How to Fix Excel File Open But Not Visible on Mac

Gemma posted on Jul 31, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

It will be frustrated when something goes wrong with your Excel files. For example, you might open an Excel file but find it is not visible. Don't worry. There are many efficient ways for you to solve the problem, and you can also count on professional data recovery tools such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Microsoft Excel should be the first choice if you want to manage data with graphs and charts. But some users had reported that when they opened an Excel file, the data is not visible, only a whole white or grey screen appears.

If you are facing the same issue, then this post is the right place for you. We will introduce the reason why your Excel files got invisible and list all the possible solutions. You can try them one by one.  

Part 1. What Causes This Issue? 

Failed to open an Excel file could be caused by many reasons. Most of them are related to the program itself, sometimes it's about data corruption, and sometimes it's about an official update. To know what causes Excel file open but not visible on Mac, here we list three origins.

  • Excel File Corruption

In most cases, when you open a file but not showing any data, it is probably because the file is damaged. If you have a backup that contains the corrupted file, pick it out from your backup file. If you don't, then turn to a data recovery tool to recover the lost files on Mac.

  • Preferences Issue

One of the most common Microsoft issues on Mac happens mainly due to the Preferences are corrupted. To fix this problem, repair the corrupted Preferences is all you need.

  • Problematic Program Settings

If some programs that run in the background interfere with Excel, you will also have problems opening Excel files. Besides, if you change the default application to open your Excel file, you might still be unable to see the data.  

Part 2. What to do to Fix Excel Files Open but Not Visible on Mac?

Now you have an idea of why you can't see your excel data. It is worth mentioning that Excel files showing no data do not necessarily mean your files are gone. There are still ways to help you open these files in a healthy state. Try the following methods and bring your Excel files back to normal.

1. Repair Excel File in 3 Steps

Let's start from the most likely scenario: your Excel file is damaged. Under this condition, you need a professional Mac data recovery software to help you get out of the dilemma. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac works for various kinds of Excel problems. Whether your files got damaged because of accidental deletion, system crash, hard drive formatting, or storage device corruption, it will solve the problem as always.

Now download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and follow the steps below to repair your Excel files.

Step 1. Select the location where your important Excel files were lost and click Scan button.

select the location where excel files lost and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will start immediately a quick scan as well as a deep scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane.

scan the selected drive to find lost excel files

Step 3. By Path and Type, you can quickly filter the Excel files you've lost earlier. Select the target files and click Recover Now button to get them back at once.

click recover now to recover lost excel files on your Mac

2. Fix the Damaged Excel Preferences on Mac

This problem arises because there is a problem with the servers on the system. Follow the detailed steps below to fix the Excel file open but not visible on Mac issue.

Step 1. Close all programs on your Mac.

Step 2. On the Go menu, click Start > Library. If you have OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later, click Go, hold down the option key, and choose Library.

Step 3. Open the Preferences folder and drag com.microsoft.Excel.plist to the desktop. If you can not find the file, continue with the next step.

Step 4. Now, open the Microsoft folder (in Preferences) and drag com.microsoft.Excel.prefs.plist to the desktop.

Step 5. Launch Microsoft Excel and if you do not see the error, close the app, drag back one of the files to its original location, and restart Excel. If the error shows up again, then it means one of those files you dragged is corrupt. Quickly delete the file and the other one left on your desktop. Your problem is solved.

If you launched Excel but still saw an error, restore the files to their original location and follow the steps below:

Step 1. Close all programs on your Mac.

Step 2. Click Home and select Library on the Go menu then open the Preferences folder.

Step 3. Select Application > Microsoft > Office > User Templates, search for the normal.dotm file and drag it to the desktop.

Step 4. Relaunch Excel, if you don't see the error, the problem is solved.

3. Reset Excel File Associations

If the Excel Preferences are not corrupted, there's another method you can try. Reset Excel file associations to the default settings, and then everything would back to normal.

Step 1. Find the Excel file you want to open.

Step 2. Right-click the file and choose "Open With." There will be a list showing all the apps associated with the selected file type.

Step 3. Choose the default application, which means Excel, and reopen your files to have a check.

Reset Excel File Associations

The Bottom Line

After reading, you might have known how to solve the problem when you open the Excel file, but the data is not visible. Besides recovering an Excel file, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can also help you to do photos recovery, email recovery, and video recovery. But the most important is you should take a regular backup so that you can find back your files no matter what happened. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

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2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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