How to Repair “Excel Won’t Open” in Windows PC

Excel spreadsheet application is an indispensable tool on many workstations. Excel files often contain important company data or customer information. Microsoft’s application makes it easy to manage and analyze this data. If an Excel file won’t open, you need a quick and effective solution.

In this article, we will present you with methods to fix the most common causes of this problem.

What causes “Excel does not open”?

  • The cause of the problem is a Microsoft update.
  • The file you want to open with Excel is corrupted.
  • The Excel application may be corrupt and cannot be opened.
  • Incompatible or problematic add-ons are preventing Excel from opening.

How do I fix “Excel won’t open”?


Microsoft Office Repair

  1. While holding down the Windows key, press the R key. A Run dialog box will open.
  2. Type the following text in the Run field – ‘appwiz.cpl’. The Programs and Features dialog box opens.
  3. Find Microsoft Office in the list.
  4. Right-click on the ‘Microsoft Office’ option and click ‘Modify’ (if you see the ‘Restore’ option, click it).
  5. In the dialog box that appears, select the Quick Restore option.
  6. Click the Repair button.

Reset Excel file associations

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Click on Programs.
  3. Click on “Default Programs
  4. Click on “Set Default Programs.”
  5. In the “Default Programs” window that opens, scroll down to “Reset to Microsoft Recommended Defaults” and click “Reset”.

Turn off graphics hardware acceleration

  1. Open Excel applications.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click on Options.
  4. In the Excel Options dialog box that opens, click the Advanced tab in the left pane.
  5. Scroll down to the View settings.
  6. Enable the option – “Show Hardware Accelerated Graphics”.
  7. Click the OK button.

Uncheck the Ignore DDE checkbox

  1. Open the Excel file through the Start menu
  2. Click on the File tab.
  3. Click on Options.
  4. In the Excel Options dialog box that opens, click on the Advanced option in the left pane.
  5. Scroll down to the General section.
  6. Make sure that the “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)” option is disabled.
  7. Close the Excel Options dialog box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Try running Excel without add-ons and see if the problem goes away. Do one of the following: If you're using Windows 10, choose Start -> All Applications -> Windows System -> Run -> type Excel /safe in the Run box and click OK.

  1. Disable the Ignore DDE checkbox.
  2. Disable add-ons.
  3. Repair Microsoft Office.
  4. Reset Excel file associations.
  5. Turn off graphics hardware acceleration.

This problem may occur if you have the Ignore other applications with Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) option checked in Excel settings. As a result, the DDE message sent by Windows Explorer to Excel is ignored, and Excel does not open the workbook you double-clicked on.