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Excel 2016 won't open .xls format (97-2003) files RRS feed

  • Question

  • Excel 2016 was recently installed as part of Office 365 - on my work laptop. My IT dept. said Excel 2016 cannot open .xls files; I need an older version of Excel. That's baloney as the guy sitting next to me can open them. So while I wait for my IT to figure something out, I need some help.
    Friday, August 12, 2016 9:49 PM

Answers

  • In general, Excel 2016 can open .xls files created in Excel 95 or later, and with a simple change in the Excel Options, even .xls files created in Excel 2 or later.

    But after an update released last month (July 2016), Excel refused to open files downloaded from the internet or from e-mail that were actually .html files, but whose extension has been changed to .xls. This has been corrected in an update released this month (August 2016).

    So you should be OK.


    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 8:35 AM
  • Hi,

    As Hans Vogelaar said you can get the information from this link:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3181507

    Hope it's helpful.


    Regards

    Emi Zhang

    TechNet Community Support

    Please mark the reply as an answer if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.



    Monday, August 15, 2016 9:52 AM

All replies

  • In general, Excel 2016 can open .xls files created in Excel 95 or later, and with a simple change in the Excel Options, even .xls files created in Excel 2 or later.

    But after an update released last month (July 2016), Excel refused to open files downloaded from the internet or from e-mail that were actually .html files, but whose extension has been changed to .xls. This has been corrected in an update released this month (August 2016).

    So you should be OK.


    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 8:35 AM
  • Hi,

    As Hans Vogelaar said you can get the information from this link:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3181507

    Hope it's helpful.


    Regards

    Emi Zhang

    TechNet Community Support

    Please mark the reply as an answer if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.



    Monday, August 15, 2016 9:52 AM
  • It is December and all of my updates are current.  My Excel 16 still won't open my .xls files.
    Friday, December 1, 2017 6:43 PM
  • Check File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings... > File Block Settings.

    Make sure that the check boxes for Excel 97-2003 Workbooks and Templates, and for Excel 95-97 Workbooks and Templates have NOT been ticked.


    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Friday, December 1, 2017 7:08 PM
  • This did not help me at all.  Still unable to open anything sent to me xls in Office 365 Excel.  I have all updates.  Those boxes are not checked in the Trust center.  I use to be able to open the sheets, but now I can not.  :(
    • Proposed as answer by SAshton3 Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:22 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by SAshton3 Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:22 PM
    Wednesday, December 20, 2017 6:18 PM
  • I have had this problem today, installed Office 365 on a new computer and could not open excel 97-2003. I solved this by doing the following:

    - Right click on the document
    - Click 'open with'
    - The option for excel was not showing so clicked more programs then find program.
    - Went to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 then clicked the excel application.

    Not sure if its the same problem but may be worth a try!

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:27 PM
  • I've got exactly the same problem.  Checked all the same things and there are no issues that I can see.

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018 2:16 PM
  • Worked for me
    Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:59 AM