Methods To Fix Excel Cannot Open the File ‘file.xlsx’ Because the File Format Is Not Valid

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  • Published on
    September 16th, 2020
  • Updated on
    February 18, 2021
  • Read Time
    6 minutes
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Most of the time users often face a common issue i.e Excel Cannot Open the File ‘file.xlsx’ while opening a file in Excel. Generally when email receives an excel sheet and after opening it, users are unable to access it properly due to this error. 

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MS Excel is a mostly used app by users for corporate as well as personal use for managing their daily work reports, financial data, and other tasks. The error signifies that the file is not compatible with Excel in Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019 or the file data has become corrupt or damaged. In this article, we will discuss all the possible solutions to fix this error easily.

What factors are responsible for “Excel cannot open the file because the extension is not a valid mac”?

The causes of the Excel error are discussed below:

  • Compatibility Issue:- This is the most common issue, maybe your excel file is not compatible or accessed with any version of Excel.
  • Corrupted or Damaged Files:– If you cannot access the file in any version of MS Excel and other Operating Systems then corruption may be the issue. 
  • Download issue:- Incomplete download and error while downloading the Excel file may cause corruption and ultimately you cannot access the file. 
  • Improper Program Closing:– Improper closing of Excel application may cause errors in your Excel file and makes it inaccessible.
  • Faulty Storage Devices:- If your Excel file becomes inaccessible so quickly then you should use the storage device. It may be possible that there are some bad sectors present in the storage device. 
  • Power Failure:- A Sudden power failure may lead to abrupt closing of Excel program and makes file inaccessible.
  • If an Excel file sheet is being edited by different version of Excel

These are some of the issues which makes your Excel file inaccessible. Next, we will discuss the different approaches to recover corrupted Excel files online

Different Methods for “Excel Cannot Open the File ‘file.xlsx’” Error are:

The different methods to fix the error are:

Method 1: By changing the extension of the Worksheet

The issue occurs due to the unsupported file extension of the sent file. So, make sure that Microsoft Excel in your PC/Laptop supports the .xlsx extension. To analyze the support of .xlsx extension file steps given below:

  • Turn On MS Excel and go to the “File menu option.”
  • Then, go to file extension change option
  • Analyze whether it is showing the .xlsx extension or not. If not, then use .xlsx as the extension of the file. For this change, move to my computer and browse the “Tool option.” 
  • When the file extension gets changed, may it free from all the error

Method 2: Use Open & Repair option in MS Excel

This feature of MS Excel is being used to Repair corrupt files are:

  • Turn On Microsoft Excel & Go to the “File” menu.
  • Choose the “Open” tab option & press on “Browse.”
  • Select the file to open and select the “Open and Repair” option icon.

From this Open & Repair Excel file feature, you can effortlessly repair and access the corrupted .xlsx files.

Method 3: Opening the file in safe mode & Disable Add-ins

If the Excel file does not open, run it in safe mode to see if it can be opened successfully. This approach also checks if there are any issues in Microsoft Excel.

  • Enter the Windows+R button, type excel.exe /safe, & press “OK”. Loading Excel files without add-ins and templates allows users to see if the program runs as it should or if it is damaged.
  • If Excel file access normally, scan for any add-ins that are causing issues in the file. Disabling the add-ins & press ok.
  • Restarting the Excel sheet to check if the issues get resolved. 

Method 4: Restoring unsaved Excel File through the Previous Version

This approach can only recover lost sheet files to a previous version. That means the user may lose some change made to the document.

  • Press the inaccessible Excel document and select “Properties”.
  • Turn on the “Previous Version” app to list all the previously stored files of Excel.
  • Select the correct version & press “Restore” to recover the document.

This manual steps for fixing a corrupt Excel file. But all these manual processes consume lots of time and not enough for fixing all the corrupt excel file issues. It also requires advanced knowledge to function some of the steps. Here we need Excel Recovery Software that supports corrupt excel data files saved with both .xls or .xlsx extensions and recovers all possible data from them. 

Therefore, you can go with the direct professional approach which helps you to recover all possible Excel sheet data. This utility is very accurate in maintaining the original data. Use the Excel Recovery Tool to Backup & repair all excel data. The GUI of this Excel recovery utility is also very user friendly and compatible with all available windows. It also supports recovery from the single or multiple files simultaneously.

Some Salient Features of the Professional Tool:

Useful features of the tool discussed below:

  • Easy recovery from corrupt XLSX & XLS files.
  • Support single as well as multiple files recovery simultaneously
  • Maximum recovery from damaged Excel files in minimum time
  • Grid selection and Auto-search facility during excel  recovery procedure
  • User is allowed to save media of XLSX file recovery

These are some salient features of the professional tool which can be used for the recovery & restoration procedure of Corrupt or damaged Excel file documents.


This article discussed the “Excel Cannot Open the File ‘file.xlsx’” error. Here, we gave an idea with many alternate manual troubleshooting steps to fix the issue easily. But if users don’t want to make use of such manual steps then a direct solution is also given here. Use any method as per your convenience and fix the issue effortlessly. You should use the Excel repair tool for a fast, easy, and reliable recovery. 

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