Microsoft Word Solution to Error “there was a problem sending the command to the program”

Have you ever run into the error from Microsoft Word that “there was a problem sending the command to the program?” Well, worry no more! Here’s a solution.

Usually this is caused by the corruption in a specific registry key that’s associated by Microsoft Word. Deleting that key (backing it up first), and then restarting Microsoft Word should cause it to regenerate the key and its values, and this new uncorrupted key should solve the problem. No worries, there is no data loss whatsoever from this method.

This solution was found on Microsoft’s knowledge base website here (

Delete the Word Data registry key

A screenshot on what you should do. Too many have complained about not finding this :-)

A screenshot on what you should do. Too many have complained about not finding this 🙂

To view these options in Word 2002 or Word 2003, click Options on the Tools menu.

To view these options in Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.

Note When you delete the Word Data registry key, Word resets several options to their default settings. One such option is the “most recently used file” list on the File menu. Additionally, Word resets many settings that you customize in the Options dialog box.

To delete the Word Data registry key, follow these steps:

  • Exit all Office programs.
  • Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  • Locate the following registry subkey, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running:
    • Word 2002:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice10.0WordData
    • Word 2003:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice11.0WordData
    • Word 2007:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice12.0WordData
    • Word 2010:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice14.0WordData
  • Click Data, and then click Export on the File menu.
  • Name the file Wddata.reg, and then save the file to the desktop.
  • Click Delete on the Edit menu, and then click Yes.
  • Exit Registry Editor.
  • Start Word.

If Word starts and works correctly, you have resolved the problem. The problem was a damaged Word Data registry key. You may have to change several settings to restore your favorite options in Word.

If the problem is not resolved, restore the original Word Data registry key. Then, see the “Delete the Word Options registry key” topic.

To restore the original Word Data registry key, follow these steps:

  • Exit all Office programs.
  • Double-click the Wddata.reg icon on the desktop.
  • Click Yes, and then click OK.

Voila! Your problem is solved!



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  • David Duncan

    This still did not work      David Duncan,

    • What was the exact symptom and what showed up?

    • Ken1edd

       Hi. I had the same annoying message “there was a problem sending the command to the program”
      whenever i tried to open a word document. Just download (“microsoft word fixit”), install it and follow what it says.
      This worked for me

  • Herlynalim

    how if registry edited was disabled by administrator ?

    • Then you need to contact the administrator and explain the situation. I’m sure he will agree that this is what to do.

  • AG-Researcher

    I tried all of this and it still did not work, came up with the same error message, “there was a problem sending the command to the program”

    Any other ideas?

    • The registry key is the only way I know to get rid of this problem. It’s worked for me countless times in the past. Worst-case try restarting your computer after deleting the key.

  • Guest

    This worked great, make sure you are in HKEY_Current_User, also it is easy to rename the file then there is no need to export it you can always just rename it back for example name it “data-” instead of “data”

  • Pete_he2001


    my problem is not fixed

  • Vipin J S

    goto run & execute “winword.exe /r” without quotes.. 🙂

  • Saquib Rashid

    Thank you very much. Your solution of deleting the data registry key was not working for me until I combined it with a restart. So for everyone that this solution is not working for you can try that out. Do everything as posted until the start word step. After exiting the regedit restart the computer then open word. This fixed it for me after trying everything else. Note the restart AFTER the delete was the key step here. Thank you Rafi for your help.

    • I’m glad that it worked for you. However, for most of us a restart is not needed. I guess an amendment would be that, if the steps above didn’t work:

      1. CTRL+ALT+DEL and kill the process “WINWORD.EXE.” Then restart Word. If that still doesn’t work,
      2.Try restarting your computer.

  • Marcus

    Awesome. I tried MANY other fixes on the web.. this is the only thing that corrected the issue

  • Mayibongwe

    it totaly worked thank you>

  • Chris

    I am still having this problem and when I go to edit the registry key I have no Data section under the word folder (word 2007). Any ideas?

    • “Data” is a key under “Word” that looks like a folder.. It should have that functionality.