Problem accessing LibreOffice docx and xlsx files for Windows 10 File Manager

I’m running LibreOffice 6.1 on a Windows 10 HP desktop. It’s a new desktop, and it’s the first time I’ve run LibreOffice. LibreOffice was installed by Staples Tech Support when they set up the desktop I ordered from them. LibreOffice ran just as I expected it to for a few weeks. Initially, messages about Microsoft Office would pop up a couple of times a day…I think they were trying to prompt me extend a trial of Office, but I always just ignored/closed the messages. My docx and xlsx files were automatically opening in LibreOffice when I double-clicked them in File Manager, but occasionally I’d right click them, then click on Open With, and then click on Writer or Calc. Either way, I didn’t seem to have any problem opening files in LibreOffice from Windows 10 File Manager.

However, about two weeks after I got the PC set up, I stopped getting pop-up messages from Microsoft Office and…around the same time…File Manager would hang up if I double-clicked on a docx or xlsx file. I started right clicking, then Open With, then Writer or Calc to open my files. After a few more days, THAT stopped working. I posted a question about this, but didn’t get any answer other than directions on how to check what the default program was for opening these file types. (It was, and still is, the LibreOffice Writer or Calc program, depending on the file type.)

I was/am able to open older files that are in doc or xls formats, so I tried saving my current files using the older formats. But even though I resaved them as doc or xls, the file extension still displayed as docx or xlsx, and I could not open them from File Manager, either by double-clicking or using the right click, Open With. When File Manager hangs up, a message saying “not responding” displays at the top of the screen, and all I can do is close File Manager and start over again.

I gave up on using File Manager, instead starting LibreOffice (easier to do once I figured out how to pin it to the task bar), then opening my files from there. However, tonight I wanted to back up new files to a stick drive, and automatically tried this from File Manager. I was able to select File Folders that contain docx and xlsx files to Copy To my stick drive, but discovered I could not copy individual docx and xlsx files that are not organized into folders. When I single click on a file, File Manager hangs up and I can’t click on the Home button to select Copy To, as I can for a folder.

After doing some research online, I figured out how to copy indivdual files to my stick drive through LibreOffice using the Send To option. But I wasn’t able to select a series of files to copy, so had to copy each file individually. Yes, I COULD create a new folder for all “unorganized” files and then copy THAT, but I usually only copy updated files and it’s all more complicated that way.

I still find LibreOffice less “user friendly” than Windows File Manager when it comes to selecting and folders and files to be copied to an external “drive”. And, actually, I find File Manager easier to use when I want to just OPEN files. I know I can work around this problem by doing everything from LibreOffice, but I SHOULD be able to do it from File Manager…WAS able to do it for a couple of weeks…and would REALLY like to know why File Manager has started choking every time I try to open docx and xlsx files with LibreOffice programs.

I’ve been calling it FIle Manager. MY MISTAKE: It is File Explorer that was working, then stopped working on files that have been opened/saved by LibreOffice.

It is very strange … and I wonder if that has anything to do with some installed MS Office trial installed on your system. Given that you don’t use it, could you please try to uninstall it? My suspicion is that some MS Office file preview function could stop working properly, thus hanging the preview in Windows Explorer.

Solution found!: I have no idea why this works, and I have to credit this poster on this site:

but it turns out that setting Windows File Explorer to the PREVIEW PANE instead of the DETAILS PANE (that is accomplished under the VIEW tab at the top of the File Explorer page) resolves all the problems with single-clicking, double-clicking, right-clicking docx and xslx in File Explorer…apparently, regardless of WHICH “office” program you are running.

(Thanks to Mike Kaganski for offering the suggestions about deinstalling an MS Office Trial…I’m not even sure it was/is on my machine or not, but I probably should see if it needs to cleared off.)