PROBLEM: A user double-clicks an Excel file or Word document from Windows Explorer or the Desktop and it opens Excel or Word, but the file doesn’t open for a minute or multiple minutes, even if it on the local hard drive. If you open the file from within Word or Excel, it opens up perfectly fine and quick. My users are using Office 2007 currently with this problem.
I’ve run into this problem a handful of times now, and I dug for hours looking for a good solution. I found many with the problem, but not much good information on a good solution. HOWEVER, I found something that works. I found it Joel Clermont’s blog from 2004! (Thanks, Joel!) I have modified his instructions and added screenshots.
1. First, open any folder in Windows XP (Start > My Computer).
2. Click on the Tools menu, and choose Folder Options.
3. From the dialog that pops up, click the File Types tab. You will now be presented with a list of all document types recognized by your computer.
4. Scroll down to XLS, select it, and click the Advanced button.
5. Now you’ll see several “Actions” registered for Excel worksheets. Usually, Open is the default (indicated by being in bold). Select “Open” and click the Edit button.
6. The main piece of data in here is the field labeled “Application used to perform action.” This should point to your Excel executable, followed by some command-line arguments. Here’s how it modify it to fix the problem:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\EXCEL.EXE” /e “%1” (see below for how I fixed Word)
It is very important to make sure that the %1 is surrounded by quotes. %1 is the variable representing the full path and file name of the document you are opening. If it contains any spaces, and this is not surrounded by quotes you will get a flurry of weird errors.
7. “Use DDE” is normally checked. Now, make sure that “DDE Message” is empty. Click OK. (Although this will re-enable automatically, since the fields are blank it doesn’t seem to matter.)
8. Click OK back at the Edit File Type dialog. Click Close on the Folder Options dialog.
9. Now try to open a file directly again.
10. Repeat from Step 4 for any other file types that aren’t working well — for my latest computer it was XLS, XLSX, DOCX (not DOC for some reason). If you modify the setting for XLS and it doesn’t fix your problem, try changing XLSX, also (same for DOC and DOCX).
For Word, here was how I modified it:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE” /n “%1”
I don’t know why this happens, but I suspect that these modifications we have to make are because something else got corrupted or modified (I consider this a workaround, not a fix).