[8 Fixes] Excel Found Unreadable Content In Filename .xlsx Error

Are you the one struggling with the Excel found unreadable content error and looking for some easy fixes to troubleshoot this?

Here check out the complete information to fix unreadable content in Excel error. As this article covers best applicable fixes that can help you to get easy access to your Excel file and it’s data.

What Does Excel Found Unreadable Content Error Means?

Here is the complete declaration of the error message:

“Excel found unreadable content in ‘[filename].xlsx’. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.”

excel found unreadable content

If you press the “yes” option, then you may further face any of these two error message:

Scenario 1:

“Excel was able to open the file by repairing or removing the unreadable content. Excel recovered your formulas and cell values, but some data may have been lost. Click to view log file listing repairs errorxxx.xml.”

The above message clearly indicates that your Excel workbook will get open, but chances are high that your images or data inconsistence may happen.

Scenario 2:

The file is corrupt and cannot be opened”.

After getting this error message your Excel file denies to get open.

What Causes ‘Excel Unreadable Content’ Error?

It is quiet difficult to find out what leads to “Excel Unreadable Content in filename.xlsx” error. This is because the error occur either due to the corruption of Excel file or corruption issue occurred in certain areas like styles, pivot table or formulas etc.

But it is important to know the exact reason behind this error as this will help you in approaching towards the right direction of solution.

So, let’s find out all its factors:

  • When your Excel cache is completely full. In such situation Excel fails to save any your document. To get out of this problem, close entire files and try to save it again.
  • If some conflict occurred between MS Office version and your XLSX/XLS files then also you won’t be able to access your file. To deal with this, simply convert the file into some other format and then try to access its content.
  • Another reason behind Excel found unreadable content in .xlsx  error can be that you are not having the administrative access for the file. So to fix this, you need to try opening the file after gaining the administrative access.
  • Incomplete or improper installation can also be the reason behind this error. As in such cases, some important components like visual basic of Excel go missing. So you need to make proper installation of Excel application.
  • Maybe you are using low configuration system or older version of software. For this you need to disable hardware acceleration or use the advanced Excel settings.
  • Chances are also that your Excel file is opened as read-only document. For resolving this issue you need to transfer the file onto some other location in your PC and try to open it again.
  • May be your PC’s security feature is blocking your Excel file to get easily accessible. So turn off the antivirus or windows firewall for few minutes and try opening your Excel file.
  • Last but not the least the reason behind this specific unreadable content error message is corruption of the Excel file.

How To Fix ‘Excel Found Unreadable Content In filename.xls’ Error?

1# Open Your Excel File With Admin Privileges

2#  Make the Excel File ‘Read-only’

3# Try To Open Your File In Excel 2003

4# Move Excel File To A New Folder

5# Install Visual Basic Component

6# Repair Corrupt Xls/Xlsx File

7# Unlock your Blocked Excel File

8# Disabling Hardware acceleration

Check out the detailed steps to perform these fixes…..!

Fix 1: Open Your Excel File With Admin Privileges

Before trying any of these below mentioned fixes, run your Excel application with administrator privileges. As mostly it is seen that such type of Excel error commonly encountered on the PC in which it’s active user account won’t have the admin privileges’.

Here is the complete step to get ensure that Excel has got the admin privileges before opening the file:

  • Make a right-click over the Excel launcher and then select Run as Administrator option.

Open Your Excel File With Admin Privileges

  • Now on your screen you will get dialog box of UAC (User Account Control) where you need to press “Yes” option to allow administrative privileges.

Open Your Excel File With Admin Privileges 1

  • Now when the Excel gets opened with admin privileges. After that try to run that particular file which is showing ‘excel found unreadable content in .xlsx’ error. If still you are getting the same error message then try the following workarounds.

Fix 2#  Make The Excel File ‘Read-only’

Try opening your ‘.xlsx’ file in ‘read-only’ format. Here is how to perform this task:

  • On your Excel window tap to the ‘File’ tab.
  • Choose the ‘Save’ option for saving new document or ‘Save As’ for a already saved document.

Make Excel File Read-only

  • In the opened dialog box of ‘Save As’ you have to tap Tools > General Options.

Make Excel File Read-only 2

  • In the opened window of General Options, put a check mark across the ‘Read-only recommended’ option and hit OK button. This will make your Excel document read-only.

Make Excel File Read-only 3

  • Open a new ‘.xlsx’ file and then copy entire data from corrupt Excel file to this new one.
  • At last, save your Excel file and once more try opening it.

