There was a problem sending the command to the program on Windows 10 / 8 / 7

If you receive an error There was a problem sending the command to the program on Excel, Word, Internet Explorer in Windows 10 / 8 / 7, while using desktop shortcuts, internet links, etc, then this article will help you.

There was a problem sending the command to the program

There was a problem sending the command to the program

You might get this error message while clicking on Desktop shortcuts, Internet links, opening Word or Excel documents, etc.

Most of the times setting Internet Explorer as default web browser will fix the problem.

  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Go to Tools and click on Internet Options
  • Then click on Programs Tab

  • Then Click on “Make Default

If that does not resolve your problem then we might need to reset IE settings.

It’s also reported that this error is faced when we are try to open Excel or Word documents as well.

To fix that issue we have to change Dynamic Data Exchange or DDE setting. But first create a system restore point before proceeding.

In Excel 2010:

  • Open Excel go to File and Click on Options
  • Then click on advance

There was a problem sending the command to the program

  • Uncheck on Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)
  • Then restart Excel (or Word).

Hope it helps!

Microsoft has also released Fix It solutions to helps resolve this issue:

  • Windows 8 users may download Microsoft Fix it 20074.
  • Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 users may download Microsoft Fix it 50392.
  • If you receive this error message while using Microsoft Excel, use Microsoft Fix It KB21149. It will Turn off the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) setting.

excel There was a problem sending the command to this program

If these fo not help, then our author Kapil Arya has another suggestion:

Windows provides several methods for transferring data between applications, Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) protocol is one of them. The DDE protocol is a set of messages and guidelines. It sends messages between applications that share data and uses shared memory to exchange data between applications. The components inside Microsoft‘s productivity suite, i.e. Office uses the DDE protocol.


If disabling DDE via the UI does not work for you, try the following method using Windows Registry.

1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

REGEDIT Fix: No Internet Connectivity, but shows as Connected to the Web

2. Navigate here:



3. In the left pane, export the ddeexec key by highlighting the key and click File -> Export. After exporting it to convenient place, you can right click over the same key and select Delete:


After deleting the key, you can close the Registry Editor. After a reboot, you would be no longer getting the error.

If you face this problem when you click on any program shortcut, you might want to consider deleting the old shortcut and creating a new one in its place. This is known to work many a times.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at


  1. KimG

    This doesn’t fix the problem.

  2. User123

    The above solution is not helpful for VC++ applications.

    I am working on a standard Visual C++ MFC application. There is a file say, whenver I double click this file, it opens directly in my VC++ app.

    This VC app is running as administrator and that is the requirement of the project.

    Case 1: Now, in Windows 7, when User Access Control (UAC) is ON, and I double click on file with .abc extenstion, it gives error message “There was a Problem sending the command to program” and the file doesn’t open and neither does that app.

    Case 2: If my VC exe is already open and then I double click .abc file, it gives error “There was a Problem sending the command to program” and then the file opens.

    This problem occurs in Windows 7 with UAC ON only.

    Let me know if you have experienced the similar problem.

    By the way, I am using the methods



    VC++ User

  3. Steve

    For the excel option, unchecking the DDE box does fix this symptom, but causes a catastrophe of an issue, now I cannot open multiple excel instances. IE, no comparative side-by-side excel. This is not a fix, this is a break.

  4. haroldpohl

    I’m not a programmer, but this work around works for me. When you see the above message, OK it and try clicking on the link again but this time with the Ctrl button held down. It’ll do the same thing again. But try it once more (click again with Ctrl held down) and it will take you to the linked program
    Hopefully, this will give some programmer a clue to what is wrong and produce a real fix.

  5. filousophe


    i just feel like to share what worked for me as this thing really annoyed me for several months.

    i researched on several websites/sources and all the solutions i have come across do not work. such solutions include but are not limited to:

    1) clearing of the checkbox of that DDE thing.
    2) registry edit (too risky for non-savvy PC users like me)
    3) unchecking of “run as administrator”

    but just recently, i uninstalled a program called Tune Up utilities and then the annoying error was gone. so what i would suggest for others is to check which programs do you think are incompatible with your MS Office. then uninstall that (those) program (s).

    hope that helps.



  6. zencodex

    For excel 2013, this doesn’t fix issue, as addition, you should
    edit open command, and replace suffix “/dde” to “/n “%1” /o “%u””,
    then it would be work fine. you can check, and save it to
    xxx.reg. I use chinese version excel, so you should edit xxx.reg, and
    convert chinese charactors, double click xxx.reg will fix this issue.

  7. zencodex

    NOTE: replace suffix “/dde” to “%1”, otherwise you coudn’t save excel. sorry for that. and I remove all chinese charactors, you wound’t convert. Have a nice day!

  8. Digital

    Every Autodesk worker offers new solution, some of them are really useless, like: drink coffee before you open file etc. Non of those solve the problem. It’s just another rubbish from Autodesk team to get profit. So frustrated with their products…

  9. Mohamed siyath

    Thanks alot its worked

  10. KarlKraus

    The second (regedit) fix didn’t work for me on Windows 7 64 bit, using Excel 2003. Now I right-click the downloaded xlsx file: “Open the containing folder” no longer functions.

    The medicine seems worse than the sickness.

  11. Bong Libunao

    Thanks, worked for me. [Excel 2007]

  12. vietnamese

    wow, thank for helping. It’s helpfull.

  13. Sergio

    This is the one. Spent 5 days on this, nothing worked. Thank you!

    Microsoft: Office 2013 is more rubbish than Windows 8 was, and that’s saying something.

  14. Sergio

    Whoops, posted at the wrong name – Zencodex’s fix is the one that fixed it.

  15. Sergio

    This is the one. Spent 5 days on this, nothing worked. Thank you!

    To Microsoft: Office 2013 is more rubbish than Windows 8 was, and that’s saying something.

  16. John Nichols

    I had the same problem and tried all the examples above and nothing helped.

    What worked for me was removing my AVG PCTune-up program I installed a few weeks back. As soon as I removed it all my MS-Office products starting working fine without that annoying error message.

    The strange thing is I did not have this issue when I installed the Tune-up program. Only after installing the latest Windows 10 updates. It appears that AVG does not come out with a new patch/update fast enough to keep up with Microsoft Windows 10 updates or Microsoft doesn’t take into account how their updates will affect AVG PCTune-up. Either way removing the AVG PCTune-up program instantly fixed my problem.

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