Best Fixes for an Excel File Not Opening in 2024

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Even though MS Excel works great for business documents, you may get stuck with an Excel file not opening on random occasions, and that can turn out to be a big problem too.

Such situations can be handled both manually as well as automatically, and we are going to give the best solutions for both ways as you read on.

Reasons Behind the Excel Not Opening

The problem of the non-operational Excel files comes with the inability of users to open them or sometimes even do basic editing changes in them. When trying to open these files, a white blank screen appears on the screen, and there can be various reasons for it:

  • Lost password
  • Altered Excel Associations settings
  • DDS box settings changed
  • User Experience Visualization Update
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Random errors or any damage
  • Third-party add-ins activated

PassFab for Excel – Best Unlocking Software for the Password-Protected Files

The primary reason due to which many of you may have failed to gain access to an Excel file on your system is that these files are protected by a password set by you or anyone else.

In such cases, to gain safe access to such Excel files can be made possible by third-party unlocking software like PassFab for Excel here.

The advanced features of the software PassFab for Excel can work for any kind of Excel file not opening by recovering the password for it instantly irrespective of the complexity of the code.

There Are Two Mention-Worthy Modes of Functions of This Software:

1. Recover Excel Open Password – This function can be used to recover the password for any locked Excel file and open it simultaneously.

2. Remove Excel Restriction Password – This function helps in the removal of editing restrictions from an Excel worksheet or workbook in merely two seconds if you Forgot your Excel password or your Excel File Locked For Editing.

PassFab for Excel

The first feature, the recover password mode, of this software has got the most advanced functioning, giving you the option to choose from Three different attack modes.

These Modes Deploy a Different Kinds of Techniques While Breaking the Passwords, and Here is the List of Them:

Dictionary Attack

This mode searches through a great number of all possible password combinations available to unlock the Excel file by finding the right password.

You can help this mode by feeding any possible password you may have used earlier or other passwords you use frequently.

The software will then try out all the other possible combinations related to the ones you entered, which may give you the right password.

Brute Force with Mask Attack

This mode can be chosen in the case where you remember some elements of the password of the Excel file, not opening.

For instance, if you happen to remember things like password length or the characters that you used in the password, you can enter such information after selecting the mask attack mode.

Then the software will use that info to crack the right password and open the document for you further.

Brute Force Attack

This mode helps when you have absolutely no idea about the lock password. The software will then take its course of action, where it will start searching for the password from scratch.

This makes it obvious that this mode will take longer to recover the right password since it will do searches in its database, followed by the whole web in the absence of any input from your end.

PassFab for Excel

This software is clearly the best way out if you fail to open Excel files or work on them and wish to unlock an excel password.

However, if you want free methods or are confident enough to make changes in the system manually, the following is a list of the solutions that you can try.

Resetting the Excel Associations to Fix ‘Excel File Not Opening’

Out of the many reasons that can cause Excel not opening is the change in the settings of the Excel program that can cause the files to not open at all.

The most logical solution to this issue is to hit at the cause right away, altering the settings back to their right and original state. This may fix the problem and open your file.

Here Are the Steps That You Need to Follow:

1. Hit right-click on the Windows button or Start of your PC.

2. Open the Control Panel and then choose the option Programs from the list. Go to the folder Default Programs and then select the option Set Your Default Programs. The search results will then emerge that will display all the default programs on the PC.

3. In the program list that came up, find out the Excel option and click on it. Choose the option of Choose Default for this Program from the ones that come up. This will launch the screen of Set Program Associations.

Resetting the Excel Associations

4. Once on this screen, tick the box of Select All. Hit the button Save and then OK to apply the changes.

This was all about resetting the Excel File Associations. Try opening the file, and you may encounter no issues this time.

Changing the DDE Box Settings to Fix ‘Excel File Not Opening’

Another factor that can be responsible for the Excel File Not Opening is the DDE feature of the program.

Many times, this feature gets disable in case of the option ‘Ignore Other Applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)’ gets ticked accidentally or on purpose.

