Monday, 14 March 2011

The File (.docx) Cannot be Opened because there are Problems with the Contents - Unspecified Error: Part II

This is a quick update on the first post regarding the Word 2007 (.docx) error "The File Cannot be Opened because there are Problems with the Contents - Unspecified Error". I just realized that sometimes the fix in the first post may not work especially if the file is large (over 1mb).

If using Windows Live Workspace does not work, I found another nifty way to open the corrupted .docx document online and delete the table of contents. This is how it works:

Step one - Go to, select document management and  open a free account
Step two - In Zoho writer, go to "file", then "import". Select the corrupted .docx document from the location in your computer and click "ok". The import/upload process begins.
Step three - After successful import, the document should open and all you need to do is to locate the table of contents and delete it
Step four - Go to "file" then click on "export" and select ".docx". Select the location you would like to save your file on your computer and download begins.
Step five - Open the file in Word and you should not get the error "The File Cannot be Opened because there are Problems with the Contents - Unspecified Error" again.

Leave a comment if this fix works for you. If none of these fixes work for you, you can always try Free Word Recovery Software.

Suggested Reading
How to Recover a Lost Word Document


  1. No. Neither this fix, nor using Windows Live worked for my file. It doesn't have a Table of Contents. It has drawings - but I do drawings all the time. I guess I have to retype the document.

  2. it worked, although it screwed up a lot of the formatting. i have a large document (250 pages) full of tables and equations. But after spending an hour looking around online this is the only thing that's worked (i tried the windows live option you described as well). I had been making edits using Word's "track changes" feature, and thankfully it kept those markings so I'll be able to go through and relatively quickly re-make those changes to an old copy.

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  4. Thank you, thank you! Zoho worked, and is the only thing that did. I tried Office Live and Google Docs to no avail--still over 6,000 words of my 8,000-word document had just disappeared, and having Word telling me exactly where it got hung up in trying to open the document didn't seem to do me any good. When I first opened it in Zoho I thought it was the same, only about three pages--but then I noticed a comment balloon that turned out when I moused over it to contain the missing 6,000+ words. I lost the formatting, but that's the least of my worries. I did not do anything with a table of contents, though that might have helped too since the glitch was just Word's somehow having "lost" most of the text inside a comment.

    Checking back in Google Docs revealed that some of the text was in a comment window there, but not much--checking the same thing in Word showed totally blank comments. Only Zoho had it all intact.

    This has saved me hours of attempting to reconstruct many days' worth of refining and developing arguments that were just as lost in my backup copy as in the main copy. Thank you VERY much!

  5. I can't thank you enough. I have just used your suggestion regarding Zoho to recover a very important document that I'm ashamed of having not made a backup of!

  6. Hi Kimkay

    Thank you very much for the solution with Zoho, unfortunately Office Live did not work however I was able to get the document to open with Zoho's own writer and deleted the table of contents and afterwards was able to open with Office Word 2010 with the majority of the contents intact, the only bit is that that the formatting of the file has gone haywire but Im not complaining as it is much easier to fix the formatting than to rewrite the whole document. Thank you again for spending time writing those solutions to help people with this issue and for keeping our sanity intact.

    Kind regards,

    Norman L

  7. Thank you very much for this solution Kimkay! This worked perfectly in retrieving the text from my file!

  8. THANK YOU!!! Paper recovered!! worked.

  9. Neither option worked for me. I was unable to open/import the document. My document doesn't have a TOC but has many hyperlinks. I'm thinking that's the problem. ugh

    1. I'll look into that and see if I can post a solution soon.

  10. it has helped but none of my diagrams were recovered. It only works for text not for diagrams.

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