File extension

Word can’t open the file because the file format doesn’t match the file extension

Sometimes when you try to open a Word file, it won’t open and shows the following message – Word can’t open the file because the file format doesn’t match the file extension. This can be confusing, especially when you want to browse the contents of the file one last time before sending it to someone else.

Word can’t open the file because the file format doesn’t match the file extension

The issue can occur when the Word file you are trying to open has a different file extension than the file you are attaching. This happens when you convert the file manually. There may also be other reasons. Whatever the case, you can fix it using one of the methods described below.

  1. Rename and edit the extension manually.
  2. Change the file type to .asd.
  3. Uncheck Hide extensions by known file types
  4. Unlock Word File

Let’s cover the above methods in a bit more detail!

1]Rename and change extension manually

The easiest way to solve this problem is to manually change the file extension. To do this, right click on the file and select Rename option.

Rename Extension

Then change the document extension from *.docx to *.doc and then try to open the file. If that doesn’t solve your problem, continue to the next method.

2]Change the file type to .asd

Navigate to the location where the file is stored, right click on it and select the Copy option.

Then proceed to the next path – C:Users%username%AppDataLocalMicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles by pasting it in the start menu.

Change ASD file type

Paste the document here and change the file type to .asd.

Recover unsaved documents

Open the word, click Open, and at the bottom of the page press the Recover unsaved documents tongue.

When the document appears in the list, select it and save the document after opening it.

3]Uncheck Hide extensions by known file types

Display Options

Open File Explorer and go to See tongue. Right next to it you should find the See more icon visible as three horizontal dots. Click on the icon then select Choice.

Hide file extension types

When a new window appears, scroll down to locate Hide extensions by known file types hall. Make sure the box next to it is unchecked.

4]Unlock the Word file

Many users reported that “The file format does not match the extension” issue could also be fixed by unlocking the file. So if you are unable to open the file sent as an attachment, use this workaround.

Open File Explorer.

Navigate to the folder path containing the Word file you want to fix.

Right click on the file and choose it. Properties option.

In the window that appears, go to General tongue.

Find the Unblock button and click on it to select it. Note – This option is only visible for files from another source, such as an email attachment.

Hit it Apply button then click Finish to close the window.


What is an ASD WAV file?

An ASD file is a temporary backup created by Microsoft Word, an Office application. It contains a snapshot copy of the currently open Word document. These file types are mainly used for automatic saving and recovery of documents in Word in case of sudden crash or accidental closing.

Why is my Word file locked?

The file can be locked for several reasons. For example, the file is shared and another user is editing it, or another Office application is running in the background with the file already open. Another possible reason could be that the file has been marked as final and can no longer be updated.

Word can't open file extensions