Binary12Files.xlsb
HtmlandXmlssFiles.mht, .mhtml, .htm, .html, .xml, .xmlss
XmlFiles.xml
DifandSylkFiles.dif, .slk
TextFiles.txt, .csv, .prn
XllFiles.xll
ConvertersAll file formats that are available by using a text converter (including the Office Compatibility Pack)
DatabaseandDatasourceFiles.odc, .udl, .dsn, .dbc, .dqy, .iqy, .oqy, .rqy, .mde, .mdb, .dbf, .ade, .adp, .cub
LotusandQuattroFiles.wk1, .wk4, .wj3, wk1 FMT, .wks, .wk3, wk3 FM3, .wj2, .wq1, .fm3, .wj1
LegacyBinaryFilesMicrosoft Excel 4.0 Charts (.xlc) files (Office 2003 SP3)
LegacyDatabaseAndDatasourceFilesDBF 2 (dBASE II) (.dbf) files (Office 2003 SP3)

PowerPoint
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DWORD valueFile types that are affected
OpenXmlFiles.pptx, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppsx, .ppsm, .ppam, .thms, .xml
BinaryFiles.ppt, .pot, .pps, .ppa
HtmlFiles.mht, .mhtml, .html, .htm
Outlines.rtf, .txt, .doc, .wpd, .docx, .docm, .wps
ConvertersThis policy will prevent the opening of PowerPoint presentations that are opened by using third-party converters or the Office Compatibility Pack.
FilesBeforePowerPoint97This policy will prevent the opening of files older than PowerPoint 97 that have file types such as .ppt, .pot, .pps, and .ppa.

About this article

Article ID: 922850
Last review: October 30, 2014
Applies to: Microsoft Word 2013, Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft Visio Professional 2013, Microsoft Visio Standard 2013, Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
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