Thursday, January 7, 2010

Word Cannot Start the Converter mswrd632

Problem:  You try a .doc file and get the error message "Word cannot start the converter mswrd632" and nothing opens.

Microsoft states this happens because "...a file has the ".doc" file name extension, but the content is a plain text file or another kind of file that is not a Microsoft Word binary file, and that file is opened in Microsoft Word..."

This problem appears after installing Microsoft's security update 973904.

How to "fix" it:

1.  Open the Registry Editor and browse to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\

2.  Delete "MSWord6.wpc"

If you are not familiar with the Registry Editor:

1.  Go to Start > Run... and type:  notepad

2.  Click OK.

3.  Notepad will open.  Copy and paste the following lines.  Make sure you copy all three lines, meaning there should be a blank line in between the two lines with text.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Text Converters\Import\MSWord6.wpc]

4.  Go to File > Save As... and save the file to your Desktop as:  AllowImport.reg

5.  Click Save.  Locate the file "AllowImport" on your desktop and double-click it.  Click Yes and OK and you should be able to open those files.

Update:  Microsoft provided a "Fix it for me" solution for this issue.


  1. I am receiving this error, but I am opening a Word 2003 document, not a text file named with the .doc extension. When viewed in Notepad, the file's contents are binary gibberish.

    Any fix for a non-text file? Thanks.

  2. Same issue, once the subkey is removed, I get just a bunch of jibberish when opening the file... it seems the people who are providing advice are just grabbing it verbatim from the Microsoft KB article... ok great, thanks, I can use Google too... now lets see if someone really knows the issue well enough to figure out how to actually open the Word file once the converter is disabled from our little registry trick. Any brilliant people out there now?

  3. I know some funny tools. But once no one of theirs couldn't help me. For luck yesterday my friend advised me - text recovery word, which he had found on a soft blog. I was very glad, because the application resolved my trouble without even trying.