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Excel 2013 Can't Open Workbooks Created With Older Version

Posted on 2013-10-27
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A few months ago, I upgraded to Office Home and Business 2013 and Windows 7.  Today, I tried for the first time to open an excel file created before my upgrade, and while Excel starts, no worksheet opens, and no error message.  Just get a blank Excel window.
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Question by:tjvetter
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39603981
I recently upgraded to Office 2013 on W7/64-bit and have had no problems opening old Excel files, both XLS and XLSX. Three thoughts: (1) Could be an automation problem. How are you trying to open the files? If you're double-clicking in Windows Explorer, try something else, such as File>Open in Excel or drag-and-drop. (2) Could be a permissions problem. Make sure you have ownership of the old files. (3) Could be a corrupt user account. Try creating a new account and see if it works in that. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 39604059
Also try opening the file in an older system if you can. Resave it (save as new name) and try again.

Excel 2013 opens all the Excel files I have.

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Author Closing Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39604134
Thanks Joe.  I already knew I could open the files on my office Windows 7 machine with Excel 2010.  I tried opening one of the files from within Excel 2013, and it worked.  I don't know why double clicking doesn't work or how to fix that.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39604360
Try this to fix it. In Windows Explorer, right-click on an XLS file, then [Open with], then [Choose default program]. If Excel is in the list of programs, pick it; if not, click the Browse button and navigate to the Excel executable; in either case, tick the box on the left that says, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file". The Excel executable is typically here for Office 2013 in W7:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\excel.exe

or possibly here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\excel.exe

If this technique works for XLS, do the same on an XLSX file and a CSV file. That should have you covered.

Another idea is to reinstall Office 2013 (or do a Repair install, if it has one...I don't know if it does), which should create the correct file type associations, but the method above is less traumatic...if it works. :)   Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39604507
Thanks again.  "Open with" didn't work.  I will try the repair/reinstall sometime.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 39604520
Bummer! Please let me know if the repair/reinstall works.

You're welcome...happy to help. Regards, Joe
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