Microsoft word is one of the most beneficial programs that Windows has ever included in their operating system. It has been a staple in word processing. May it be biographies, literature, simple school projects or alike. But a variety of issues may come up regarding opening documents. The registry blocks it for a variety of reasons, mainly: it may be saved from earlier MS Word formats or the computer administrator restricts the type of files that you can open or save.
Resolving the Issue if the File is from Earlier Versions

Since the creation of MS Word, several versions and updates have already been released. It is not surprising if files that are made from the earlier versions are not recognized or restricted to be opened. Online help is available thru the Microsoft support website. But if you want to learn and be knowledgeable with regards to fixes like these. Here are some things that you can do about it.

For Word 2010

The steps are simpler in relation with Word 2007. Here’s how to do it:

1.    Make sure that you are using the administrator account of your computer. Then open MS Word. You can click on the File Tab; look for Help, then select Options.
2.    Click on the Trust Center, and then select Trust Center Settings.
3.    Look for File Block Settings from the selection.
4.    A list will then be displayed. Just clear the box of the file type that you don’t want to be blocked by the registry.
5.    After doing everything, click on OK twice. This should enable the opening of the cleared file types.

Steps in troubleshooting Word 2007 are relatively complicated. You will be working with you system’s registry so you have to be careful. Follow the steps accordingly.

1.    You have to work on this using an administrator’s log-in. Exit Word if you are working with it.
2.    Click on start, and then select RUN. A box will appear. Type in regedit then hit enter, or click ok.
3.    The registry box will appear. Look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then click on the following sub-keys: software, policies, Microsoft, office, 12.0, word, security, file open block.

Note: Some versions of OS do not have File Open Block. You must create this to proceed. To do so, follow these steps:

a.    Click on Security sub-key.
b.    On the edit menu that pops out, you need to select the button that says New, and then click on Key
c.    Type FileOpenBlock the hit enter.

4.    After selecting the sub-key, locate the DWORD value.

Note: if the value does not exist, create by following these steps:

a.    On the Edit menu which pops out right after, you must point your cursor to New, and then immediately click the DWORD Value command.
b.    Type the value that you intend to open, FilesBeforeVersion, for example; and then hit enter. You can check different DWORD values from this website: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922849.

If the files from earlier versions of Word are restricted, locate the DWORD value corresponding to the file type and change it from 1 to 0. It will enable the opening of the said file types.

5.    Right-click on the DWORD value that you need to change then select Modify.
6.    Look for the Value Data box, and then change the content from 1 to 0.
7.    On the file menu, click on Exit to exit the registry editor.

For Word 2003, you have to install an update for further customization. Please refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938810 for further information.

Other options

You could call the system administrator regarding the unblocking of the said documents. But if you are the system administrator, you can follow the steps regarding the matter. Just remember that the registry is very vital so if you have a good internet connection, you could always click on the links on the Microsoft help site and install the wizard. You can never be too safe and too sure when your computer’s integrity is at stake.