Unable to Open Excel Files Directly by Clicking on the File Icon [Solved]

Can you open Excel files directly by clicking on the file icon? Keep reading this article to learn more about this error and its solutions. If your Excel files are corrupted or damaged, use EaseUS Fixo Document Repair for help.

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Are you attempting to double-click the icon of an Excel file to access it, but it is not working? Be at ease; you are not alone! However, unable to open excel files directly by clicking on the file icon is a pesky situation as this will deter you from accessing your Excel file or going through your file content. The "Excel files not opening" issue is common, which can be resolved with a few simple solutions. Let's get started!  

Solution 1. Fix Unable to Open Excel Files Caused by File Corruption with EaseUS Fixo Document Repair

The annoying error text "Excel file is corrupted and is unable to open" mainly emerges when users want to launch an Excel file that is built in an outdated version in a brand-new version of MS Excel, such as open a file built in Excel 2013/2010/2007 or earlier. Several users have been troubled by this error after upgrading the MS Office apps and demanding help online.

As the file corruption leads to this error, you can't fix that damaged file on your PC by altering the settings. Instead, suppose you would like to access the file successfully. In that case, you have to mend the damaged Excel files with premium software, the EaseUS Fixo Document Repair tool. 

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Being one of the most powerful file repair software, which can efficiently repair corrupted PDF and MS Office files, the major highlights of this software are the following:

Here are the detailed steps to repair corrupted Excel files with EaseUS Fixo Document Repair:

✨Step 1.  Download, install, and launch EaseUS Fixo Document Repair

You can download this repair tool with the download button we gave you or other official ways. After the installation, you can double-click the Fixo icon to launch it. Click "File Repair" > "Add Files" to select and repair damaged Word, Excel, PDF, and other documents.

add files to repair documents with Fixo

✨Step 2. Repair corrupted documents now

After adding the documents, you can click "Repair" to fix a document specifically or select "Repair All" to repair the whole files in the list altogether.

select documents to repair

✨Step 3. Preview and save repaired documents

Now, the files are ready to be saved. You can also click the eye icon to preview the documents. After clicking "Save All", select "View Repaired" in the pop-up window to locate these repaired files.

save repaired documents in Fixo

Download this powerful document repair software now! If this tool is beneficial, spread the word with your friends on social media.


Solution 2. Uncheck the DDE Option to Fix Cannot Open Excel by Clicking the Icon 

DDE, aka Dynamic Data Exchange broadens the way to share data and communicate with one another for Windows programs. Therefore, the best way to solve the inability to open Excel is to untick the DDE option. These are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Opt for the "File" tab.

Step 2. Opt for the "Options."

Step 3. Now, select "Advanced."

Step 4. Untick the box named "Ignore other apps that use DDE."

Solution 3. Turn Off Excel Add-ins to Solve Unable to Open Excel

This error "unable to open excel files directly by clicking on the file icon" also happened because of Excel and com add-in programs. These are the two leading types of add-ins located in a distinct folder. Now, you have to turn off and separate the conflict for testing by turning off each add-in at the moment. This way may also help you when Excel is running slow.

Follow the steps below to turn off Excel add-ins:

Step 1. Hit the "Options" from the "File" menu, and hit "add-ins."

Step 2. At the bottom of the screen of the "Manage" list, opt for the "COM Add-ins" item and hit "Go."

select com add ins

Step 3. Eliminate one add-in from the list, and hit "OK."

Step 4. Now, try to launch the Excel spreadsheet by double-clicking the symbol or the file name that you want to open.

The add-in you eliminated is the primary culprit if your Excel file is loaded. In that case, verifying if a new release exists is common by visiting the vendor's homepage.

You can disable the add-in if an updated version is not expected very soon or if it is unnecessary. But, if you have disabled the add-ins and are still failing to access the Excel file, a further problem might have to be fixed.

