How to Resolve 'Excel cannot open the file '(filename)'.xlsx' Error of MS Excel 2007?


A common error message that an Excel 2007 user generally encounters when he tries to open a spreadsheet received in an email is:

"Excel cannot open the file 'filename.xlsx' because the file format for the file extension is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file."

However, this error message is not limited to the Excel files that a user gets via emails. Instead, it is often encountered with commonly used files also. You may find that an Excel workbook, on which they were working for a long time, suddenly starts throwing this error message when you try to open it. 

To find out the unique number associated with this error message, press 'CTRL+SHIFT+I' together. After that, you get the following number besides the error message:


This error message is encountered when:


The file is not compatible with the version of Excel that is used.

The file has got corrupt.

Resolutions: You can try the below mentioned resolutions to rectify this error message and regain access to your Excel sheet.

Change the File Extension of Your Excel Sheet: Sometimes, the problem is seen due to the unsupported file extension of your Excel file. To check the support of xlsx extension, go to 'My Computer'. Browse 'Tools >> Folder Options >> File Types'. Check if 'xlsx' extension is included there or not. If not, then rename this file and change '.xlsx' to '.xls'.

Use 'Open and Repair' Option of MS Excel: For this, open Excel, and then go to 'File >> Open'. Select the file that you want to open, but do not double-click it. Go to the 'Open' drop-down provided in the 'Open' dialog box, and then select 'Open and Repair' option from there. This process repairs the corrupt Excel sheet and opens it normally.

Excel Recovery Software: If none of the above mentioned resolutions is able to do any needful to you, then use of Excel repair software is recommended. Stellar Phoenix Excel Repair is one such software. It repairs corrupt excel sheet and restores entire data stored in it without altering its original formatting.

You can try any of the above mentioned resolutions to rectify this error message: however, Excel repair software is best-suited one for the case wherein other two methods fail to do any needful to you.


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Category: Excel Repair

Last updated on December 30, 2014 with 79407 views

9 User Comments

April 9, 2014 11:50 am


February 5, 2015 10:28 am

Change the File Extension of Your Excel Sheet:
pls explain in wins7 way ..i cnt find the above option in wins7

April 21, 2015 08:16 am

I THANK YOU SO MUCH! IT WORKED FOR ME. I copied and pasted the file to my desktop, right-click and changed '.xlsx' to '.xls'. AND BOOM I HAVE MY FILE BACK. ALL RESEARCH IS UPTO DATE.

Amit Pandey
May 19, 2015 03:23 am

Hi John,
Thanks for posting!!

To find this option in Windows 7, follow these steps:
Open the Control panel> Visit Default Programs> Check Associate a file type with a program.

August 2, 2015 10:22 am

what if after doing all still excel file not opening and showing same error. all excel file in a particular folder are corrupted. new files and files in other folders are working properly. plz help how can i get my data

Amit Pandey
August 4, 2015 08:56 am

Hi Rahul,

Did you tried our Excel repair software? If not, then download the software from URL below and repair the corrupted file using the tool:

If still need any help, please let me know.

August 16, 2015 10:33 am

Hi, I downloaded Stellar but it seems it can not repair my excel file? The message shows:

Original file size: 0 KB
Total no. of sheets:1
Status: File is severly corrupted,cannot be previewed.

Preview process finished on Sunday, August 16, 2015, 06:28:01 PM

Amit Pandey
August 17, 2015 05:56 am

Hi Daniel

Thanks for contacting Us!

Before answering your question, we need the following details:

What is the version of Excel you are using?
Which version of Windows you are using?

Please provide the above details so that we can reply you suitable answer.


September 10, 2015 05:36 am

My friend had suggested me to try Google Docs to open the file but it failed. I tried your suggested software and successfully open the file. It worked for me!‚Äč

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