DOC File Extension

DOC file icon
Microsoft Word Document
  • Developer
    Microsoft
  • Popularity
    3.8 (17 votes)

What is DOC file?

Files with the .DOC extension contain formatted text documents stored in a proprietary binary format of Microsoft Word. Storing format was different for each version of the Microsoft office suite. Currently, it has been displaced by an open format based on XML, in order to provide mobility (DOCX). However, DOC files still can be created in Word.

DOC files may contain:

  • Text and its formatting,
  • tables,
  • clip-art objects or images,
  • Scripts – macros.

Additional information

Microsoft published specification of the DOC format only in 2008, in order to enable using it to create programs properly handling those files. Nonetheless, the format was back-engineered in order to obtain all the details. Before a proprietary Microsoft DOC format was created in 1983, it was used also in plain text files and files of the WordPerfect program.

Programs which support DOC file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 5 operating systems that support DOC files. DOC files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

How to open file with DOC extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening DOC files on given system. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to Microsoft Word Document files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with DOC files.

Step 1. Install Microsoft Word software

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports DOC files installed on the system. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft Word or one to the listed programs: Microsoft Works, WordPerfect Office, Microsoft Word Viewer. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading Microsoft Word installed is by going to developer’s website (Microsoft Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of Microsoft Word

You still cannot access DOC files although Microsoft Word is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. If you have an older version of Microsoft Word installed, it may not support DOC format. The latest version of Microsoft Word should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign Microsoft Word to DOC files

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate DOC files with latest version of Microsoft Word you have installed on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Clicking the DOC with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Word installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open DOC files box and clicking OK button.

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the DOC file and select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with DOC extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Verify that the DOC is not faulty

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the DOC file in question. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

1. Check the DOC file for viruses or malware

If the DOC is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Scan the DOC file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. DOC file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If you obtained the problematic DOC file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the DOC file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Microsoft Word Document file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Microsoft Word

If the systems has insufficient resources to open DOC files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Microsoft Word Document files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with DOC files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the DOC file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on DOC file.

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