Word cannot open the file because the file format does not match the file extension.

Copper Contributor

I was working on a .docx file and Word suddenly quit.  I looked in Word Help to find the recover file and found it.  However, I cannot open it through Finder or Word.  I also tried to change the file extension to .zip and that didn't work either.  I am working on a MacBook Pro (late 2013, retina, OS Catalina).  I would really like to recover it because I was at the end of an extensive redlining process.  Any other suggestions for retrieving it?  

4 Replies


Change the extension of your file to ".doc" 


Thank you - worked for me in Word 16 (Ventura, 13.2)


Are you able to open in OLD format (*.doc) and copy the content to new WORD and save as docx?

After changing the extension to .doc, the AutoRecovered file happily opened in Word. I then just needed to do a 'Save As' in .docx format (and change extension to .docx), and file now behaving normally.