Fix – .Docx files not showing Word Icon issue

.Docx and .doc files are the core extensions of any raw Word document. Usually, the famous “W” preview icon is featured in every .docx and .doc file on Windows. But, due to some reasons, you may not see the Word icon with some (or every) .docx files on your system. This occurs due to bad or corrupt file association systems. Even if you install misconfigured or a very old version of Office on a newer Windows system, you may experience the same problem.


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Follow these easy issues and the Word icon will be showing with the .docx files in no time at all.

 

Fix 1 –  Modify the Word file associations

There is a high chance that this is a simple case of misconfigured file associations.

Method 1

1. At first, press the Windows key+I keys together to open the Settings.

2. Then, click on the “Apps” on the left-hand side.

3. Next, tap on the “Default apps” on the right-hand side.

 

Default Apps Min

 

4. After that, scroll down and tap on the “Choose defaults by file type“.

 

Choose Default By File Type Min

 

5. Just go down through the list of extensive extensions and look for the “.docx” and “.docxml“.

6. Now, click on the “.docx” extension.

 

Docx File Min

 

7. Then, choose the “Word” app from the list.

8. After that, click on “OK“.

 

Word Set As Final 2 Min

 

You have successfully set the Word file as the default app for the extension.

9. Coming back to the Settings page, tap on the “.docmhtml” extension following the same steps.

 

Choose A Default Min

 

Now, again set Word as the default app for this one also.

This way, set all the other document related extensions (like – .docm, .doc, .docxhtml) to Word app.

Once you are done, close the Settings. Open the File Explorer and check whether you are seeing the Word icon with the .doc or .docx files or not.

 

METHOD 2 –

If using Settings doesn’t solve the issue, you can do it directly from the right-click context menu.

1. At first, open the File Explorer and find a “.docx” file.

2. Then, right-click on the file and tap on “Open with>“.

3. Further tap on “Choose another app“.

 

Doc Open With Min

 

4. Next, tap on the “More apps” option.

 

More Apps Min

 

5. Finally, choose the “Word” app from the list.

6. Then, check the “Always use this app to open .docx files“.

 

Word Select Final Min

 

After doing this, you will notice the File Explorer refreshing.

Now, you shall see the Word icon beside every .docx file on your system. Repeat the same steps for any other file extension (like – .doc) you are facing this issue with.

 

Method 3 –

If the previous two methods don’t work out, you just have to reset all the extensions at once.

1. At first, type “default apps” in the search box.

2. Then, tap on the “Default Apps” to access it.

 

Default Apps Min

 

3. Now, scroll down to the “Reset all default apps” settings.

4. Just, tap on “Reset” once to reset all the app settings to the default value.

 

Reset All Default Apps Min

 

After that, close the Settings.

 

Fix 2 – Edit the Registry Keys

You have to edit a few keys and check whether this solves your problem or not.

Removing the IconHandler key 

1. At first, press the Windows key+R keys together.

2. Then, type “regedit” and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

 

Regedit New Ok

 

Warning – Sometimes, these registry edits can brick your entire system. In that case, a simple registry backup can save your system.  So, follow this simple step to create a registry backup before you perform any registry changes.

When the Registry Editor opens up, click on “File“. Then tap on “Export” to create a new registry backup on your system.

 


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Export Registry Windows 11 New Min

 

3. When the Registry Editor opens up, go to this directory –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\ShellEx

 

4. On the right-hand side, right-click on the “IconHandler” key and tap on “Delete” to remove the key.

 

Iconhandlers Delete Min

 

5. Next, tap on “Yes” to confirm the deletion of the key.

 

Yes Delete Registry Value New

 

After doing this, close the Registry Editor. Then, restart your system. After restarting the system, set the Word app as the default app following the steps mentioned in Fix 1.

Check whether this solves your problem.

 

Altering the Default path

You can try another approach by altering the default path

1. Open the Registry Editor.

2. Then, go this way –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx

 

3. After that, on the right-hand pane, look for the “(Default)” value.

4. Just double-click on it to adjust the value.

Default Dc Min

 

5. Copy-paste this value to the ‘Value data:’ box.

Word.Document.16

6. Further, tap on “OK” to save these changes.

 

Word 16 Min

 

Then, minimize the Registry Editor and set the Word app as the default app to the ‘.docx’ extension following the steps of Fix 1. Now, open the File Explorer and check whether this works or not.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, follow these steps.

