Word refusing to be default app for docx

Copper Contributor

I'm having some issue with Word that are affecting my workflow.


Every time I open a document, I'm told that Word isn't my default app and documents don't show the Word icon - instead a default white box as if the file type is unassigned. Yet, in default apps, all relevant document types are linked to Word.


Similarly, when I right click Word on my taskbar to access recent documents it won't open them; maintaining that they have been moved or deleted when they exist in the same place they always have.


The Word I have is Office Home and Student 2019. V. 2110 (Build 14527.20276). It is up to date.


All of this started when I was clearing some space in my C drive and removed a version of Word 2009 that was on my computer for some reason. When there were multiple versions of Word I had no issues at all, yet now there are no conflicts I'm struggling.


I've repaired the app (which actually caused Word to start lagging, though another repair fixed this) but I'm still having the same issue. Any insights that might help?

2 Replies



Issues related to file associations are reported from time to time. Often, they are difficult to fix. :(


If you double-click the "generic" icon, do you see an error message? 

No. The file opens in Word 2019 fine, then tells me Word isn't the default app. The only error I get is when I try to open recent files from my taskbar.

So I can open the files. It's not a catastrophic error, just a productivity issue of adding a few more steps to opening recent documents.