There was a Problem Sending the Command to Program , MS Excel error Fix

You are trying to open Microsoft Excel and it fails to open with an error message “There was a Problem Sending the Command to Program“. This is a common error known to be associated with the Office Package and hence, can also occur while opening any other office apps like Word, PowerPoint, etc. This error tends to appear whenever Windows sends DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) commands to the MS Office apps and the Windows OS is unable to connect with the app. The good news is, there are quite a few workarounds for this. Let’s see how to fix the MS Excel Error “There was a Problem Sending the Command to Program“.


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Method 1: Turn Off Dynamic Data Exchange

 

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Excel file that’s showing the error.

Now, go to the File tab on the upper left of the screen.

 

Excel Sheet File Tab

 

Step 2: From the File menu, select Options.

 

Ms Excel File Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, go to the left side of the pane and click on Advanced.

Now, go to the right side of the pane, scroll down and under the General section, uncheck the box next to Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) option.

Press OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Excel Options Advanced General Ignore Other Applications That Use Dynamic Data Exchange (dde) Uncheck Ok

 

*Note – If the box is already unchecked, check the box to enable it and restart your MS Excel problem file. Now, go to File tab > Options > Advanced> General > Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) and uncheck it.

 

Now, close the Excel file and restart it, and the error should be gone.

 

Method 2: By Making Changes to the Trust Center Settings

 

Solution 1: By Making Changes to External Content

 

Step 1: Launch the Excel file that’s throwing the error message.

Now, go to the File menu on the upper left corner of the Excel file.

 

Excel Sheet File Tab

 

Step 2:In the File menu, click on Options.

 

Ms Excel File Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, go to the left side of the pane and click on Trust Center.

 

Excel Options Trust Center Trust Center Settings

 

Step 4: In the Trust Center Settings window, on the left side of the pane, click on External Content.

 

Trust Center Settings Left Side External Content

 

Step 5: Now, go to the right side of the window and under Security settings for Data Connections, click on the radio button next to Enable all Data Connections.

Then, go to the Security settings for Workbook Links section and click on the radio button next to Enable automatic update for all Workbook Links.


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Press OK to save changes and exit.

 

Trust Center Settings External Content Enable All Data Connections Enable Automatic Update For All Workbook Links Enable Ok

 

Now, restart your Excel file with the issue and it should work fine now.

 

Solution 2: By Making Changes to Macro Settings

 

Step 1: Open the Excel sheet with the problem and go to the upper left corner of the sheet. Click on the File menu.

 

Excel Online File Tab

 

Step 2: Select Options from the File menu.

 

Ms Excel File Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, select Trust Center on the left and on the right side, under Microsoft Excel Trust Center, click on Trust Center Settings.

 

Excel Options Trust Center Trust Center Settings

 

Step 4: Next, go to the left side of the pane and click on Macro Settings.

 

Trust Center Settings Left Side Macro Settings

 

Step 5: Now, go to the right side of the pane and under Macro Settings, select the radio button next to Enable all macros option.

Then, under the Developer Macro Settings section, check the box next to Trust access to the VBA project object model.

Press OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Trust Center Settings Macro Settings Enable All Macros Trust Access To The Vba Project Object Model Check Ok

 

You can restart the Excel file that was showing the error and it should not show the error anymore.

 

Solution 3: By Disabling the Hardware Acceleration

 

Step 1: Open the MS Excel file you are having problem with.

Now, navigate to the File tab on the upper left of the Excel file.

 

Excel Sheet File Tab


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Step 2: From the File list, select Options.

 

Ms Excel File Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, go to the left side and click on Advanced.

Now, go to the right side of the pane, scroll down and under the Display section, check the box next to Disable hardware graphics acceleration.

Hit OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Excel Options Advanced Display Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration Check Ok

 

Now, launch the problem Excel file again and the error should be gone.

 

Solution 4: By Disabling Add-Ins

 

Step 1: Launch the MS Excel file that’s having the problem.

Then, go to the File tab on the upper left corner of the screen.

 

Excel Sheet File Tab

 

Step 2: Click on Options in the File menu.

 

Ms Excel File Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, go to the left side of the pane and click on Add-ins.

 

Excel Options Left Side Add Ins

 

 

Step 4: Now, go to the right side and navigate to Manage at the bottom. Select COM Add-ins from the drop-down next to it and click on Go.

