[Fix] “There was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program” Error Message in Windows
There was a problem sending the command to the program.
There was no problem in the file. Also the error message was coming only once. After clicking on the OK button and trying to open the file again, it opened without any problem. It was happening each time I started my computer.
I searched and found various solutions for this problem. So today in this tutorial, I'm going to share all possible solutions to fix this irritating issue. I hope it'll come handy for some people.
When you try to open a Microsoft Office file such as a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Access database file, etc, you receive following error messages:
There was a problem sending the command to the program.
Windows cannot find the file, Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.
Cannot find the file (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.
After getting the error message, following things might happen:
CASE 1: The error message is shown only once and you'll be able to open the file in second attempt.
CASE 2: The error message is shown each time you try to open the file.
According to Microsoft KB article, this problem occurs due to Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) feature. DDE is a type of communication protocols which is used by Windows to open certain filetypes which require this protocol for communication between source and target programs.
DDE mechanism is used to prevent unnecessary opening of multiple instances of a program if one instance of that program is already running in background. So basically DDE helps Windows in saving computer resources so that you get better performance from your computer.
Now lets talk about our problem! The above mentioned error message appears when Windows sends DDE command to MS Office application but Windows fails to connect with the application, thus it shows the error message in return.
We talked about 2 cases above! If CASE 1 is applicable to you i.e. you receive the error message only once and then you are able to open the file, you can ignore this problem. Nothing bad is going to happen with your computer.
But if CASE 2 is applicable to you and you are not able to open the file, then you can try following solutions:
1. Open the Microsoft Office program and open its Options window. Click on Office ORB or FILE menu present in the ribbon and then click on Options.
2. Now go to Advanced tab and scroll down to bottom. You'll find "Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)" option present in General section.
3. Make sure its unchecked. If its enabled in your system, disable it by unchecking the checkbox.
4. Apply changes and restart Office program. It should fix the problem.
PS: If the option is not enabled, first enable the option and then restart the Office program. Now again disable the option and then again restart the Office program. It should fix the problem.
If the above mentioned solution doesn't work for you, try following method. Basically we are going to re-associate Office program as default application to open the filetype:
1. Right-click on the Office file and select "Open with" option.
2. If you are using Windows 7 or earlier Windows versions, click on Browse button.
If you are using Windows 8 or later, click on More Options link and then click on "Look for another app on this PC" option.
3. Now go to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office..." folder in Browse dialog box and select the correct EXE file. For example, if you are trying to open .xlsx file, select EXCEL.EXE file. If you are trying to open .docx file, select WINWORD.EXE file.
Make sure "Always use this application for this file type" or similar option is enabled in Open with window.
4. That's it. It should fix the problem.
Sometimes this error message occurs when "Run as administrator" option is enabled for the program. You can fix it using following steps:
1. Open Start Menu or Start Screen and look for the Office program shortcut which is causing this problem such as Word, Excel, etc.
2. Once you find the shortcut, right-click on it and select Properties option.
PS: If you can't find the Properties option, first select "Open file location" option from the context menu. It'll open a new window. Now again right-click on the Office program shortcut present in the new window and now you'll get Properties option.
3. Now go to Compatibility tab and uncheck/disable all given options specially "Run this program as administrator".
4. Apply changes and it should solve the problem.
You can also try to delete "Data" key from Registry to fix this issue. This key stores basic settings related to window size, position and toolbars. If you delete the key, it'll reappear as soon as you launch Office program. So there is no harm in deleting this key from Registry.
To delete the key, follow these simple steps:
1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type regedit in RUN and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
3. Under this key, you'll find sub-keys with the name 10.0, 11.0, 12.0, etc depending upon which Office suite version is installed in your computer.
Expand the 10.0 or other number key and you'll see keys with the name Word, Excel, Access, etc.
4. Expand the key associated to the program which is causing problems. For example, if Microsoft Word is causing problems, expand Word key and you'll see Data key under it.
5. Select Data key and press Delete key to delete it.
That's it. Re-launch Office program and now it should work without any problem.
You can also try to repair Microsoft Office suite with the help of following steps:
1. Open Control Panel and click on Programs and Features icon.
2. Now click on Microsoft Office entry present in the list and click on "Change" button.
3. Now select "Repair" option and click on "Continue" button.
It'll repair Microsoft Office files and settings and it should fix the problem.
A few readers have reported that a 3rd party software "AVG PC TuneUp" can also cause this issue. So if you are also facing this problem and you have "AVG PC TuneUp" software installed in your computer, try to uninstall it. It may also fix the issue.
According to our reader "David 963", AVG PC Tune-up disabled Microsoft Office from starting until the the program started and therefore would not open an individual worksheet or document until the actual program was opened. He didn't uninstall AVG PC TuneUp but he opened the program and went to the "Optimize" tab and clicked "Disable Programs" option. Then he enabled Microsoft Office suite.
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