Get rid of "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened" in Excel 2010

Quick tip: learn how to access a corrupt xls. file in Excel 2010

Usually when upgrading you expect nothing but improvements. So it can be really disappointing when after moving to Excel 2010 you have no chance to access your .xls file created in the application version 2003 and earlier. You understand what I'm talking about if you ever encountered "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened" error in Excel 2010. Still think you can't open it? Actually you can!

The file is corrupt and cannot be opened in Excel 2010

Try the following to see how your precious .xls data appear in MS Excel

  1. Open the application.
  2. Click on File -> Options.
  3. Select Trust Center and press the Trust center settings button.Excel: Trust center settings
  4. Pick Protected view.
    Trust center - Protected view
  5. Uncheck all the options under Protected View and confirm by pressing OK.
  6. Restart Excel and try to open the broken Excel documents.
Note. For safety reasons, you should save your document with new Office format like .xlsx. You can do it this way: File > Options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center settings -> Protected View.
Check all the options again under Protected View, click OK and restart Excel.

This will set the security options back. Sure, you don't want to open any file unsafely.

That's it. Hope it will work for you and your documents :).

Thanks and see you!

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298 Responses to "Get rid of "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened" in Excel 2010"

  1. November_rain says:


  2. gjoe says:

    verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry thanks

  3. gmyers says:

    Thank you so much! Microsoft was useless but your fix worked!

  4. Manesh says:

    Thanks a lot. The solution works

  5. Pankaj Jangra says:

    Thanks Dear ! its working fine.. :)

  6. solly says:

    Awesome. Thank you!

  7. Sathish says:

    THank u so much .. its helped me lot ..


  8. Sumit singh says:

    Waaoooo!!!! its working now...

  9. Karthik says:

    Spot on!

  10. Snr says:


  11. vikas says:

    thank u so so so so much sir, u r gr8 :)

  12. Shalu says:

    Thanku :)

  13. brijina says:

    wow.... it worked!!.......thank u so much :) :)

  14. Terry Wang says:

    Thank you! it works for me, I was bored by this for several days, really a good tips.

  15. yugandhar says:

    thanks a lot its working fine.but when i enable the options again i am not able to open the attachments of mails what i have sent .Can you please give me permanent solution

  16. Abha says: worked

  17. Ashish says:

    it really works..

  18. Abhimanyu says:

    Graet it's working

  19. Subramanian says:

    Thank you so much...
    Its working super...

  20. aan says:

    thank u thank u thank u so much
    its working

  21. Rizwan says:

    Thank You very much, I had been moving docs to a different PC to Open the Excel docs. You have helped me from botheration

  22. Mike says:

    Thank you that worked.

  23. Kimmo says:

    Thank you. I have same "bug" in my PowerPoint. Now all "set up" is unsecured, and work fine! :)

  24. JohnP says:

    Works great now! Thanks!!! Thought the issues was within Outlook, but it was Excel having the issues.

  25. Anonymous says:

    thanks helped

  26. philip says:

    thnks alot..really worked...

  27. stella says:

    Vow!!!Brilliant ....was trying from a very long time...n i got much appreciations from my boss after fixing this problem, thx Mr.Alexander

  28. zola says:

    thank you

  29. Matt says:

    Awesome, thanks so much, this was driving me crazy.

  30. Prenda says:

    a big THANK YOU, i tried so many other suggestions, non worked, yours worked first time.

  31. Straton says:

    Thanks so much

  32. Carina says:

    Thank you so very very much!!

  33. DrakerDG says:

    Thank you, Works great now!

  34. Ananth says:

    Thanks a lot... It works!!!

  35. Bill says:

    Thank you! This saved me from wasting time...

  36. Lina says:

    it help, thanks alot. abit late to find this resolution. at least no more problem.

  37. Uwais says:

    Thank you so much… Its working fine

  38. dtcc says:

    Thank you so much! it worked :)

  39. Brodee says:

    Thank you! You helped me out alot!

  40. Brodee says:


  41. Sishir Kumar says:

    Thank you so much............

  42. ricc says:

    Thank you. is works!

  43. Tallu says:

    Thank you so much, it works!!!!!

  44. Hugo says:

    WONDERFULL It works!! Thanks

  45. Philip says:

    Hailliluahhhhh!!! No thanks to microsoft troubleshoots

  46. Azad says:

    Thank you so much. Its works properly.

  47. Jonathan says:

    Genius! Such an unhelpful (and wrong) message from Excel after downloading a .xlsx file from Google Docs. Fixed by simply unticking these boxes. Thank you.

  48. Orwill says:

    It worked thanks

  49. jas says:

    spot on, thank you!

  50. Wow!!! says:

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!

  51. deepak says:

    really u r a genius

  52. fran-uk says:

    Saved my bacon, thought I'd lost a whole load of work but this technique enabled me to open the corrupt xlsx file. Thanks!

