Errors opening Word documents - unreadable content, error uploading, or experienced an error


When trying to preview a document, it is getting stuck on the loading screen, or the user is encountering one of the following messages.

  • "There was potentially an error uploading this document. Please check and re-create if needed."
  • "Word found unreadable content in ... Do you want to recover the contents of this document? If you trust the source of this document click Yes."
  • "Word experienced an error trying to open the file."


The error is a Microsoft security measure, and related to content in the file that is corrupt or cannot be interpreted by Microsoft Word correctly. For example, content added using the Developer ribbon in Microsoft Word, like a calendar drop-down.


If the file is being created from a template, use an elimination process to detect which field is causing the error. Remove all of the merge fields or advanced content from the Template, then try opening the file from FYI again. If it works, gradually re-add the merge fields until you have identified which field is causing the issue.

Alternatively, you may need to create a new document. Refer to Creating Templates for Word, Spreadsheet or Presentation.

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