1. Maximize the Registry Editor.

2. Now, double tap on the “(Default)” value to edit it.

 

Default Dc Min

 

3. After that, set this new value –

Word.Document.12

 

4. After that, click on “OK” to save the changes.

 

Word 12 Min

 

Now, close the Registry Editor. Check if this solves your problem or not.

 

Importing the correct .docx key from another machine

There is another method you can try but you will need another working computer and a USB drive having the same version of MS Office installed.

Steps to be done on another system- 

1. Plug in the USB drive.

2. At first, open the Registry Editor.

3. Then, navigate to this path on the system –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx

 

4. Now, right-click on the “.docx” key on the left pane.

5. Further, tap on “Export” to export a copy of the existing key.

 

Docx Export Min

6. Now, navigate to the USB drive.

7. Then, name this exported key anything you prefer (we have named it as “docx backup“.)

8. Make sure the “Selected branch” option is chosen.

9. Finally, tap on “Save” to save the copy.

 

Selected Branch Min

 

After doing this, close the Registry Editor. Then, eject the USB drive from the trusted computer.

 

Steps to be done in the affected system –

Just follow these steps on the affected system.

1. Plug in the USB drive to the system.

2. After that, open the Registry Editor on your system.

3. Then, go this path –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx

 

4. After that, make sure that the “.docx” key is selected on your left pane.

5. Next, tap on “File” on the menu bar and tap on “Import…“.

 

Import Docxz Min

 

6. Then, navigate to the USB drive.

7. After that, select the copy of the .docx file you have exported earlier.

8. Then, tap on “Open” to complete the process.


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Docx Backup Min

 

After doing this, close the Registry Editor.

After that, restart your system. Then, follow the steps of Fix 1 to reset the app default of the .docx extension to the Word app.

 

Removing the existing .docx file

1. At first, launch the Registry Editor.

2. Then, navigate this way –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\docxfile

 

3. Next, right-click on the “docxfile” and tap on “Delete” to remove the key.

 

Docxfile Delete Min

 

4. After that, tap on “Yes” to remove the key from your system.

 

Yes Delete Registry Value New

 

Close the Registry editor window. Then, reboot the system to let this change take effect.

After doing this, again redo the steps we have mentioned in Fix 1. Check if this resolves your issue.

 

 

Fix 4 – Re-registering MS Office

Re-registering MS Office may solve this issue.

1. Write “cmd” in the search box.

2. After that, right-click on the “Command Prompt” and tap on “Run as administrator“.

Cmd Search New Min

 

3. When the Command Prompt appears, type this code and hit Enter.

winword /r

 

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You won’t see any output result on the terminal. But Word will be re-registered in the background. When the cursor re-appears, open the File Explorer and check whether you can see the Word icon.

If you still can’t see the icon, follow these steps.

4. Launch MS Word on your system.

5. After that, right-click on the “Microsoft Word” process and click on “Open file location“.

 

Word Open File Location Min

 

6. Now, click on the address bar to select it.

7. Further, press Ctrl+C keys to copy it.

 

Copy This Address Min

 

Close the File Explorer window.

8. Coming back to the Command Prompt window, type these two commands one by one and hit Enter.

cd copied path
winword /r

 

[Replace the “copied path” with the path you have just copied.

Example – The path we have copied is this –

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

 

So, the command will be –

cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

]

 

Cd Directory Winword Min

 

After running these two codes, the problem should be solved.

 

Fix 5 – Re-register the Word app

Re-registering the Word app may resolve this issue.

Step 1 

1. At first, open MS Word on your system.

Minimize it after you have opened it.

2. After that, right-click on the “Microsoft Word” process and click on “Open file location“.

 

Word Open File Location Min

 

3. Next, right-click on the “WINWORD” and tap on “Show more options“.

 

Winword Show More Options Min

 

4. Now, tap on “Copy as path“.

 

Copy As Path Min

 

After this, close the File Explorer.

 

Step 2 

1. Now, press the Windows key and start to write “cmd“.

2. After that, right-click on the “Command Prompt” and tap on “Run as administrator“.

 

Cmd Search New Min

 

3. When the Command Prompt terminal appears, type these commands one by one and hit Enter.

copied path /unregserver
copied path /regserver

 

[

Paste the copied path in the commands.

