Several users are reporting that their Excel program keeps generating the following error message when they try to lớn open a spreadsheet: ‘Excel found unreadable content’.

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Some affected users report that the issue only occurs with a particular document while others argue that the problem is occurring with every document that they try to open with Excel.

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‘Excel found unreadable content’ error

What is causing the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that some affected users have sầu deployed successfully to lớn resolve the issue. Based on what we gathered, there are several common culprits that are known khổng lồ trigger this particular issue:


Excel lacks administrator privileges – As it turns out, this particular error can occur if the user trương mục doesn’t have administrative sầu privileges when opening Excel. Several affected users have sầu managed to resolve the issue by forcing excel khổng lồ open with admin privileges before trying lớn open the XLS file.The tệp tin is perceived as read-only – There is an old, unresolved Office bug that will sometime cause Word và Excel files lớn be seen as read-only. This might end up triggering this particular error message. In this case, the solution is to lớn simply move sầu the tệp tin into a different thư mục khổng lồ refresh the permissions.The file needs to lớn be ‘sanitized’ – There are cases where Excel messes up the .XLS file in such a way that it either becomes unusable or it will trigger an error message every time the user tries to lớn open it. A popular fix in this particular scenario is lớn convert it to lớn a different format – either directly from Excel or by using another 3rd các buổi party Office suite like OpenOffice.Visual Basic Component is missing – This particular issue can also occur if your Office installation is missing the Visual Basic component. Forcing the Ofice Installation khổng lồ install the Visual Basic Component has resolved the issue for a lot of afected users.Excel Cađậy is full – As it turns out, you might also be encountering this particular issue if Excel’s cache becomes full and cannot store the file of the lastly opened document. In this case, the solution is to lớn simply close all files & then reopen Excel.The file is blocked – If you’ve sầu downloaded the excel tệp tin from the Internet or you’ve sầu recieved it via Thư điện tử, your operating system might have sầu blocked it for security reasons. If this scenario is applicable, you can resolve sầu the issue by unblocking the tệp tin.System dosen’t tư vấn hardware acceleration – On low specification systems, this particular issue is frequently reported if the system cannot allocate enough resources to support hardware acceleration. In this case, the sfix is khổng lồ access the Advanced Excel settings và disable hardware acceleration.

If you’re struggling to lớn resolve sầu the same error message, this article will provide you with several troubleshooting steps. Down below, you’ll find several potential repair strategies that users trying to resolve sầu the same problem have sầu successfully used.

If you want to lớn be as efficient as possible, follow the methods in the order that they are presented – they are ordered by efficiency and difficulty.

Method 1: Opening Excel with Admin privileges

One quiông xã fix that might circumvent the issue is khổng lồ open Excel as an administrator first, và only then open the Excel file that is triggering the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error. Most commonly, this is reported to occur on computers in which the active sầu user trương mục doesn’t have admin access.

Here’s a quichồng guide on ensuring that Excel has admin privileges before opening the file:

Right-clichồng on the Excel launcher and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control) cliông xã on Yes to lớn grant administrative sầu privileges.
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Running Excel as AdministratorOnce Excel is opened with admin privileges, open the tệp tin that was previously throwing the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error.
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Opening the affected tệp tin with Admin privileges

If you’re still seeing the same error message even when Excel is opened with admin privileges, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Moving the tệp tin into lớn a different folder

Although there’s no official explanation of why this fix is effective sầu, a lot of users have reported that hey successfully resolve the issue just by moving the Excel tệp tin from one thư mục to another.

If you’re after a quiông xã fix, simply cut & paste the tệp tin that is triggering the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error in a different location & see if the issue is resolved.

If this workaround doesn’t resolve the issue or you’re looking for a permanent fix, move down lớn the next methods below.

Method 3: Saving the file as Web Page

One popular workaround that a lot of affected users have reported as a “satisfactory” resolution to the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error is lớn save the file as a Web Page and then open the .html tệp tin in Excel and save sầu the file baông chồng lớn a .xls format.

While this doesn’t treat the source of the issue, it’s a fast workaround if you don’t have time lớn spend troubleshooting the issue thoroughly. Here’s what you need khổng lồ work around the error message by saving the file as Web Page:

mở cửa the page that is showing the error and click Yes at the error prompt. Then, go to lớn File, choose Save As và clichồng on browse. Next, type in a name for the tệp tin (next fo Filename) & select Web Page (.htm, html.) from the drop-down menu associate with Save sầu as type. Then, hit Save to lớn convert the file into lớn a .html tệp tin.
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Saving the Excel tệp tin as Web PageOpen Excel, và go to lớn File > Open & browse to the file that you previously converted lớn the HTML file format và choose Open.
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Opening the Web page tệp tin in ExcelOnce the HTML file is opened in Excel, go khổng lồ File > Save > Save sầu As và save sầu the tệp tin as Excel 97-2003 (.xls).
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Converting the file back lớn an XLS format

Once the file has been converted khổng lồ XLS, you should no longer be encountering the issue.But in case you’re still seeing the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error when trying lớn open the tệp tin, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Installing the Visual Basic component (Office 2010/2013)

As it turns out, this particular error can occur if the Visual Basic component is missing from your Office 2010 / Office 2013 installation. Several users that have sầu been encountering the issue with every .xlsm files that they tried to lớn open have reported that the issue was resolved after they forced the Visual Basic Component khổng lồ install on their computer.

Note: Some affected users have sầu reported that this particular issue was effective sầu even if they already had the Visual Basic Component installed. When you choose to lớn run VBA from your computer (as shown below), the installer will make a change on your office installation (which might resolve the issue automatically)

Here’s a quiông xã guide on forcing the Microsoft Office installation khổng lồ add the Visual Basic component:

Press Windows key + R lớn open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” & press Enter to open up the Programs và Features menu.Type appwiz.cpl và Press Enter lớn Open Installed Programs ListInside the Programs và Features window, scroll down through the menu of applications & locate your Microsoft Office installation (Microsoft Office Office 2010 / Microsoft Office 2013).Once you manage lớn locate the Office installation, right-clichồng on it and cliông xã on Change.
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Changing the installation of Microsoft OfficeOnce you arrive inside the Microsoft Office Setup window, choose Add or Remove sầu Features, then clichồng on Continue to advance.
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Microsoft Office Setup wizardScroll through the danh mục of add-ons that can be installed on Microsoft Office & expvà the drop-down thực đơn associated with Office Shared Features. Then, right-click on Visual Basic for Applications và choose Run from My Computer.
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Configuring Visual Basic for Applications khổng lồ install on your Office installationHit Continue, then follow the on-screen prompts to lớn complete the Microsoft Upgrade. Once the process is complete, restart your computer và see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.

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If you’re still encountering the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error when trying khổng lồ open an Excel file, move sầu down to lớn the next method below.