Windows is full of weird error messages that I’ve written a lot about in the past, so in this post I’ll share another weird one. I recently came across this message:
There was a problem sending a command to the program
I ran into this error while trying to open web links from my email program. When I clicked on the link, this error message appeared and then Internet Explorer opened with a blank page! Not exactly what I wanted!
After playing around with the problem again, I realized that I was getting this error message when opening other types of files, not only from my mail program, but also from the Internet. For example, if I tried to open a Word document or Excel file from email, I get an error followed by opening Word or Excel, but the actual file is not displayed.
After trying a bunch of things, I finally solved the problem. I’m not entirely sure at what stage the problem was fixed, so I’ll just list everything I’ve tried and hopefully something will work for you.
First method – check the program shortcut
The first thing to do is check and make sure that the shortcut to a program like IE or Excel is not running as administrator. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. Then go to the Compatibility tab and make sure the Run as administrator is unchecked.
Method 2 – Uninstall Office Viewer
If you have any version of Office Viewer installed in addition to Microsoft Office, be sure to uninstall Office Viewer. An older version of Office Viewer with a newer version of Office can cause this problem.
Method 3 – Reset IE / Disable Add-ons
If you are mostly having an issue with IE 8 or IE 9, you can try resetting IE completely, and also try disabling add-ons and then see what happens. I wrote a post earlier on how to fix problems with IE 9 and it outlines the steps to accomplish both of the points mentioned above.
Fourth method – disable antivirus software
Antivirus software can also sometimes be the culprit and cause these problems. Your best bet is to completely disable AVG, Kaspersky, ZoneAlarm or any other antivirus program, restart your computer and see if the problem goes away or not.
Method 5 – Delete the Word Data registry key
In the case of Microsoft Word, you can try deleting the registry key, which is only used to store some parameters and settings and will not harm anything if deleted. This is a Word Data registry key that is known to sometimes cause problems. If you delete it, it will be recreated the next time you open Word again.
Word 2002 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 10.0 Word Data Word 2003 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 11.0 Word Data Word 2007 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 12.0 Word Data Word 2010 – HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 14.0 Word Data
Method 6 – Excel dynamic data exchange
Method 6 – Dynamic data exchange in Excel
If this happens with Excel, you can try the following. Open Excel and click the big Office Button and then click Excel Options.
Now click Advanced in the left menu and uncheck Ignore other applications using dynamic data exchange (DDE).
This is all I tried and something worked because the problem went away! Go ahead and give it a try and see if it works for you. If not, leave a comment here and let us know your situation and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!