Solution 4. Repair Microsoft Excel And Fix Excel Not Opening

This solution entails repairing MS Office or Excel with the following steps:

Step 1. Navigate to the "Search" option from the "Taskbar."

Step 2. Search for "Control Panel" and select it.

Step 3. Opt for "Programs and Features" from the "All Control Panel Items" box.

Step 4. Opt for "MS 365."

Step 5. Select the "Change" button.

Step 6. Opt for "Online Repair" and hit the "Repair" option again.

choose online repair and then click repair

You can try this method if you encounter Excel opening a blank document.

If this post and especially this solution help you, you are recommended to share it on forums like Reddit:


Solution 5. Turn off Hardware Graphics Acceleration

You have to turn off the hardware acceleration until your video card manufacturer liberates a fix. Therefore, you must not forget to check out the fresh update for your video card driver. Go through the steps below to turn off Hardware Graphics Acceleration:

Step 1. Kickstart any Office 2013 program.

Step 2. Hit "Options" on the "File" tab.

Step 3. Select "Advanced" in the "Options" dialog box.

Step 4. Now, opt for the "Turn off hardware graphics acceleration" checkbox from the list of available options.

select disable hardware graphics acceleration

Step 5. Hit “OK.”

Solution 6. Change Your File Extension

MS Excel can be assigned as the default application to launch those Excel files straight by hitting the "File icon." These are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Move to "Search" from the "Taskbar."

Step 2. Search "Default app settings," and select it.

Step 3. Opt for "Choose default apps by file type."

Step 4. Select Excel for the preferred "File extensions."

This method may also be workable when Excel cannot open the file because the file format or extension is invalid.

Solution 7. Modify the Registry

You can effortlessly open "Excel files" by hitting the file icon by resetting Windows Registry to Factory default. These are the steps to modify the registry:

Step 1. Hit the "Search" option from the "Taskbar."

Step 2. Search "Run" and select it.

Step 3. Type excel.exe /regserver in the "Run" box.

type the command

Step 4. Hit "OK."

After completing these steps, you can open the Excel file directly by hitting the file symbol.

Solution 8. Reset File Associations

Go through the steps below to reset file associations:

Step 1. The "start" button needs to be right-clicked.

Step 2. Opt for "Control Panel."

Step 3. Hit "Programs" and then "Default Programs."

Step 4. Select "Set your default programs" under "Default Programs." A search procedure will start to find your default programs.

opt for set your default programs

Step 5. Opt for "Excel" from the list of default programs.

Step 6. Hit "Choose defaults for this program."

select choose defaults for this program

Step 7. Once the "Set Program Associations" screen will pop up, opt for "Select All."

opt for select all

Step 8. Opt for "Save", which begins the saving procedure, and finally select "OK."


Consider the below-mentioned FAQs to understand the topic better:

1. Why Excel files are not opening directly?

In case the Excel files don't open while double-clicking, you need to ensure that you're using the Excel app to launch the file. Often, having several spreadsheet programs downloaded on your device can cause non-Excel applications to default-launch your file. In that case, you need to right-click on the file > opt for "Open with,"> hit "Excel."

2. Why won't Excel open when I click on it?

The reason might be you're using a corrupted or outdated MS Office. In that case, Excel is not opening as it doesn't have some of the leading features needed to open the file.

3. When I double-click an Excel file it doesn't open?

The Excel file cannot determine what program to open when you attempt to access it because the file association is disrupted. Once more, this is easily fixed by just resetting the file associations. Many users who have updated their computer's OS or Excel frequently experience this problem.

Final Words

We've done everything we can to address the unable to open Excel files directly by clicking on the file icon problem and make file recovery simple in this post. Try the suggested fixes above to quickly and simply resolve the annoying inability to access Excel files immediately by clicking on the file icon problems. In case your Excel file is corrupted, which leads to this error, it's recommended to use file repair software like EaseUS Fixo Document Repair. 

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author Finley


Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.

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