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Change Default Word 2007 2010 DOCX icon

Updated based on user feedback:

Ever see the icon above and asked “Help, my default DOCX icon has changed to something ugly! How do I solve this?”  If not, you’ve had good luck so far.  But some day you might, so commit this one to memory.

I had to deal with this issue on my girlfriend’s laptop just last month.  The DOCX icon had been replaced with this ugly icon.  Something had gone wrong with the file association, as well, but I had fixed that – still, the icon stayed.  I tried to edit literally DOZENS of Registry Keys, DWord Values, and expanding size entries…  I added things to my registry that weren’t there, changed the ones that were there, and rebooted dozens of times.  What finally fixed it?  Frustratingly simple.

Change the file association for .DOCX files to open with WordPad instead of MSWord (that’s where the ugly icon came from) – then set it back to MSWord.  Here’s how to do it:


  1. Right click the file, mouse over the “Open With” option at the bottom of the list of programs, click “Choose Default Program.”
  2. Select “WordPad” and hit OK.
  3. Once applied, open the menu back up, and now double click the Microsoft Office Word icon. The file should open with Word, then when you close it you’ll see the icon!

Hope this helps someone out there, some day!

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