FIX: File cannot be previewed in Outlook – Word Experienced an Error when Opening a Saved Outlook Attachment (Solved)

The following issue was encountered on a Windows 10-based computer: Outlook 2013 cannot preview Word or Excel attachments with the following error: "This file cannot be previewed because of an error with the following previewer: Microsoft Word previewer. To open this file in its own program, double-click it".

Apart of this problem, if the user saves the attachment file on disk and tries to open it from there, the associated program (e.g. "Word") displays the following error:
"Word experienced an error trying to open the file.
Try these suggestions: 
Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
Make sure there is sufficient memory and disk space.
Open the file with the Text Recovery converter" .

File Cannot be Previewed in Outlook - Word experienced an error trying to open the file


After searching for the cause of the issues, I realized that the above problems commonly occur because the Windows Firewall service is disabled.
In this tutorial you 'll find instructions to fix the Word or Excel Previewer issues in Outlook 2013 and to bypass the "Word experienced an error" problem when trying to open files from email or network shares.

How to fix. Outlook 2013 Word or Excel Previewer Cannot Open Attachments.

To fix the "Outlook Previewer Cannot Preview Files" issue, first check if the Windows Firewall is enabled on your system. *

* Note: If you have installed a third party security program on your system that contains Firewall services, then enable the firewall service on your security program.

1. Press Windows image_thumb8_thumb + R keys to open the run command box.

2. In the "Open" box, type: services.msc  & click OK. *

* (Accept the UAC warning if appears).



3. In Services control panel check is the Windows Firewall ("Windows Defender Firewall" on Windows 10) service is Started.

fix word previewer outlook


4. If the Firewall service is not started, then: *

a. Double click to open the Windows Firewall service properties.
b. Change the "Startup" type to Automatic and click OK.
c. Restart your system, and then check if the Outlook Previewer problem has resolved.

* Note: To start Windows Defender Firewall in Windows 10, open Windows Defender > Firewall and Network Protection and set the firewall to ON in all networks (Domain, Private, Public).

start windows firewall


6. If the firewall service is running but you cannot preview Word or Excel attachments in Outlook, then disable the "Protected View" settings in Office programs (Word & Excel). To do that:

a. From the File menu click Options.
b. At Trust Center options, select Trust Center Settings.

fix Word experienced an error trying to open the file


c. Uncheck all the "Enable Protected View.." check-boxes and click OK.

disable protected view option word - excel


7. Now, normally you should be able to preview the Word or Excel attachments in Outlook. *

* Extra tip: If you still cannot open a Word or Excel file, that came from email or from a network source, then make sure that the file is unblocked. To do that:

a. Right click on the file and select Properties.
b. Click Unblock and OK.

unblock file security


That's all folks! Did it work for you?
Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about this solution.

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