Can't Associate .xls with Excel 2010

Posted on 2012-09-02
Last Modified: 2012-09-03

I have a system that I upgraded from office 2003 to Office 2010.   It is a Server 2008 R2 system with users running remote desktop into the server.   Office 2003 worked well.

To install 2010 I used the TS Install function as always and ofcourse uninstalled 2003 first.

The problem is that no user, except the Administrator is able to open .xls files directly from the file.    The user has the option to select the program to use to open the file, navigate to the directory, select Excel, but it just does not show up on the list of program to open the file with.    Same if doing it via the Default Program in the Control Panel.    All other office docs, like docx etc open fine, even .xslx file open into Excel without
issue.   The only way to open .xls files is to open Excel first and then open the file.

I have tried, a repair, an reinstall using a different release version of Office 2010, I have even tried Office 2007, but it suffers the same issue !    Tried 32 / 64 bit version, tried various security and permission changes, tried the 2003 Office Removal tool .. tried many many things but nothing has solved the issue so far.  Microsoft say they can't help either.

I suspect it is related to the registry location of,

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\EXCEL.EXE\...]  which does not exist for Excel, yet exists for all other Office applications.   But not sure on the structure and what is in the registry tree.
Question by:yagigain
    LVL 100

    Expert Comment

    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    I'll bet that, if you login as a standard user, run regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.xls, you'll find its entries and or values are missing or wrong.
    The easiest fix is to then login as admin, export those keys, place them in a shared location, and push them as part of a login script.
    You need to get .xlam, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, & .xltm to fix all of the Excel file types.
    LVL 50

    Expert Comment

    yagigain--Right click on one of the .xls files|Open With|Choose default program|Browse to excel.exe (probably in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 ).  Click excel.exe.  Does the file open?  If so go through the routine again and this time in the Open With window choose "Always use this program...." (bottom left) |OK.
    Does that fix the association?

    Author Closing Comment

    Yep that was it, when I change those registry values the problem is solved.  Thx !

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