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

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

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 and later. Still think you can't open it? Actually you can!
Excel message: The file is corrupt and cannot be opened in Excel 2010

How to open a corrupt xls. file in Excel 2010 - 365

Try the following steps to see how your precious .xls data appear in Excel 2010 and later:

  1. Open Excel.
  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!


  1. Really helped thanks

  2. Thank you it works <3

  3. sir i have a issue pls help me out.... im not able to capy the file and nor able to open it....what to do any suggetions ? and the file name colour its black to green

  4. Thanks a lot for such a nice and simple tricks.!!!!! It worked well!!!!!

  5. didn't work...ugh!

  6. Easy Fix. I had this problem for over a year now

  7. Did not work; I'm still looking for a solution. Why would Microsoft be so irresponsible as to make it so that older excel files cannot be opened? Some businesses have files for many decades. How do I open them? They have vital information in them!

    • Did you find a solution...I'm in the same boat.

  8. Thanks a lot for such a nice and simple tricks. It worked well

  9. it really helped

  10. it works. Thanks a lot

  11. Muchas gracias !!!! Pensaba reinstalar todo office!!!jajajajaja

  12. Just Sign out from the account. The file shall open hopefully. Thanks.

  13. Other way, Excel Option >> Trust Center >> Macro Setting >> checked item Enable all macros( not refomented; potentially dangerous code can run)

  14. hai

    i have issue with Excel office 2013 stander it show in desktop all files as a pdf but it is Excel

  15. Worked. Perfect

  16. worked perfectly , thanks :)

  17. Thanks a lot. Work perfectly.

  18. Thank you. it worked.

  19. thank you so much! its worked:)

  20. It worked, I had issue with amazon files. Thank you.

  21. Thank You.

  22. Unfortunately, this solution is not working for me, I had already all these boxes unchecked and I still receive the message that my files are corrupted and this happens so often, that I always need to create several copies every time when I save an Excel file. I'm using Windows 10 and Office 365 the most recent version.

  23. That you so much!!!! it worked :)

  24. This just worked for me too! Thanks so much!

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! You're a lifesaver...

  26. Thanks very much sir..
    you just save my long distance job, by remote access...


  28. THANKS A TON!!

  29. worked

  30. Thanks alot! I use excel alot and have a lot of docs which are needed to be downloaded every day. I was quite worried about this when it showed up but now thankfully the problem is resolved.
    Cheers Buddy!

  31. thank you so much! it is working now.

  32. Thanks... This helped me a lot

  33. Thank you so much!

  34. thank you!

  35. Worked PERFECTLY! Thanks a million!!!

  36. its working..thanks lot

  37. Appreciated, it really works.

  38. Thank you so much for this tip. Saved me from agony.

  39. Thank you very much it helped me too

  40. Thanks for that insight it has worked well for me, thanks

  41. Thanks so much worked just great this got me nuts for almost a year, also it always happen to me if the file was coming from Italy then it wont open now we all good to go thanks so much again .

  42. Perfect, Thank you

  43. Thank you! This has been driving me nuts for the past week :)

  44. did not work ..

  45. This worked for me perfectly and save tons of my time and frustration. Thanks!

  46. Thank you! Was having this issue for a while. Resorted to opening files in Google Sheets then copying into Excel. Wasn't great. Your solution works a treat :)

  47. THANK YOU, so much! I had a spreadsheet logging 20 years' worth of irreplaceable data that suddenly gave me this error message - following your steps fixed it perfectly! THANK YOU!!!

  48. didn't work on server 2012r2 office 2010

  49. Thank you very much. It worked perfectly.

  50. thanx it helped

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