How to Fix 'The file format and extension of don't match' Excel

Check out 6 quick fixes here if you're baffled by 'The file format and extension of don't match' error in Excel. Download 4DDiG File Repair to fix any Excel-related issues.

5 mins read

Updated on 2024-05-16 16:35:22 to File Tips

In Excel: "The file format and Extension don't match."

"This error is coming repeatedly even, I am clicking on Yes, and the file is corrupted. How do I repair my file? Is there any solution to recover my file?"

the file format and extension of dont match

Ever been hit by this excel file format and extension don't match error? If you're nodding along, you're not alone. In this article, we'll unravel the key reasons behind this error and arm you with six solutions tailored to different scenarios. Plus, we'll share some helpful tips to steer clear of this issue in the future. Let's bid farewell to this error!

I. What Does "The file format and extension of don't match" Mean?

"The file format and extension of don't match" error in Excel means the file you're opening was saved in a different format than its extension. For example, if you have a file with a ".xlsx" extension (indicating it's an Excel workbook) but the file itself is not in the Excel workbook format, Excel may fail to recognize the file's true format and display this error.

This issue can happen due to reasons such as:

  • The file is given a wrong file extension.
  • Blocked properties in Excel email attachments.
  • The file is incompatiable with your Excel version.
  • Enabled Protected Views on your PC.
  • The Excel file is corrupted.

II. How to Fix "The file format and extension of don't match" Excel

Now that you're aware of why you got the file format and extension of don't match when opening Excel, let's try to fix it. Here, we've mentioned seven ways that have proven effective for most users.

Way 1. Change the File Extension

The most common reason the Excel file format and extension error occur is incompatibility between the extension and format. Therefore, change the file extension if it doesn't match the type of Excel file it's supposed to be. For instance, if it should be an Excel 97-2003 Workbook, the extension should be .xls. Here's what to do:

  • First, open "File Explorer" and click the "View" tab.
  • In the menu bar, find the "show/hide group." Check the "File Name Extensions" option and you will be able to see the filename extensions of all of your files.

    change excel file extension to fix file format and extension don't match
  • Head to the location of your problematic Excel file. Right-click on it, choose rename, and change the extension to .xls, .xlsx, or .xlsm.

Way 2. Open with Different Excel Versions

Microsoft Excel versions have varying default file formats. Older versions (2003 and below) default to .xls, while newer ones (2007 and later) use .xlsx. Therefore, if the Excel version you're using doesn't support the Excel file you're trying to open, use different Excel versions to open the file.

Way 3. Unblock the Excel File

The "Excel file format and extension don't match" error can happen when the file is blocked at the properties level. This occurs when you attempt to open an Excel file from external sources like email attachments or downloaded files. To resolve this, you can unblock the Excel file by adjusting its properties:

  • Choose the problematic Excel file, right-click on it, and head to "Properties."
  • Click the "General" tab, go to the "Security" section, then tick "Unblock" and press "OK."

    unblock excel file to fix file format and extension of don't match

Your Excel file will be unblocked. Now try reopening your Excel file to see if the file format and extension of don't match error is gone.

Way 4. Disable the Protected View

The "file extension does not match the format of the file" error in Excel might be due to the file being protected. In this case, check and try turning off the Protected View settings:

  • Open Excel's File menu, click "Options."

    disable protected view to fix excel the file format and extension don't match-1
  • Go to "Trust Center " from the left pane and click the "Trust Center Settings" button.

    disable protected view to fix excel the file format and extension don't match-2
  • Pick "Protected View," and turn off the three options under it. Click "OK" and you're good to go.

    disable protected view to fix excel the file format and extension don't match-3

Way 5. Use the ‘Open and Repair' Feature

Corruption can also trigger the "file format and extension of don't match" error. If your file is corrupted, you can fix it using Microsoft's built-in Open and Repair feature. Here's how to use it:

  • In Excel, hit "File," then "Open," and choose the corrupted Excel file.

  • Instead of opening it directly, press the arrow next to the drop-down "Open" menu. Choose "Open and Repair."

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  • Hit "Repair" to salvage data. After the fix, Excel will show a message—click "Close."

    use open and repair feature to fix the file format and extension of don't match excel-2

Way 6. Repair Corrupted Excel File with 4DDiG File Repair

The "Open and Repair" feature in Excel may not always work to fix the corrupted file, especially when the damage is severe. However, a dedicate Excel Repair tool like 4DDiG File Repair is designed to repair various file types, including Excel workboots deemed irreparable. Here's what the tool can do:

  • Fix severely corrupted and damaged Excel workbooks.
  • Repair tables, charts, formulas, etc, in Excel files with high success.
  • Compatible with various Excel versions and file formats, both old and the latest.
  • Supports both macOS and Windows file systems.
  • Works well on all internal and external storage devices.
  • Batch repair files of multiple formats in one go.

Here's how to fix the file format and extension of don't match Excel with 4DDiG File Repair:

  • Add Corrupted Excel Files

    Download and launch the tool on your PC, then head to "File Repair" and add your corrupted Excel file or files, either by clicking "Add File(s)" or dragging them in.

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    repair corrupted file to fix excel file format and extension don't match-1
  • Repaired Corrupted Excel Files

    Click "Start Repair" and let the tool fix any errors. After it's done, preview the repaired files in "View Results."

    repair corrupted file to fix excel file format and extension don't match-2
  • Save Repaired Excel Files

    Ensure each file is repaired accurately, then save them by hitting "Export" and choosing a destination folder.

    repair corrupted file to fix excel file format and extension don't match-3

III. How to Avoid "The file format and extension of don't match"

To prevent the "Excel the file format and extension don't match" error from appearing in the future, follow some preventative measures below:

  • Avoid changing the original Excel file extension, especially for downloaded files. Double-check any extension changes to ensure they accurately reflect the file's format.
  • Avoid opening and downloading Excel files from unknown sources or clicking suspicious email links to prevent malware that could corrupt Excel files.
  • Ensure you have the latest Excel version to prevent compatibility issues with older file formats. Regularly check for and install updates.
  • Create regular backups of your Excel files on external drives or cloud storage services. This is to have a restore option if you encounter an error and cannot recover your Excel file.
  • If the Excel file extension doesn't match the expected format, consider redownloading the file.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, the lowdown on "the file format and extension of don't match" error. We've cracked the code on why it happens and how to fix file format and extension don't match with six solid ways, no matter the scenario. But if corruption is the culprit behind this error, look no further than 4DDiG File Repair. This powerhouse of a tool not only fixes severely corrupted Excel files but seamlessly restores content like tables, charts, and formulas.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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