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Fix Error Excel Cannot Open the File Because Extension Is Not Valid

File | 3 min read| Easton Torres | Updated On - December 25, 2022

While working on Microsoft Excel 2007, the user may face the situation when an error message is generated on trying to access any Excel file. The error does not allow to access those files which had been accessed last day without any problem. The problem is not only confined to Excel it has been also observed in PowerPoint, JPEG, and AutoCAD etc other files. The error reads like this:

‘Excel cannot open the file because the file format or file extension is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file.’

Reason behind this ‘Excel cannot open the file’ Error

There are several reasons which are accountable for occurrence of the “Excel cannot open the file” error. However, after various researches carried out by experts it has been found out that error generates owing to two possible reasons:

  1. Malware attack of Win32/Crilock.A and Win32/Buma!rts could have resulted in the corruption of file which in turn prohibits the user from accessing the concerned file.
  2. There could be compatibility issues as well like the file may not be compatible with the Excel version which is being used.

Resolution of Excel cannot open the file Error

This article provides number of solutions which could be used to resolve the issue. These are discussed below:

Check the File extension of the concerned Excel file

As unsupported file extension also causes this error, firstly make sure that xlsx extension of the file is supported by Excel version from which user is accessing it. In order to check, follow these steps:

  • Go to ‘My Computer’ tab.
  • Now click on ‘Tools’ and then on the ‘Folder Options’.
  • Under Folder Options dialog box you will find different tabs. Click on ‘File Types’.
  • Under it a list of various file extensions supported will be displayed. Check if xlsx file extension is available or not.

In case, one could not find out xlsx file extension under it, then the file extension can be changed as xlsx is not supported by Excel. Change the file extension to xls which is supported by it.

Excel provides ‘Open and Repair’ option

If corruption is prevailing in the file and even if the file extension is supported by Excel then also you will face such situation. In such case you can use the ‘Open and Repair’ option provided by the Excel to repair the corrupted file. Follow these steps to use this option:

  • Open your MS Excel and click on the ‘File’ option. Select ‘Open’ under ‘File’ menu.
  • Select the file which you want to repair but rather double-clicking on it go to the ‘Open’ drop down available at the bottom.
  • At the end of the options, you will find Open and Repair. Select it.

Once the repairing process gets completed, you can access your repaired Excel file without any problem.

Professional Repair Tool

At times, the file is so severely corrupt that even Open and Repair option of Excel fails to repair it completely and hence you face the same problem. So in this situation you can opt for a professional Excel Repair tool which is expert in repairing corrupted Excel files regardless of the severity of corruption.

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