At work we use Google and store a lot of documents on the Drive. Up until now we've not had any issues with converting Word documents to Google Docs but recently all Word documents are being "mangled" during the conversion.

In this example I created a new file with the single word "Hello" in it; after uploading and opening as a Google Docs I get this:

mangled text

Can anyone suggest how to fix this and/or explain why it's happening?

  • Is your file a docx? Which version of Google Docs are you using? Are you using Microsoft Word or another word processor and saving the file as Microsoft Word file format? Windows or Mac? In other words, please add more details in order to help others to reproduce the problem. Commented May 7, 2015 at 14:01
  • I'm using Word 2010 and have tried saving files in the docx and doc format, both result in a garbled file. Where can I find the version of Google Docs? Other colleagues in my organisation have also had this happen when opening an uploaded file.
    – Tony
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 14:17
  • I'm sorry. Instead of Google Docs I should write another thing. The version docs.google.com is not relevant as it is the same for all, I think. What could be different are OS, browser, extensions, etc. I not able to try to reproduce the problem at this time, maybe tonight. Commented May 7, 2015 at 15:52
  • Are you using the new Google Drive or the old one? Commented May 8, 2015 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


I have found that changing the setting to "Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format" allows the files to be converted correctly.

Google Drive settings

This does not explain why conversion of uploaded files fails but it solves my problem for now.

  • If your question is about the reasons then you should add your findings about workarounds to the question, I think. If you are looking a workaround, then it's fine as it is. Commented May 7, 2015 at 13:58
  • 1
    I guess I was after both, a solution and an explanation. I'll leave this as an answer unless someone else can shed more light on the situation.
    – Tony
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 14:18
  • 1
    I just created a docx using MS Word 2013, uploaded it to Google Drive using the new version of Google Drive without having activated the automatic conversion. Then I converted the file from the preview view in Google Drive. It was converted correctly. Commented May 8, 2015 at 20:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.