Table of Content
    MS Office File Repair

    Error Solved – ‘The File is Corrupted and Cannot Be Opened’ in Excel

    Table of Content

      Summary: Unable to open Excel file due to the error ‘The file is corrupted and cannot be opened’? Read this blog to find more details about the error, possible reasons behind it, and solutions to fix the error. In addition, the blog mentions about Stellar Repair for Excel software that can help fix the Excel error in a few clicks. Download the software now and see free preview of the file.

      About the Error

      Microsoft Excel is a widely used spreadsheet application that comes bundled with MS Office. Users tend to update the application with new security patches and features. Sometimes these updates can cause problems, and result in “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened” error.

      The File is Corrupt and Cannot be Opened Error Message
      Figure 1 – Excel File Corrupted Error Message

      Other Possible Reasons behind ‘The File is Corrupt and Cannot Be Opened’ Excel Error

      • Opening an older Excel version file in a newer version of Excel. For instance, opening Excel 2013, 2010, or earlier versions in Excel 2016.
      • When attempting to open a Microsoft Office (Excel) email attachment in Microsoft Outlook 2010, MS Office 2010 reports a problem with the file preventing it from opening.

      How to Fix the ‘Excel File is Corrupt and Cannot Be Opened’ Error?

      Here are a few possible solutions that you can try to fix the ‘Excel file is corrupt and cannot be opened’ issue and open your Excel file.

      Solution 1: Changing Component Services Settings

      Solution 2: Changing the Protected View Settings

      Solution 3: Repair Excel Files using Excel Repair Software

      Solution 1: Changing Component Services Settings

      [Caution] Changing Component Services settings requires making changes to the registry, and any mistake can harm your computer.

      Follow these steps to change ‘Component Services’ settings:

      • Click ‘Start’ or ‘Win+R’ and type ‘dcomcnfg’ and press ‘Enter’.
      • In the navigation pane, expand the ‘Component Services’, and then expand ‘Computers’.

      Changing Component Services Settings
      Figure 2 – Component Services Settings
      • Next, right-click on ‘My Computer’, and then click ‘Properties’.

      When the ‘My Computer Properties’ dialog box appears, click on the ‘Default Properties’ tab and then set the following values:

      • Default Authentication Level: Connect
      • Default Impersonation Level: Identify
      My Computer Properties
      Figure 3 – Illustrates My Computer Properties
      • Click ‘OK’ to change ‘Default Properties

      Solution 2: Changing the Protected View Settings

      [Caution] Disabling the ‘Protected View’ can put your system at high risk. Viruses attached to the Excel files can attack and infect your system. Be careful before using this option.

      Excel 2010 file cannot open due to the ‘Protected View’ setting in Microsoft Outlook 2010. And so, changing the setting may help fix the error. For this, perform these steps:

      • Open MS Excel 2010, go to the ‘File’ menu and click ‘Options’.
      Select Options in Excel 2010
      Figure 4 – Options
      • When the ‘Excel Options’ window opens, click on ‘Trust Center’ and then on ‘Trust Center Settings’.
      Trust center settings in Excel
      Figure 5 – Open Trust Center Settings
      • Next, choose ‘Protected View’ and uncheck all the options including ‘Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments’ if you use Outlook for email.
      change protected view settings
      Figure 6 – Uncheck Protected View Settings
      • Click ‘OK’. Restart the application and try opening the Excel file again.

      If none of the above solutions works for you, your Excel file is likely severely corrupt. To repair corrupt Excel files, you need to use advanced options like Stellar Repair for Excel tool. It repairs corrupt and damaged Excel files and helps in retrieving lost data.

      Solution 3: Use Excel File Repair Tool

      Considering the risks associated with the above solutions, it’s better to use an Excel repair tool to repair single or multiple corrupt Excel files at once. The process is simple, and even a novice can use the Excel file repair tool to repair Excel files with the help of the following steps:

      • Download Stellar Repair for Excel and install it.
      Free Download for Windows
      • Launch the tool. In the tool’s main interface, click ‘Browse’ to select the file. If you don’t know the file location use the ‘Search’ option.
      Browse and Search
      Figure 7 – Illustrates Selecting Corrupt Excel File in Stellar Repair for Excel
      • Select the file, and then click on Repair.
      select corrupt file and repair
      Figure 8 – Illustrates Initiating Excel File Repair in Stellar Repair for Excel
      • The software scans and lists the Excel file in the left pane. Click on the file to preview its recoverable objects in the right pane.
      preview recoverable excel objects
      Figure 9 – Illustrates Preview of Recoverable Excel File Objects
      • Save the repaired file at either the default location or a user-specified location.
      select repaired file location
      Figure 10 – Illustrates Saving Repaired Excel File in Stellar Repair for Excel
      • Click ‘OK’ to save the repaired Excel file. After the repair process is completed, browse to the location and open it with MS Excel 2010 or any other version.
      repaired file saved Dialog Box
      Figure 11 – Illustrates Saving Complete Message in Stellar Repair for Excel

      You will be able to access your Excel file from the selected location.


      You can use the first two possible solutions to fix the “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened” error. If you can access the file, save its data and restore the default settings. However, if the file is corrupt and the data retrieved using the first two solutions is inconsistent or incomplete, use Stellar Repair for Excel. This tool can help you recover Tables, Charts, Chart Sheets, cell comments, Images, and Formulas while preserving the worksheet properties and cell formatting. You can also preview the file and verify the data inside the file before saving it.

      Was this article helpful?

      No NO

      About The Author

      Charanjeet Kaur linkdin

      Charanjeet is a Technical Content Writer at Stellar®who specializes in writing about databases, e-mail recovery, and e-mail migration solutions. She loves researching and developing content that helps database administrators, organizations and novices to fix multiple problems related to MS SQL and MySQL databases and Microsoft Exchange.


      1. HI,
        I encountered the error while inserting usb to format. i formatted and then recovered the excel file which was password encrypted. after recovering the file when i opened the file it asked password and after entering the password then it says “the file is corrupted and cannot be opened”. i really need this file

          1. Dear sir i need a help so plz i cant access the word doc as well as excel files also so plz tell me what i can do and how i recover that data.

            thanking you


          2. Hi Riyaz,

            Try repairing your MS Office installation. If this doesn’t fix the issue, here’s a guide you can refer: Read More

      2. While accessing the Excel file, I have encountered a random error the file is corrupted and cannot be opened. To resolve this problem I have to go through from all manual ways which are suggested above but can’t fix it.


        1. If the above solution won’t help you then try changing the Excel file extension.

          Follow these steps:
          1. On the C drive, Copy the filename.xlsx to find it quickly
          2. Run the command prompt as an admin
          3. By using rename commands changes the file extension “rename filename.xlsx to .xls”
          4. Now open the file in Excel

          Hope now the error is fixed.

      3. After updating new security patches of Excel file, I have encountered the error message ‘file is corrupt & cannot be opened’ while opening file. To get rid of this error, I tried Stellar Repair for Excel software demo version and preview all recoverable Excel data. After that, I have purchased the activation key and successfully saved the recoverable files. This software truly a lifesaver.

      4. Yesterday, I had encountered the same error in Excel 2016. Can I use this one tool for the latest version of Excel file?

      Leave a comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Image Captcha
      Refresh Image Captcha

      Enter Captcha Here :

      Related Posts


      Why Choose Stellar?

      • 0M+


      • 0+

        Years of Excellence

      • 0+

        R&D Engineers

      • 0+


      • 0+


      • 0+

        Awards Received