Despite the increasing challenges from competitors like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel remains the most used spreadsheet app. It’s the app of choice in most workplace settings. What’s more, it includes numerous tools that help streamline & ease workflows.

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Excel, like every other Microsoft tiện ích, occasionally runs into lớn issues. Most of these are mere annoyances và can be solved with one or two program or system reboots. However, the “Excel cannot open the file because the tệp tin format or extension is not valid” issue has proved khổng lồ be more bothersome for several users.

If you encounter this message when you try khổng lồ open a tệp tin in Excel (or an Excel file), this guide will be helpful. We explain the possible reasons why the error can occur & three solutions that could work for you.

Excel Cannot mở cửa the File Because the File Format or File Extension Is not Valid


When any user encounters this error in Excel, it’s usually due to lớn one of two reasons:

The tệp tin is corrupted.The tệp tin extension isn’t supported.

A corrupted file is unlikely to lớn be opened by the parent program. Even if it successfully opens, it’s likely lớn have sầu multiple errors such as missing data or unreadable portions. Excel và several other programs go the extra mile & simply don’t open corrupted files. It’s up khổng lồ the user lớn try and fix the tệp tin corruption first or use another document with uncorrupted data.

Sometimes, the corruption is caused by malware that infiltrated the system. This can happen if your system isn’t fully protected when working with Spreadsheets on the web. Unrelated internet activity can cause this as well. After all, some malware types are known khổng lồ be distributed as macros that can attach to lớn Office documents.

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Sometimes, this error could be due khổng lồ incompatible or unsupported tệp tin formats. Versions of Excel since 2007 use Office mở cửa XML as the primary file format but are backward-compatible with the earlier versions of Excel files. A glance at the tệp tin extension will tell you straight away whether the program can open that tệp tin.

If the tệp tin you’re attempting to open is in one of these formats, it won’t open because it’s been corrupted. That’s because the tệp tin extension is compatible with Excel:

Excel Workbook. xlsx

Excel Macro-enabled Workbook. xlsm

Excel Binary Workbook. xlsb

Excel Macro-enabled Template. xltm

Excel Add-in. xlam

Spreadsheet. xls

Excel Template. xlt

Excel Macro. xlm

In addition, documents in these non-Excel tệp tin extensions can be opened by the program, though functionality might be reduced in some fashion:

XML. Spreadsheet 2003 or XML formatted files. xml

Lotus Spreadsheets. prn

Tab delimited/Unicode text files. txt

Comma-separated values files. csv

Data Interchange Format files. dif

Symbolic Link Format text files. slk

dBase Data Files. dbf

OpenOffice Files. ods

XML Paper Specification Files. xps

Portable Document Format files. pdf

Note that this isn’t an exhaustive sầu danh mục. Excel can open files with other extensions, including html.

How to Fix the “Excel Cannot xuất hiện the File Because the File Format or File Extension Is not Valid” Issue on Windows 10

Sometimes, when opening a tệp tin in Excel, the program displays this error message instead:

Microsoft Excel

Excel cannot open the file because the tệp tin format or tệp tin extension is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted và that the tệp tin extension matches the format of the file.

If you encounter this error in any version of Excel since Excel 2007, three options are open to lớn you:

Cheông xã the tệp tin extension & change it if needed.Repair the file with Excel’s inbuilt repair tool.Change group permissions for the tệp tin.

Let’s explain each option in more detail.

Solution 1. Check the File Extension

If you’re unable lớn open the file, it could be due to an unsupported file extension. To be frank, this is very rare nowadays since most spreadsheets use a format Excel can open. However, if you’re trying khổng lồ open the document on a pre-2007 Excel program, you can have issues with certain files.

There are two scenartiện ích ios here:

The Excel tệp tin is not opening in a legacy version of the program.The tệp tin is not opening in Excel because of an unsupported format.

In both instances, the solution is the same. Open any Excel tệp tin (or just launch the program and open a blank spreadsheet) and cliông chồng the File tab. Next, cliông xã Open > Browse and locate the tệp tin you’re trying khổng lồ open.

Now, look under the tệp tin name field và change the file extension. If you’re trying lớn open an xlsx document in a legacy Excel version, change the extension khổng lồ xls. If you’re trying to open a document in an unsupported or less common tệp tin format, change the extension to lớn xlsx or xls.

Save the change & then try opening the file again. If everything is done right, the tệp tin should open now.

Solution 2. Repair the File

When you get the “Excel cannot open the tệp tin because the file format or file extension is not valid” error, it’s likely because the spreadsheet is corrupt. If you manage lớn open the tệp tin anyway, there might be multiple errors & we’re sure you don’t want that. It is better lớn try repairing the tệp tin first & that is exactly what we’re going to lớn vày.

Open a blank spreadsheet in Excel.Select the File tab and cliông chồng mở cửa.Hit the Browse button and choose the problematic tệp tin.In the file selection window, cliông xã the mở cửa drop-down thực đơn and select mở cửa and Repair.

Excel will attempt lớn repair the file & then open it.

Solution 3. Change Group Permissions

In rare instances, the “Excel cannot open the tệp tin because the file format or tệp tin extension is not valid” error happened because the tệp tin has special permissions. Removing this permission will allow your Excel program to open it without issues.

Here are the steps to lớn try:

Navigate to the location of the problematic file.Right-cliông xã the file và select Properties.When the Properties dialog box opens, switch to lớn the Security tab.In the Security tab, click the Edit button to change permissions got for the tệp tin.A new Permissions dialog box will open. Locate and cliông chồng the Add button.Another dialog box will open labeled “Select Users or Groups”. In this box, cliông xã the Advanced button.Cliông chồng the Find Now button.Select Everyone under the search results và then cliông xã OK.Clichồng the OK button again lớn return lớn the Permissions dialog box. You’ll notice that the Everyone group has been added to the danh mục under “Groups or user names”.Select Everyone in the “Groups or user names” section.Under Permissions for Everyone, tiông chồng Allow for all the options.Click Apply and then OK khổng lồ confirm & save sầu your changes.

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After this, the tệp tin will no longer be restricted & you should be able to lớn open it in Excel.