How to Repair Excel Files After Upgrade

Summary: Are you unable to open Excel file after upgrading to a new version? Read this blog to know the possible reasons behind such an issue. Also, find the solutions on 'how to repair Excel files after upgrade?'. If you are worried about losing your crucial spreadsheet data, try using a specialized Excel file repair tool to repair the file and recover all its data.

How to Repair Excel Files After Upgrade

Microsoft Excel is an advanced spreadsheet software program by Microsoft, included in the MS Office suite of applications. Apart from the basic spreadsheet features, Excel is used for recording, organizing, analyzing, formatting and manipulating numerical data. In addition to that, Excel features graphing tools, pivot tables and also VBA macro capabilities. Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and it is used both for personal and business objectives. XLS and XLSX are the two extensions for an Excel file and thanks to backward compatibility each file can be easily opened in any of the two versions.

But do you think even after possessing such an impressive suite of features MS Excel is a full-proof application? The answer to that is no! There are a lot of unforeseen situations that Excel users can face when working with the application. Take the following problem scenario for example.

Problem Scenario

We were recently contacted by a user who claimed that:

I recently upgraded to Excel 2016 and I am unable to open existing Excel files from outside Excel 2016 using the shortcuts or double clicking on icons. When I was using Excel 2013, it was working fine on Windows 7 Professional.”

Problems like these are of course confusing. After all, why would an update from Microsoft mess up the working of the already installed Excel application? But it is a sad truth. There are times when an Excel file doesn’t open after a recent MS excel upgrade or Windows upgrade. What are the reasons behind such an issue and what can users do to repair Excel after upgrade?

Reasons Behind the ‘Unable to Open Excel File’ Issue

Here are some of the reasons why Excel files might not open after an upgrade:

  1. Microsoft Excel hasn’t been correctly installed or upgraded on your laptop/computer
  2. The Excel files might have been corrupted
  3. Microsoft Excel is not able to get access to the default printer setup on the laptop/computer
  4. Other third-party applications such as Tuneup utilities, Kaspersky Antivirus, Abby FineReader, etc. may cause the problem
  5. Sometimes add-ins can be the reason behind your problem
  6. Your MS Office might be running in a compatibility mode for a prior version than the current version of Windows you own
  7. Hardware Graphic Acceleration might be the issue
  8. There might be some issues in the Protected View

Regardless of whether you’re able to spot the exact trigger for the issue, you can try the below mentioned solutions to repair Excel files after upgrade.

Solutions to Repair Excel After Upgrade

You can try the below fixes to repair Excel files after upgrade:

Solution 1: Install Updates

As a first step, update your Microsoft Excel and Windows to the latest patch.

Solution 2: Restart & Repair Excel

You can fix the issue by simply restarting Excel 2016. If it doesn’t fix the issue, you need to repair Excel by following these steps:

  • Open Windows Control Panel and go to the list of installed Programs
  • Click the MS Office product you want to repair and click on Change
  • Follow remaining instructions

Solution 3: Reinstall Microsoft Office

Solution 4: Change your default installed printer

If the issue is due to faulty printer setup, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Close all open Office applications
  • Change your default printer by going to: Start -> Devices and Printers. It may not be necessarily a physical one, it may be One Note or XPS or PDF or anything else.

Note: Remember to upgrade all the Printers Drivers to the latest version from the internet.

Solution 5: Check third-party problem causing programs

Sometimes third-party applications like antivirus utilities, etc. can cause issues within Office programs. Try closing all of them one by one and open the faulty Excel file each time to see the effect.

Solution 6: Disable Add-ins

To determine whether add-ins are the ones creating the issue, you need to open Excel in Safe Mode and see if it helps. To open excel in safe mode-

  • Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then click on the Excel icon.
  • Otherwise, type “excel /safe” in the Run application and then press OK.
Excel in Safe Mode

If the problem has been eliminated, restart Excel in normal mode and disable all add-ins one by one. You can try to determine which add-in is the main culprit by restarting Excel every time you disable one.

Solution 7: Disable the Hardware Graphic Acceleration

To disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration, follow these steps:

  • Open Excel
  • Go to File -> Options
  • Go to Advanced tab -> Display
  • Check the box for ‘Disable Hardware Graphic Acceleration’
Excel Display Setting
  • Click OK and then restart the Excel

Solution 8: Fix issues with Protected View

Follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Open Excel
  • Go to File ->Options
  • Select Trust Centre ->Trust Centre Settings
Trust Center Setting
  • Click on Protected View
  • Uncheck all options
Uncheck protected View opations

Also change the below settings

  • Under Trust Centre settings, go to ‘File Block Settings’
  • Uncheck all options
File block setting

Hopefully one of the above manual solutions should help you repair Excel after upgrade. If it doesn’t, you might be dealing with a heavily corrupted file. In such a case, to overcome the issue use automated Excel repair utility, Stellar Repair for Excel.

The best alternative to manual solutions

Stellar Repair for Excel software is a professional utility to fix corruptions within Excel files.

The competent and efficient software quickly scans even the most severely corrupted Excel files and repairs them to facilitate the recovery of tables, forms, reports, cell data, formatting etc. from them. It is a complete DIY product equipped with an interactive GUI and comes with a free preview feature which lets you view recoverable data before saving the repaired Excel file data.

Free download

Final Words

Hope you’ll be able to repair Excel files after an upgrade by using one of the above fixes. Remember to always backup your critical files to avoid data loss situations. If nothing works, you can place your trust in reliable products like Stellar Repair for Excel.

So, what are your views on this? Do let us know in the comments below.

  1. Otis Minos January 27, 2020
  2. Sakif maul September 27, 2019
    • Eric Simson September 27, 2019
  3. Elizabeth O. Benson December 24, 2018
    • Eric Simson December 24, 2018
  4. Charles K. Dennis December 14, 2018
    • Eric Simson December 14, 2018
  5. Todd A. Owen November 28, 2018
    • Eric Simson November 28, 2018

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