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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.



  • thanks for all this. I thought I'd got a virus until I came across your helpful note, with instructions for fixing the problem.

    All works fine now!

  • Still does not work trying all on this page as of 6:30pm EST 9/22/13.

    Any other suggestions?

  • OMG thank you!  That's been driving me insane! So glad to find such a simple solution to fix it.  And also really glad to know what caused it.  Was wracking my brain trying to figure out how I screwed up my files...

  • As suggested by this blog, my mother tried contacting Microsoft Support regarding this issue. They refused to provide any assistance unless she paid a $99 fee. Nice, Microsoft, real nice.

  • I also bought and paid for Office Home Premuim 2013 it displays like Rice Paper, vanishes and is totally uselss. Please refund me . I no longer wish to sue MS office products. I spend way too much of MY TIME correcting your uselss technical issues.

  • You are AWESOME !  Thanks for fix-it instructions.  I'm not a tech-y, and I was able follow the instructions.  All better now.  ahhhh

  • Thanks for the info, I can now open files that I had already created, but I still can't create a NEW file. What now?

  • Thanks will try this.  I have my partners medical notes which I frequently need to print out for him

  • Thanks for the advice and instructions, it is now working!

  • Yeah, my computer won't even bring up the change option on the systems and when I try the right-click, open with option it only says Office and tells me to purchase the OS again.....

  • Are you seriously telling me you could not create a Fixit for this problem if you wanted to ? Sounds to me like you want people to have problems with this. Once again, Microsoft strikes again !

  • This is exactly what was happening, and now it's partially fixed, so thank you. However - it's still doing the same if I'm clicking on a Word doc from internet explorer, and there is no 'Open with' to sort it out. I had to go into internet explorer and do the same with 'set associations'.

  • First things first "THANKS itsrobb Your advice fixed it for me !!! and for those who are thinking how thick is he I have turned off "CTRL+" so my file are not covered in reverse P and arrows !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I followed the instructions given to me by customer service to access

    my files using the 'open with' DDE launcher option, which is only giving a

    temporary fix, as is the default program, and it has not asked me to

    do a repair.  I am waiting for a local computer guy to come in and

    try for me, because this is outside my area of confidence.  I also notice that I now have Microsoft Office 2010 as well as Microsoft 2010 starter edition, the latter came installed with computer in 2011 the former dated 14/9/2013. On top of this my husband is having problems with attachments to his Windows live mail as they are being being classed as prohibited file type and are unable to be opened. How do we deal with this because

    this is important. The computer man is not cheap, but I am not confident enough to deal with this given what I have done has not worked.

  • When I follow the instructions above in step one I don't get the option to "open with"

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