Fix 3# Try To Open Your File In Excel 2003

As in the reason we have already discussed that versions mismatch also leads to Excel found unreadable content error.

To fix this issue, you should try opening the error showing file in Excel 2003. If your excel file gets open with it then save your data in web page file format(.html) and then check whether it is opening in Excel 2010/2007.

To perform this task, go through this step by step procedure:

  • Open your .xls file in Excel 2003 version.
  • Once it gets open, just make a tap on the File > Save tab.
  • From the opened dialog box of ‘Save As’, select Web Page (.html) format as your Excel file ‘Save as type’. Hit the ‘Save’ option.

Save The File In HTML Format

  • After doing this you will see that all your xls file data gets saved in .html file format.
  • Now try opening this html file in your Excel 2007/2010 application. It’s time to save your html format file with .xlsx extension. But save it new name otherwise it will overwrite your original file.

Fix 4# Move Excel File To A New Folder

Another solution that you can try to access ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error file is by shifting the file to some other folder and then saving it with some new name.

Besides this, you can also try saving your affected file to new some any other new folder and then try opening it.

Fix 5# Install Visual Basic Component

It is observed that installing the ‘Visual Basic’ component of MS Office 2010 resolves the error message. You can apply the steps mentioned below in order to proceed with the steps to fix the issue:

  • Move to Control Panel> Programs > select Microsoft Office 2010.
  • After that click Change-> Add or Remove Programs. Now click the ‘plus’ sign provided next to Office Shared Features at the bottom of this list.
  • After this, click Visual Basic for Applications and right-click and Select Run from My Computer.
  • Click Continue.
  • Next thing you need to do is to reboot your system when this process finishes in order getting the data recovered after fixing the issue.

Hope after following the solutions Excel found unreadable content error is fixed, but if in case not yet then make use of the automatic solution to fix the error easily.

Fix 6# Repair Corrupt Xls/Xlsx File

If in case, all the above workaround fails to resolve Excel found unreadable content in filename .xlsx error. Then it means your Excel file is got corrupted very badly and you need to repair it immediately.

For easy handling of such situation, use the expert’s recommended Excel repair software.

As it is the best software that repairs corrupt Excel worksheets without making any changes in their original content and formatting.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Not only this, it allows to recovers the entire data including charts, cell comments, worksheet properties and other data. It can recover the corrupt Excel file to a new blank file. It is extremely easy to use even a novice user can use it and supports both Windows as well as Mac operating system.

Fix 7# Unlock your Blocked Excel File

This particular error message also comes when the excel file you are trying to access is blocked. Mainly this issue arises with downloaded or email received Excel files.

Follow down the steps to unblock Excel file:

  • Use of the File Explorer to browse the file’s location.
  • Make a right-click over the Excel file and then choose the Properties option.
  • Within the Properties sections just go to the General. Hit the Unblock option and make a tap over the Apply option to save all the done changes.

unblock excel file

  • Retry opening your Excel file to check whether you are still getting the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error.

Fix 8# Disabling Hardware acceleration

If resources of the PC are insufficient in supporting hardware acceleration then also this unreadable content error occurs.

You can disable this Hardware graphics acceleration by accessing the advanced Microsoft Excel settings.

Negative point of this solution is that your Excel program will start responding very low but this solution is overall quiet effective.

Here is the complete step to disable hardware acceleration on MS Office:

  • Go to the File tab then tap the Options button.
  • Within the opened window of Excel Options hit the Advanced tab which is present on the left pane.
  • Now go to the advanced tab, and move down to the Display Put a check across the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option.

disable hardware graphics acceleration 4

  • Hit the Ok button to apply all the done changes. After that restart your Excel application to see all your done changes into effect.

Final Verdict:

So, this is all about the Excel found unreadable content in .xlsx error.

Follow the given manual as well as automatic solutions to fix Excel found unreadable  content error.

Hope the given solutions help you to recovers excel file data.

Apart from that, it is recommended to make handle the Excel file properly and make a valid backup of the data stored in it to overcome the data loss situation in future.

Good Luck!!!



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FIX: Excel Found Unreadable Content In Filename .xls Error
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FIX: Excel Found Unreadable Content In Filename .xls Error
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While opening excel file facing excel found unreadable content error in filename .xls error, then try to install a Visual basic component, doing this will help you to fix unreadable content in Excel error permanently...
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Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.