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

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.

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

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
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 version 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:

Step 1: Click ‘Start’ or ‘Win+R’ and type ‘dcomcnfg’ and press ‘Enter’.

Step 2: In the navigation pane, expand the ‘Component Services’, and then expand ‘Computers’.

Changing Component Services Settings
Figure 2 – Component Services Settings

Step 3: Next, right-click on ‘My Computer’, and then click ‘Properties’.

Step 4: When the ‘My Computer Properties’ dialog box appears, click on ‘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

Step 5: 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 ‘Protected View’ setting in Microsoft Outlook 2010. And so, changing the setting may help fix the error. For this, perform these steps:

Step 1: Open MS Excel 2010, go to the ‘File’ menu and click ‘Options’.

Select Options in Excel 2010
Figure 4 – Options

Step 2: 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

Step 3: 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

Step 4: Click ‘OK’. Restart the application and try opening the Excel file again.

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

Solution 3: Use Excel Repair Software to Fix ‘Excel File is Corrupted and Cannot Be Opened’

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 following steps:

Step 1: Download Stellar Repair for Excel tool and install it.

Free download

Step 2: Launch the software. In software 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

Step 3: Select file, and then click Repair.

select corrupt file and repair
Figure 8 – Illustrates Initiating Excel File Repair in Stellar Repair for Excel

Step 4: 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

Step 5: Save the repaired file at either default location or a user specified location.

select repaired file location
Figure 10 – Illustrates Saving Repaired Excel File in Stellar Repair for Excel

Step 6: Click ‘OK’ to save the repaired Excel file. After the repair process completes, browse to the location and open it with MS Excel 2010 or any other version.

repaired file saved
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 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 Table, Chart, Chart Sheet, cell comment, Image, Formulae while preserving the worksheet properties and cell formatting. You can also preview the file and verify the data inside the file before saving it.

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