How to Fix “The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened” Error in Excel?

When opening an Excel file, you may encounter the error “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened.” This error usually appears if there is corruption in the file. The Excel file may get corrupted due to large size, sudden system shutdown, system crash, bad sectors on the hard disk, etc. The error can also occur if you are trying to open an older Excel version file (2010) in a newer version of Excel (2016) or if there is an issue with recently downloaded Microsoft Office updates. As the error message itself states that the error has occurred due to corruption in the Excel file, you need to repair the file to resolve the issue. But before proceeding, you can try some workarounds that can help in resolving the issue.  

Workarounds to Fix ‘The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened’ Error in Excel

You can try the below-given workarounds that can help you resolve the issue.

Workaround 1: Change Component Services Settings

Sometimes, the error occurs if there is an issue with the Component Services settings. You can check and reset the Component Services settings in your Windows to fix the issue. Here’s how:

Note: Modification in component services settings can affect the registry settings. So, perform the steps carefully.

  • Open the Run window (using the shortcut Windows+R).

  • In the Run dialog box, write ‘dcomcnfg’ and then hit the Enter key.
  • In the Component Services window, expand “Component Services” and then expand ‘Computers’.

  • Right-click on My Computer and then select Properties.

  • In the My Computer Properties dialog box, click on Default Properties.

  • Now set the Default Authentication Level as Connect and Default Impersonation Level as Identify and then click OK.

Workaround 2: Unselect the Protected View Settings

You may be unable to open the Excel file due to Protected View settings in Microsoft Excel. When the protected view option is enabled, it may prevent you to open the files you received from the internet or any other unsafe location. You can try disabling the protected view and see if it fixes the issue.

Caution: Disabling the protected view allows you to open and edit the file. If the file contains any malware, it can infect your system.  

Here are the steps you can follow to disable the Protected View settings in Excel:

  • Open your MS Excel.
  • Click on the blank file option. Then, go to File and select Options.
  • In Excel Options, click on the Trust Center option and then click Trust Center Settings.

  • In the Trust Center window, select Protected View and then unselect the below options:

  • Enable Protected View for files originating from the internet.
  • Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations.
  • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments.
  • Click OK.

Workaround 3: Rollback the Office Updates

Many users have reported facing the error “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened” after installing the MS Office updates. If this error occurred after updating your MS Office, then try reverting back to the previous version of MS Office or uninstall the recent updates. 

Repair the Excel File

If the above workarounds didn’t work for you, then you need to repair the corrupted file. You can use the Microsoft inbuilt utility – Open and Repair to repair the corrupted Excel file. This utility can help you fix corruption-related issues, including the “File is corrupted and cannot be opened” error. To use this utility, follow these instructions:

  • In your Excel application, click on the File tab and then click Open.
  • Click Browse to select the desired file.
  • In the Open dialog box, click on the corrupted file.
  • Click on the arrow next to the Open button and then click Open and Repair.
  • Click on the Repair button.
  • In the displayed message, click Close.

The Open and Repair utility can easily repair Excel files with minor issues. However, it may not work in cases of severely damaged Excel files. To tackle this situation, you can use a professional Excel recovery tool, like Stellar Repair for Excel. This Excel file repair tool has powerful repair capabilities that can easily repair severely corrupted Excel files. You can try the software’s free demo version and preview the repairable data.

To Conclude

You may experience the error ‘The file is corrupted and cannot be opened’ while opening an Excel file that has turned corrupt or has an incorrect file format. This post has covered some workarounds to resolve the error. However, if nothing works, then you can take the help of a third-party Excel file repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Excel. It can easily repair severely corrupted Excel files and retrieve all the data with 100% integrity. 

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