Changing the default program for old Word 97-Word 2003 docs

We have a Windows 7 Pro workstation that had Office 2007 on it.  The  Publisher in the Office 2007 version stopped working. We have Office 365 Business license so we downloaded Office 2016 and installed it.  Publisher 2016 works fine.  Word and Excel etc seemed fine.
WE have both Office 2007 now and 2016  the user is using 2016. After a few days they are telling me that when they click on a
Word 97-Word2003 doc in windows explorer it tries to install or configure Word 2007.  Supposedly this didn't happen after first installing Office/Word 2016.  If we cancel the "install/configuration" of 2007 it opens the file in Word 2007.  The File can also be opened instantly from within Word 2016.  I can't figure out how to make Word 2016 the default and stop Word 2007 from trying to setup/install when clicking on a Word 97-2003 doc in windows explorer.

Should I uninstall Office 2007 and will that break something in Office 2016?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
All that needs to be done is to change the file association for filetype ".doc" from Word 2007 to Word 2016.

"Alternatively, you can also right-click the file whose association you want to change > Properties > General tab > Type Of File > Change > Choose a program from the list or recommended or other programs or else click Browse to select one."

Be sure that you associate .doc to Word 2016 and not Word 2007, or the problem will persist.  You may also need to re-associate the ".docx" file type.
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
What is the reason to keep Word 2007 if you have new office installed ?
If you'll deleted old Office/Word, then all should work OK, but if not, Windows will ask you what program you want to use to open .doc file so you can select Word 2016 from the list and save selection.

From now all doc and docx files will open automatically in new Word 2016
to2007Author Commented:
I tried each suggestion. according to the user when she goes back into windows explorer and clicks a doc file it seems to be back to a Word 97-2003 file and tries to open Word 2007    I had it working but seems it doesn't hold.  I am going to uninstall Office 2007 and hope that helps.  Although I have had experience in the pass that different version of Office don't totally disappear when uninstalling.  Will follow up
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Download a copy of the freeware version of the Revo Uninstaller and use that to remove the old copy of Office.  Run it at the most sensitive level.  It'll get the old copy of Office out, although you may need to repair the new version afterward.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
you can use the uninstall tool if the regular uninstall from control panael does not help :
to2007Author Commented:
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.