Fix Word Starter 2010 File Association Issue

You installed a trial version of Microsoft Office 2010, and the trial version has now expired. Now, when you try to double click on a Word (.doc, .docx) or Excel (.xls, .xlsx) file, you get a big screen saying you don’t have Office 2010’s Word/Excel installed.

What happened is that when the trial version expired, it flipped you to running the Starter version of Microsoft Word and Excel. All that needs to be done is to update the file association for those specific file types.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the Start button on the lower left
  2. In the right hand column, click on the option labeled Default Programs
  3. Then click on Associate a file type or protocol with a program, and a list of file types will display
  4. Locate .doc and double click on it.
  5. Now select Microsoft Office Client Virtualization Handler* as the program to associate with .doc files.
  6. Repeat this process for .docx, .xls, .xlsx, or any other related file types.

* If you see Microsoft Application Virtualization DDE Launcher listed instead, use that instead.


  1. Hi. As I cannot access my documents in Microsoft Office Starter 2010, I followed the above procedure. When I get as far as select
    .doc and double click, there is no option for Microsoft Office Client Virtualization Handler or its equivalent. The only options are:
    Express accounts or Word (desktop).

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Kind regards,


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