 

Excel Options Add Ins Manage Com Add Ins Go

 

Step 5: Select one of the Add-ins and click on Remove on the right. Press OK.

 

Now, open the Excel file which was showing the error and there should be no problem with the file now.

 

Method 3: By Disabling the Run as Administrator Option

 

Step 1: Right-click on Start menu and select File Explorer.

 

Start Right Click File Explorer

 

Step 2: In the File Explorer window, navigate to the below path to reach the Programs folder:

 

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

 

File Explorer Navigate To Programs Excel

 

Step 3: Right-click on Excel and select Properties.

 

Excel Right Click Properties

 

Step 4: In the Properties window, under the Shortcut tab, click on the Advanced button.

 

Excel Properties Shortcut Advanced

 

Step 5: Next, in the Advanced Properties window, uncheck the box next to Run as administrator.

Click on OK to save changes and exit.

 

Advanced Properties Run As Administrator Uncheck Ok

 

Step 6: Go back to the Excel Properties dialogue box and go to the Compatibility tab.

Uncheck all the options including Run this program as an administrator under the Settings option.

Press Apply and then OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Excel Properties Compatibility Settings Run This Program As An Administrator Uncheck Apply Ok

 

Restart the Excel file that was showing the error and the problem should be solved now.

 

Method 4: By Making Changes to the Registry

 

Before you proceed making any changes to the Registry Editor, make sure that you create a backup of the Registry content, so that, in case of any loss, you can recover the data.

 

Step 1: Press the Win + R keys together on your keyboard to pen the Run command.

Step 2: In the Run command window, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window.

 

Win + R Run Command Regedit Ok

 

Step 3: Copy and paste the below path in the Registry Editor address bar and hit Enter:

 

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.8\shell\Open

 

Under the Open key, right-click on ddeexec folder and select Rename.

 

Registry Editor Navigate To The Path Open Ddeexec Right Click Rename

 

Step 4: Now, rename the ddeexec folder to ddeexec.old.

 

Ddeexec Rename Ddeexec.old Enter

 

Step 5: Now, select the Command folder above the ddeexec folder and go to the right side of the pane.

Double-click to open the Default string.

 

Registry Editor Command Right Side Default String Double Click

 


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Step 6: In the Edit String dialogue box, go to the Value data field and replace the /e or /dde with “%1”.

Therefore, the value should look like this : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\EXCEL.EXE” “%1.

Hit OK to save the changes.

 

Default String Edit String Value Data Edit Value Ok

 

Step 7: Now, double-click on the Command string to open the Edit String dialogue box.

 

Command String Double Click

 

Step 8: In the Edit String dialogue box, go to the Value data field and replace the /e or /dde with “%1”.

So, the value should appear as zn=BV5!!!!4!!!!MKKSkEXCELFiles>]-z5hw$l[8QeZZR4_X=$ “%1”.

Press OK to save the changes.

 

 

Command String Edit String Value Data Edit Value Ok

 

Step 9: Now, navigate to the below path in the Registry Editor:

 

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.12\shell\Open

 

Repeat the Steps 4 through Steps 8 to make changes to the registry key.

 

You can now restart the Excel file that was showing the error and the problem should be gone.

 

Method 5: By Repairing Microsoft Office

 

Step 1: Press the Win + R hotkey on your keyboard to open the Run command.

Step 2: In the Run command window, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open the Programs and Features window in the Control Panel.

 

Appwiz

 

Step 3: Now, under the Uninstall or change a program, right-click on your Microsoft Office suite and select Change.

 

Programs And Features Uninstall Or Change A Program Microsoft Office Suite Right Click Change

 

Step 4: Select the Quick Repair option and press the Repair button.

 

Microsoft Quick Repair Repair

 

Step 5: Press Continue to confirm the action.

 

This should help fix the error with your MS Excel file, but if the issue persists, try uninstalling Microsoft Office and then reinstall freshly.

 

If none of the above methods work, you may try removing the Windows Compatibility Package as this may be one of the reasons for the error. Alternatively, you can also try removing a software that you recently installed and may be interfering with the MS Office apps now. Disabling any 3rd party antivirus installed on your Windows 10 PC can also help resolve the MS Excel Error “There was a Problem Sending the Command to Program“.

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