Fix “There was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program” error in Windows

Switching windows version can be an irritating task sometimes, specially when you keep checking a lot of things and keep experimenting with literally everything which comes your way. One such problem I faced after switching to Windows 8.1 was the issue with opening the excel files with Excel 2013.

Whenever I tried opening .xlsx file with Excel 2013 or excel 2007 or excel 2010, I always got the error message saying

There was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program

Now this thing was pretty strange, specially after I found out that I was getting this problem only for the first time, after clicking OK, if I tried opening the file again, it was opening. The issue occurred every-time I started my computer, however, after a bit of research, I was able to get a fix for the strange issue and I am sharing the same with you in this post.

The same error message is displayed by Windows at different points, with different statements. Some of them are

1. There was a Problem Sending the Command to the Program.
2. Windows cannot find the file, Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.
3. Cannot find the file (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.

These messages can be one-time message or something which keeps on repeating. In both the cases, you might find it better to fix it to get rid of the continuous irritation. Well, before I begin with the solution to this, lets have a brief information about why do these errors occur.

There Was Problem Sending Command To Program

According to an article published on Microsoft website, this problem occurs because of DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange Feature). This feature is a communication protocol which is required by Windows for the connection between target and source program to open certain file types.

DDE feature is helpful to prevent opening of a program when it is already running. This saves the RAM access on your computer, giving you a better performance.

Talking about the issue, it usually happens when you try opening a file (excel file in this case), Windows sends a DDE command to open the program, but Windows fails to connect to MS office program, thus the error is shown.

How to fix Cannot find the file (or one of its components) issue

I talked about 2 cases in the beginning, if it happens only for the first time, then you can just click on OK and open it for the second time, believe me, it is not going to harm your computer in any way. I am asking you to go on with the problem is because there is no permanent solution to this problem, this occurs as a result of a failure in Windows mechanism.

Well, if the problem keeps on showing up and does not let you open the file, then you can implement one of the ways below to overcome the issue

Solution 1 (Using the Microsoft Office Program)

  • Open the program in which you are getting this issue, for some people it might be MS Word and for some it can be MS excel.
  • Go to the options tab and click on File menu.
  • Click on Advanced.
  • Scroll down the line till you reach to the general section. Find “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)” and make sure it is unchecked. This option will help you to ignore the same instance and will help open the file even if there is another one opened in the background.
  • Click on apply changes and restart the program.
  • Your problem is now fixes.

In case the option was already unchecked in your system and you are still facing the same issue even after this, then we have a couple more ways to try for the same.

Solution 2

  • Right click on the file which you are trying to open then click on Open with.
  • Scroll down the list which comes up and click on Look for another app on this PC.
  • This should open a dialogue box, try and open the directory on the computer where you have installed Microsoft office and select the right application. For example, if you are trying to open an xlsx file, select excel.exe and if you are trying to open .docx file, select Winword.exe and press Ok. Also, check the box which says “Always use this program to open this file type”.
  • This option helps to re associate the program as the default application to open that kind of files, in most cases, this solves the problem.

Solution 3

If your problem is not solved after the above 2 ways, then there is another way using which you can repair the settings on MS office. To do that,

  • Open control panel and click on Programs and Features option.
  • Find Microsoft Office from the program list and click on Change button.
  • From the dialogue box which opens, click on Repair button.
  • It will take some time before it finishes repairing the default settings for Microsoft Office and this will solve your problem.

Well, that’s all in this article, let me know if you have some query.

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