Fixed: The File is Corrupted and Cannot be Opened in Word/Excel

Sometimes we will get "The files is corrupted and cannot be opened" error in Word/Excel. But we can solve this problem with some ways. Although if the methods did not work, you can still recover the lost Excel or Word files by 4DDiG.

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2023-06-02 14:14:21 to Office Recovery

File corruption has been a crucial issue for users around the world who have lost their precious data to the error. Microsoft Excel would show a pop-up stating “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened.” each time when you try to open a malfunctioning file. Are you suffering from a similar situation and want a way out? Well, we have got six verified fixes that shall help you fix the trouble and retrieve your old files again.

the file is corrupted and cannot be opened

Part 1: 6 Fixes for "the file is corrupted and cannot be opened" Error

Getting this "the file is corrupted and cannot be opened" error is really annoying since the corrupted file is so important to us. But don't worry, here we have gathered 6 ways to fix this problem. Let's introduce them one by one with detailed steps. Follow on.

Fix 1: Change Component Services Settings

An Excel/Word file might be declared corrupted due to multiple reasons. Although the pop-up indicates that the file is corrupted, at most of the occasions, it isn’t an error in the file but a minor alteration in your component service settings. Thus, to fix “the file is corrupted and cannot be opened”, we would need to reset the component service settings.

Step 1: Press the “Windows + R” buttons together and search for “dcomcnfg.”

Step 2: Expand the “component services” and select “my computer” from the left column.

Step 3: In the opening column, Right-click “my computer” and open properties.

Step 4: Head to default properties and set the settings as below:

  • Default authentication level: Connect
  • Default Impersonation Level: Identify
change component service settings

Step 5: Click “OK” to save the settings.

Fix 2: Uncheck Protected View Options

The protected view option restricts the file usage to a read-only mode where the user can’t make any adjustments to the file. A file exported from the internet or through the mail might have the protected view option enabled, thus causing “the file is corrupted and cannot be opened” error. In such a case, we would need to disable the protected view options to eliminate the error.

Step 1: Launch word/Excel at your computer and head to the “Files” menu.

Step 2: Open the trust center and then look for trust center settings.

Step 3: Click on protected view and uncheck all the checkboxes in the tab.

Step 4: Click “OK” and restart the software.

uncheck protected view

Fix 3: Unlock the Corrupted File

Another reason behind the error can be a file lock. In case of an attempt to open a locked file, a "corrupt file" error shall come up in excel/word. In order to retrieve this file, we would need to unlock it, and the steps below shall help you do it.

1. Head to the “corrupted file” in your explorer and Right-Click on it.

2. Select “Properties” from the menu and go to the “general” bar.

3. Tick the “unlock” box and Apply the settings.

Fix 4: Repair MS Office Application

We have only considered potential faults in the files as of now, but there is a fair chance that the “the file is corrupted and cannot be opened” error appears due to the malfunctioning of the Microsoft office application. A virus infection or malware attack would often be a cause behind discrepancies in your stored data and might lead to the applications' inappropriate functioning. In order to overcome the trouble, we would need to repair the software. The following steps shall elaborate on the procedure to fix an application.

1. In the start’s menu, look for “Control Panel” in the sub-column.

2. Head to the “Microsoft Office” Application.

3. From the top menu, select “change.”

4. A repair screen shall follow, select “Quick Repair,” and confirm your call.

repair office 365

Fix 5: Use Open and Repair Feature

Open and Repair document is an excellent feature for recovering word documents you've made on, but you were unable to save them directly in your system. You can retrieve the document by following the below-stated guidelines:

1. Launch MS Word on your system and go to the "File" tab.

2. Under the File tab, click on the "Open" option.

3. Now, locate the corrupted Word document file. Click on the file and then press the arrow next to the Open button, then select the "Open and repair" option.

open and repair feature

Tips: If the error still appears, follow the same steps. But this time, you need to select the "Recover Text from Any File" option from the dialog box.

Fix 6: Change File Extension (Excel Only)

After trying the above-mentioned way, if you are still facing the error, the last resort is to change the file extension. Many MS Word users have reported that changing the file extension has helped them to fix the problem. However, this method is only suitable for excel files. Here is the procedure to change the file extension:

Step 1: Run "Command Prompt" on your system.

Step 2: In the command prompt window, type the drive letter where the corrupted excel file is saved and press the "Enter" button.

Step 3: After entering into the destination drive in command prompt just type the below command: ren (old _filename.extension)(new_filename.extension). Make sure to replace the file name in the above command. (e.g., ren letter.xlsx letter updated.xls)

change excel file extension

People Also Ask: Recover Lost Excel/Word Files if "The file is corrupted and cannot be opened"

Most people have asked about the best solution to fix "the file is corrupted and cannot be openned". Once you have tried all the solutons above but they are all not working. Then you can try to recover the lost Excel or Word documents of its original version. Thus, you can give Tenorshare 4DDiG a try. It is one of the most trusted and widely used data recovery tools to retrieve the lost or deleted content on all your storage devices. Furthermore, the tool is available for both Mac and Windows users. The main highlights of Tenorshare 4DDiG are:

  • Allows recovering data from lost or formatted partition.
  • Repairs corrupted documents, videos and images.
  • It offers two modes for data scanning, which include Deep Scan and Normal Scan.
  • Recover 1000+ file types, including Excel 2017, Office 365, Excel 2007, Word 2016, Excel 2013, Powerpoint, PDF, photos, videos, music.

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Let’s learn to use Tenorshare 4DDiG to retrieve the lost data:

Launch Tenorshare 4DDiG. Choose the location where you want to recover your lost excel/word to start Scan.

4ddig interface

Onece you click on the Scan button, 4DDiG will scan out your lost or corrupted Excel/Word files.

scan corrupted excel/word

When the scan is completed, select the files that need to be retrieved and click on the Recover button.

recover corrupted excel/word

Final Words

Let's review what we've got from this guide. In this guide, we discussed the six different methods to fix “the file is corrupted and cannot be opened” error. If all of them failed to solve your problem, using Tenorshare 4DDiG is the most convenient choice and has the highest success rate to get the corrupted file back.

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