[Fixed] The File Is Corrupted and Cannot Be Opened in Excel/Word

Roxanne updated on Sep 17, 2020 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

You may receive the error message 'the file is corrupt and cannot be opened' in both Microsoft Excel and Word. When this error occurs, don't worry. We will show you how to fix 'the file is corrupted and cannot be opened' in Excel/Word and provide an extra tip for you to recover lost Excel or Word file with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Here are four effective ways aim to fix the file is corrupted and cannot be opened in Microsoft. You can have a quick view and directly jump to the part you're most interested:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Disable Protected View Options Open Word or Excel > go to Trust Center > Trust Center settings > go to Protected View...Full steps
Fix 2. Unlock the File Right-click the file you have difficulty in opening and choose Properties...Full steps
Fix 3. Adjust Component Services Settings Click "Start" and enter dcom, right-click Component Services and choose Run as administrator...Full steps

About 'The file is corrupt and cannot be opened' in Microsoft Excel or Word

Microsoft error: The file is corrupt and cannot be opened

The error message 'the file is corrupted and cannot be opened' usually pops up when users trying to open an Office file that is created in an older version in a newer version of Microsoft Office, for example, open a file created in Excel 2013, 2010, 2007 or earlier in Excel 2016 or open a file created in Word 2007 or earlier in Word 2013. Numerous users have been bothered by this issue after upgrading the Microsoft Office applications and asked for help online. Actually, the error "the file is corrupt and cannot be opened" can also occur after Microsoft Office reinstallation. Why does this issue happen? The main causes for "the file is corrupted and cannot be opened" in Microsoft Excel or Office are:

  • The changes of settings in Microsoft Office after upgrading or reinstallation
  • Protection of your computer against the files come from another computer
  • The Excel or Word file is corrupted

4 Fixes for 'The file is corrupt and cannot be opened' in Excel/Word

As you can see from the causes listed above, the error message 'the file is corrupted and cannot be opened' doesn't necessarily mean your file is damaged or corrupted. At most times, the files just become inaccessible because there is something wrong with the settings of the new versions of Microsoft Office application. There are the effectiveness-based fixes for "the file is corrupted and cannot be opened" in Microsoft Office.

Method 1. Disable Protected View Options

Many users have reported they fixed the error using this method. However, disabling "Protected View" is potentially harmful to your computer system since it exposes your computer to possible security threats. Thus, we highly recommend you save the file as another one after you can access it, then enable "Protected View".

Step 1. Open Microsoft Excel/Word and go to File > Options.

Step 2. Go to "Trust Center" > "Trust Center Settings...".

Step 3. Go to "Protected View" and then uncheck all the boxes. Click "OK".

Step 4. Restart Microsoft Excel/Word.

Fix the file is corrupt and cannot be opened - disable Protected View

Now you can try to open your file again and see whether the error message "the file is corrupt and cannot be opened" still exist.

Method 2. Unlock the File

If "the file is corrupt and cannot be opened" prompts when you try to open some of the Excel or Word files on your computer, you can try this solution for a quick fix.

Step 1. Find and right-click the file you have difficulty in opening.

Step 2. Choose "Properties".

Step 3. Under the General tab, check the box next to "Unlock".

Step 4. Click "Apply" > "OK".

Method 3. Adjust Component Services Settings

By adjusting the component services, you are changing your Windows registry. Be careful and operate prudently.

Step 1. Click "Start" and enter dcom.

Step 2. Right-click "Component Services" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Expand "Component Services" > "Computers" > "My Computer".

Step 4. Right-click "My Computer" and choose "Properties".

Step 5. Switch to the "Default Properties" tab. Then set the value of Default Authentication Level as "Connect" and the "Default Impersonation Level" as "Identity".

Step 6. Click "Apply" > "OK".

Fix the file is corrupt and cannot be opened - Change Component Services settings

Method 4. Repair Excel/Word File with Third-Party Software

If, after applying all the solutions above, the error persists. This may be an indication of file corruption. When the file is corrupt, you cannot fix the error "the file is corrupt and cannot be opened" by changing the settings on your computer. Instead, if you want to access your file successfully, you need to repair the corrupted Excel files or Word documents with third-party file repair software.

The file is corrupted and cannot be opened - FAQs

1. How to Recover Lost Excel/Word Files

Although the hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard cannot help to restore a corrupted Excel, it will help you recover Microsoft Office files lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, or other reasons. Have you ever found that you lost important Excel, Word, or PowerPoint files on your computer or external storage devices? If so, use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and you can retrieve the files with a few simple clicks.

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing "Documents" from the drop-down list in "Filter". 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

2. How can I open a corrupted file?

To open a document after a file corruption error:

Step 1. Click File > Open > Browse and then go to the location or folder where the document (Word), workbook (Excel), or presentation (PowerPoint) is stored. ...
Step 2, Click the file you want, and then click the arrow next to Open, and click Open and Repair.

3. How do I fix a corrupted Excel file?

Step 1. Follow the temp file folder location on your PC and find the Excel temp files with TMP extension.

For Windows 8/10 users:

For Windows 7 users:

Step 2. Locate and find the temporary excel files begin with "$" or "~" and end with ".TMP".

Step 3. Copy these files and save them to another safe spot by changing the extension from.TMP to .XLS/.XLSX.

The Bottom Line

As long as your files are not really corrupted, you can fix the error "the file is corrupt and cannot be opened" in Excel or Word easily by changing your computer settings. However, if the file is corrupted and you have no backup available, the only chance for you to reaccess its content is to repair the file with professional repair software. Thus, I'd like to stress the importance of data backup. Whether you prefer manually copying files or using free backup software, you should back up your precious file regularly to avoid complete data loss.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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