The DDE feature sends messages and further operation instructions to the Excel program when it is double-clicked upon. This issue can thus be resolved by un-ticking the box ‘Ignore DDE,’ and here are the steps for doing so:

1. Launch a new file in the Excel program. Hit the tab File and then select the options Options.

2. Here, select the tab of Advanced Option and then find the option of General Tab. It is present in the dialog box within the Advanced Options tab.

3. The box of ‘Ignore Other Applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)‘ will be present here. You will see that it is marked.

Changing the DDE Box settings to fix Excel File Not Opening

4. Untick this box, then click the OK button to save and apply the changes made. The process will be completed at this stage.

If this method becomes successful, your Excel file not opening will get unlocked easily and start running without any hassle.

Repairing the User Experience Virtualization to Fix ‘Excel File Not Opening’

If you find out that the Update User Experience Virtualization or UE-V has been causing problems to the Excel files and leading them to not open at all, you can try using the Hotfix method as one of the redressal methods for this issue.

For the UE-V, you can install the 2927019 hotfixes that can be procured from the official support page of Microsoft. The various knowledgebase articles present on the help page provide a link to these hotfixes.

You will have to find the hotfix that we mentioned in the right article and also remember that it can be applied to solve this particular issue only.

Open the concerned knowledgebase article and click on the download link for the hotfix that can be found at the top of the article itself.

If the link is not available there or you face any trouble downloading the hotfix from the available link, you can contact Microsoft support directly, and you will get help.

Disabling the Hardware Acceleration to Fix ‘Excel File Not Opening’

This is another potential fix to the Excel not opening that involves disabling the hardware acceleration until the manufacturer releases a new fix for the issue. Here are the steps that you have to follow:

1. Launch any program of Office. Hit the tab File and then click on the Options tab.

2. A dialog box will appear now in which you have to click the option of Advanced.

3. A list of options will emerge once again, and you will have to find the box of Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration. Tick that box.

4. Hit the OK button to complete the process.

Disabling the hardware acceleration

Repairing the Excel Files in Case of Damage

Another very probable reason for your Excel file not opening can be any damage caused to the file in any way, rendering it non-operable at all.

Various file errors can be responsible for the same. The logical solution that follows is to repair the damaged file to open it for use.

For this purpose, Excel has an in-built feature called Open and Repair that repairs such files.

Here is How to Operate It:

1. Launch MS Excel and hit the tab File.

2. Choose the option Open and select the file that is giving the problem. Select the option Open and Repair.

3. In the next window, hit Repair to start the repair process.

Repairing the Excel files in case of damage to fix Excel File Not Opening

4. If the said repair process fails by any change, a warning box will emerge on the screen when you try to open the damaged file next time. From this box, select the option of Extract Data for procuring all the values contained in the file.

Disabling the Add-ins

Add-ins are mostly third-party elements that cause various errors in Excel files and, finally cause Excel not to open.

The best way out of this problem is to disable all such add-ins, and here are the steps to do so:

1. Launch the Excel program and hit the tab File. Under the Options tab, select the option Add-ins.

2. At the bottom, you will find an option for the Manage List. From there, click on the item COM Add-ins followed by clicking the button Go.

3. Remove any of the listed Add-ins followed by clicking OK.

Disabling the Add-ins

Go back and double-click on the particular Excel file that wasn’t opening earlier. The problem will disappear, but if it doesn’t, repeat the process and remove one more add-in this time.


Q1. Why can’t I open my Excel file? There could be various reasons behind this issue, such as file corruption, incompatible file format, add-in interference, software issues, or file size limitations.

Q2. How can I repair a corrupted Excel file? You can try using the “Open and Repair” feature in Excel or seek assistance from data recovery professionals.

Q3. Can I open Excel files in Safe Mode? Yes, opening Excel in Safe Mode can help identify and resolve issues caused by add-ins or customization.

Q4. What should I do if none of the solutions work? If none of the suggested solutions work, it is recommended to seek professional help from data recovery experts or contact Microsoft support.

Q5. How can I convert an Excel file to a different format? You can use the “Save As” option in Excel to save the file in a different format, such as CSV or XLSX.


You can try the PassFab for Excel to fix the Excel file not opening, as it is the best way out and then try other manual fixes if the problem is something else.

You will just have to be very careful with the steps, but the results will surely appear.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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