  53. Pankaj Patil says:

    I tried all the things but it didn't work.
    But after trying this i am able to open my attached excel sheet from Outlook 2010.

    Thank you very much!!!

  54. servusmaximus says:

    it doesn't work for me. gee....

  55. Anand Shah says:

    guys coming in after august 2013... mostly you are affected by cryptolocker... and this solution is not for such files...

  56. Tea says:

    Hi all

    I have save all my excel files in usb. now my excel file can not open and it has a message as

    Excel cannot open the file 'A.xlsx' 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.

    can you please help me how to open this file

  57. Zul says:

    Thanks mate!

  58. Hai Pham says:

    Thanks man, it's working now.

  59. Junior says:

    Uninstall TuneUp Utilities and this message could go away.

  60. Anonymous says:

    thanks , prob solved

  61. Bhaskar says:

    Great!! it worked. Thank you.

  62. mohamed says:

    Please help me man i'm in deep shitt.
    If i didn't open the excel file i'm fired from my job,,,,, pleaseeeeeeee help meeeee. i can send u the file on ur email if u want, pleaseeeeeee

  63. Debk says:

    I have fixed that problem
    Thanks alot

  64. Luciano Lingnau says:

    Many, many thanks.

  65. Narendra says:

    Thanks allot for sharing this tip

  66. Nalina Yogesh says:

    It works. Thanks alot Alex.

  67. Mirina says:

    It works! Thank you so much! LIKE!!!!

  68. Guest says:

    Did not work for me. Those options were already unchecked. I frequently get that error when trying to open a 2nd excel file when I already have one open. It's driving me crazy. I have lost so much productivity since "upgrading" to Excel 10.

  69. anil kumar says:

    thanx a lot

  70. mahmoud haidar says:

    if i have a password on the sheet .. its working this steps
    when i log by administrator that excel sheet open with my pass
    if i log with anouther account i see this message
    The file is corrupt and cannot be opened

  71. mohit says:

    thanks a lot...its working again

  72. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Dear , Its working ...

  73. junaid says:

    my file as same problem if any problem with registry due to the virus?

  74. Adam says:

    Rad this worked, thanks!

  75. Gabriel says:

    I Love you.

  76. Trina says:

    You have no idea how many hours of work you just saved me. Thank you thank you thank you! So, is the unfortunate lesson learned that you cannot convert all previously created files to Excel 2010?

  77. hashemzadegan says:

    i see the location that you said, but in trust center i didnt see the protected view!!!

  78. che says:

    excellent! thanks for this very helpful tip. no need to call helpdesk

  79. Gina Eysele says:

    I love you with all my heart, please marry me
    Thaaaank yooou!

  80. Gina Eysele says:


  81. Ika says:

    Dear Mr. Alexander, how about Ms Excel 2013,whether in the same way to work? thank you

  82. Connie says:

    Thank you it really worked for me on Excel 2013

  83. Ahsan says:

    thank you but Some of the files still do not open in excel 2013
    please guide me on this ASAP.

  84. Adam Hassan says:

    You just saved my bacon mate! I couldnt understand why all my excel files were corrupt. Fortunately I have them all backed up, but its a chore to recover them all.

    This solution worked a treat. Cheers

  85. harshpal singh says:

    hey its working.

    thanks for the solution

  86. Amit says:

    Thanks for your solution this is working now..

  87. Arup Bhowmik says:

    my all xlsx file automatically rename to .XLSX.unpanvf and could not open

  88. Manish says:

    This worked for excel 2013 as well.

    I faced the issue with all excel 2013, word 2013and PowerPoint 2013 while opening file from outlook.

    But can you explain why this happened suddenly after two years of using MS office 2013?

  89. uvananta says:

    Yes It worked


  90. marwa says:

    Did not work for me
    "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened" this message is only appears

  91. marwa says:

    I have an Excel 2007 file (.xlsx) that will not open. When I could not
    open it, I tried to just preview it. The error message says: "This file
    cannot be previewed because it is corrupted." I also tried to print
    directly from the file list, but I still get the "corrupted file" message.

  92. Jesse says:

    For me, the issue was a photo image in the google spreadsheet. I tried a bunch of things that didn't work but by deleting the inserted image. The file would download as excel without the error message and can be emailed as attachment.

    Action item: If you have an image, delete it from the google doc and test it.

  93. surya says:

    superb, It is working now.

  94. mohamed says:

    sir . file still not open , its more then 10 megabit . please help me it very important data

  95. Rex Travolta says:

    Thank you very much friend. It works well.
    Thumbs up to you! =D

  96. chamira says:

    That's very important , thank you very much . this is successfully worked

  97. vic says:

    I did what you said. It doesn't work for me. I can't open any of my excel and word files. I didn't have any problems before until just this week. Now I can't open any of my files. I get a corrupted message.

    • Cils says:

      You might need to also update the "Trusted Locations" to include the file location.

      BTW, the warning still pops up for me, it is just that I can now elect to continue and the file opens.

  98. girish says:

    thanks its working.

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