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Office 2010 Starter Edition: File type associations missing after September 2013 Update

Office 2010 Starter Edition: File type associations missing after September 2013 Update

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On this blog and elsewhere, we have received reports of file type associations missing after installing KB2589275.

After installing this update, some users have reported they are unable to open files by double-clicking them, that the file type icons have changed, and that they must go to the application to open files.

We are aware of this issue, and we have been recommending the steps below to correct the problem. We're rolling this up to a blog post to improve visibility and to net in folks who may not understand "File type association" and similar language of software complexity.

You may see this dialog box when trying to double-click to open files:

 The Microsoft Office product necessary to open this file is not installed on you computer


You may also observe some of the icons related to Office files have changed. Some users have reported the file type icons turn orange, some report the file types appear blank or without the normal Microsoft Office icons.

This happens because the Operating System has lost the association between a file type and the application that it is supposed to open it. This does not change the file, this only affects the relationship between the operating system and the applications associated with the documents. in practical terms, it means that the typical double-click action will fail when trying to open files.

How to fix this issue

There are several options available to repair this issue. Each will restore Office products to a fully functional state. These are permanent fixes rather than having to revert to opening files inside the applications.

1. Use "Open with..." From any file missing its extension, right click and select "Open With", and then select "Microsoft Office Client Virtualization Handler." This will restore the file type to the application. In some cases, you will see "Microsoft Application Virtualization DDE Launcher." Select this option to restore the file type associations. You can also use the "Choose Default Program..." option, select the same option from that list to permanently restore the file type association to the correct Microsoft Office application.


2. In some cases, you may also need to repair the Office 2010 Starter Edition installation to restore all file types. In this case, visit add / remove programs, select Microsoft Office Starter 2010, and select "Change" from the menu bar.


You will be asked whether you want to repair your existing installation. DO NOT SELECT "Remove all Office user settings related to this product" if you wish to keep your settings on the local computer. Click yes when you are ready. It will take a few minutes to complete, and afterward you should be able to open files from your computer using a double-click action.


If you are unable to open files after performing these operations, please contact Microsoft support at http://support.microsoft.com, or http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office.



  • Are you going to send an update to correct the problem?  Or is it up to us to correct it?

  • I have also seen this problem on machines with Office 2007 installed.  Office patching this month has been very frustrating...

  • How is the best way to resolve the associated problem with Windows Live Mail when an attachment is flagged as 'Prohibited File Type' and cannot be opened? This appears to be true for all Office file types.

  • @EPerson: In the post at answers.microsoft.com/.../6c2541ca-1ba8-4166-9ad5-70876e5715a7, I have tried to roll up suggestions for both Office 2010 Starter and other versions of Office Word.

  • I have Office 2010 Starter (Word and Excel) on Win7 x64 Home Premium. I didn't immediately recognize that the patch caused my file type association trouble, and started manually changing file associations using "Open with". This wasn't working as well as I'd hoped, particularly with Excel.

    I finally ran a repair of Office (like the repair described above), which fixed file types for Word but not Excel.  Excel required manual adjustment through the Control Panel (possibly due to my "fiddling" with it earlier) -- Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Default Programs\Set Associations -- and set XLS and XLSX types to "Microsoft Application Virtualization DDE Launcher". That fixed Excel.

    NOTE: The next time you run Word and Excel, be online and expect to WAIT. Apparently, "stuff" (new data and/or virtualization packages?) needs to be downloaded. It was a few minutes before either app would open.



  • I can right click...then go to "open with" and open with Microsoft Office Client Virtualization Handler...but I don't want to have to do that each time I need to open a document.  What can be done to get all of my documents back to Word...everything was working fine until the update.

  • "This happens because the Operating System has lost the association between a file type and the application that it is supposed to open it."

    Bull! It happens because once again MS has released a patch cycle that is breaking things, something they seem to be very good at of late. The OS doesn't do anything other than what it's told to do.

  • I just tried to use the above method, "Open with"...and it does not seem to work.  On top of my Word and Excel starter programs not being an easy access, my Publisher program was disabled as well.  I purchased this program separately.  This is quite frustrating!  I am working on a number of documents at this time and accessing them or emailing them is not easy.  I do need your support.  How can I speak with someone?

  • Wow! It looks like someone is trying to increase the sales of Office 2013! I will try this "fix it" because this system was pre-installed by the retailer when I bought the LAPTOP and I'm not paying again! I will also let the Better Business Bureau and others with power know!

  • I figured that out in less than 5 minutes.

  • If you go into Programs It appears to be installing an Office 2010 Trial that is causing the Miss Match

    If you uninstall this trial it also Resolves this Problem. This Update Does not Seem to be Limited to People just using office 2010, as i have seen this fault happening on Workstations that have Earlier Versions of Office installed. Once you Remove the Trial Version it Resolves this Problem.

  • My mother is having this issue and based on previous advice given, uninstalled Microsoft Office Starter. Please can you create a fix that gives her a way to get it back. The usual method of reinstalling has been removed with the latest update also. I am sure there is plenty of abuse being thrown at you right now and I won't add to it. But I will say that this is a deplorable abuse of power.

  • File association isn't the only problem with these updates, I still have several updates that cannot be installed:

    Still having issues! I can't install the following updates:

    KB2553145 (32-bit version)

    KB2687455 (32-bit version)

    It's been more than a week now, when will you fix this issue???

  • I tried the repair option and it worked on a doc attachment but it didn't work on a PPS attachment. It appears that MS is placing the burden of proof on us to fix the problem. Why don't you guys try to correct YOUR mistake and undo the September update that is causing the problem so that we can enjoy our PC experience once again.

  • My computer is one that is affected by that download.  I have tried repairing and everything else that is stated at this web site and it has not worked.  Please, please help me to get back into the starter edition of Microsoft 2010 before I fail my college courses.  Which may be soon because of this upgrade.  Does Microsoft plan to send an upgrade to correct this problem?  I am in real trouble here.  Thanks  

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