DOCX File Extension

DOCX file icon
Microsoft Word Open XML Document
  • Developer
    Microsoft
  • Popularity
    3.8 (17 votes)

What is DOCX file?

Files with the .DOCX extension contain formatted text documents, possibly with graphic elements, stored in a native format of Microsoft Word, since its 2017 version. DOCX files are an element of Office Open XML format specification. DOCX file is compressed with ZIP method, and it is based on XML format with markup languages WordprocessingML and DrawingML, developed by Microsoft.

Additional information

DOCX is the successor of a proprietary binary format – DOC. It provides better portability between programs and platforms, due to open specification. It does not support macros – in order to enable saving and turning them on, a file must be stored in the DOCM format. Most applications of office suites support this format, however, DOCX files can be converted into other formats, like ODF.

Support for DOCX files

DOCX files are so popular, that they are supported in practically every advanced text editor. Besides the standard software, DOCX files can be edited and browsed for free, in one of two online text editors: Google Docs and Microsoft Word Online. Interface of those internet text editors resembles versions installed on PC, therefore everyone should be able to operate them easily.

Programs which support DOCX file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open DOCX files divided into 5 categories according to system platform supported. Files with DOCX suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

How to open file with DOCX extension?

Problems with accessing DOCX may be due to various reasons. Fortunately, most common problems with DOCX files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with DOCX files.

Step 1. Install Microsoft Word software

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports DOCX files installed on the system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Microsoft Word or different compatible program, such as Apache OpenOffice, WordPerfect Office, Microsoft Word Viewer. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Microsoft Word website and download the installer.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Word to the latest version

If you already have Microsoft Word installed on your systems and DOCX files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. This can be one of the causes why DOCX files are not compatible with Microsoft Word. The most recent version of Microsoft Word is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Microsoft Word Open XML Document files with Microsoft Word

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate DOCX 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

Change the default application in Windows

  • Clicking the DOCX with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • 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 DOCX files box and clicking OK button.

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected DOCX file open the file menu and choose 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
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with DOCX extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Ensure that the DOCX file is complete and free of errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper DOCX file. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

1. Check the DOCX file for viruses or malware

Should it happed that the DOCX is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Scan the DOCX file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the scanner detected that the DOCX file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If the DOCX file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the DOCX file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

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

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support DOCX files. Close all running programs and try opening the DOCX file.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Microsoft Word Open XML Document files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It may be the case that the DOCX files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the DOCX 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 DOCX file.

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