Example

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\WINWORD.EXE" /unregserver

 

]

 

Unregister And Register Min

 

Then, close the Command Prompt window. You shall be seeing the Word icon beside the files.

 

Fix 6 –  Uninstall and reinstall the Office suite

If nothing is working out for you, uninstall the Office suite, remove some Office-associated registry keys, and then reinstall the Office suite.

Step 1 

1. At first, press the Windows key+R keys together.

2. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and click on “OK“.

 

Appwiz Min

 

3. When the Programs & Features window, select the Office app from the list.

4. Further, tap on “Uninstall” to uninstall the app from your system.

 

Office Uninstall Min

 

5. Finally, tap on “Uninstall” to uninstall the app from your system.

 

Uninstall Min

 

Step 2 

Now, you have to just remove some registry keys from your system.

1. Type “regedit” in the search box.

2. Then, tap on “Registry Editor” to open the Registry Editor.

 

Regedit New Search Min

 

3. When the Registry Editor opens up, navigate to this location of the header file –

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.docx

 

4. After that, right-click on the “.docx” key and tap on “Delete” to remove it.

5. Just, tap on “Yes” if you see a confirmation prompt.

 

Docx Delete Min

 

6. After that, navigate to this path –

Computer\HKey_Classes_Root\SystemFileAssociations\.docx

 

7. Again, on the left-hand pane, tap on the “.docx” key and tap on “Delete” to remove the key.

 

File Associations Docx Delete Min

 

After doing this, close the Registry Editor and restart the machine once.

Now, download-install the latest version of the MS Office suite on your system. This will solve your issue for sure.

 

Fix 7 – Delete and rebuild the Icon Cache database

Another one of the reasons can be the corrupted Icon cache database on the system.

1. Make sure all the applications/folders on the system are closed.

2. Open the File Explorer.

3. After that, press the Windows key+X keys together and tap on “Task Manager“.

Task Manager Min

 

3. In the Task Manager window, right-click on the “Windows Explorer” and then tap on “End task“.

 

Explorer End Task Min

 

4. In the Task Manager, tap on “File“.

5. After that, click on “Run new task” to run a new task.

 

File Run New Task Min


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6. Next, check the “Create this task with administrative privileges.” box.

7. After that, type “cmd.exe” and click on “OK“.

 

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This will open up the Command Prompt terminal as an administrator.

8. Once the terminal appears, types these codes one at a time and hit Enter.

CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
DEL IconCache.db /a
EXIT

 

Delete Icon Cache Min

 

You shall be back at the Task Manager window.

9. Now, click on “File“.

10. After that, click on “Run new task“.

 

File Run New Task Min

 

11. Next, type “explorer.exe” and tap on “OK“.

 

Explorer Exe Ok Min

 

Check whether you can see the icons of the Word files.

 

Fix 5 – Check for any update of Office

If you are using a very older version of Word, check for any updates.

1. At first, open Word on your system.

2. After that, click on “File” on the menu bar.

3. Next, tap on “More…” and tap on “Account“.

 

More Account Min

 

4. Then, on the right-hand side, tap on “Office Updates“.

5. Next, click on “Update Now” to update the Office app.

 

Office Updates Min

 

After Word updates, test if you are still seeing the file icons.

 

Fix 6 – Repair the Office installation

You can easily repair the Office installation on your system. The office can repair any issues such as this one.

1. At first, press the Windows key+R keys together.

2. After that, type “appwiz.cpl” and click on “OK“.

 

Appwiz Min

 

3. In the Programs & Features window, select your Office app from the list.

4. After that, click on “Change” to repair the app.

 

Office Change Min

 

5. Now, you will notice two options.

Quick Repair

Online Repair

 

6. Choose the “Quick Repair” option and tap on “Repair” to repair.

 

Quick Repair Min

 

Now, check whether this solves the icons issue you are facing. If this still doesn’t solve the issue, you have to try the online repair option.

1. Press the Windows key+R keys together.

2. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and hit Enter.

 

Appwiz Min

 

3. Again, select the “Microsoft Office” from the list of apps.

4. After that, tap on “Change” again.

 

Office Change Min

 

5. This time, choose the “Online Repair” option.

6. Then, click on “Repair” to repair it.

 

Online Repair Min

 

Let Office check and solve the problem with an online check. After that, open the File Explorer and check whether you can see the icons of the Word files or not.

This should have fixed your problem.

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