7 Fixes To Solve “Unable To Open Excel Files Directly By Clicking On The File Icon” Issue

Trying to open Excel file directly by double-clicking on the file icon but it’s not opening? Or When you make a double click the excel icon, it takes starts but opens a blank screen?

Well, it’s a very annoying situation as this will prevent you to access your Excel file or see the content of your file. But you need not worry as here in this article we are describing the possible workarounds to easily repair Excel error file opens blank issue.

Here through this post you will get the best fixes to resolve cannot open Excel file by double clicking issue. So, that you can simply double click the Excel icon and access your workbooks.

How To Fix Unable To Open Excel Files Directly By Clicking On The File Icon Error

fix cannot open excel file by double clicking

To fix cannot open excel file by double-clicking issue just try the given manual methods, as this will effectively clear out all your Excel file not opening issue.

Method 1: Check The DDE Settings

The error Unable to open Excel files directly by clicking on file icon might appear due to the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) checkbox in Excel options is selected.

When you make double-tap over the Excel workbook windows explorer, a dynamic data exchange (DDE) is sent to excel. The message will allow excel user to open the workbook that you have a double click.

If you choose the “ignore option”, Excel ignores the DDE message that is sent to it, though other programs. Because of this only, the DDE message that is sent to excel by windows explorer is been ignored and excel does not open the workbook that you double-clicked.

To correct this setting, follow the steps given:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the General
  3. Clear the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box, and then click OK.


Note: In order to get more knowledge on, how to turn off DDE and see the following Microsoft knowledgebase articles.

211494 : “There was a problem sending the command to the program” error in Excel

Hope this will help you but if not then follow Method 2.

Method 2: Repair User Experience Virtualization (UE-V)

If you are running Update User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), install hotfix 2927019. To do this, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

2927019 Hotfix Package 1 for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization 2.0

If you are not sure whether you are running UE-V, examine the program list in the Program And Features items in control panel. An entry for “Company Settings Center” indicates that you are running UE-V.

Repair User Experience Virtualization

Method 3: Reset File Associations

Check out whether the file association in the system are performing correctly or not, reset the excel file associations to their default settings. Follow the steps for your respective operating system:

Windows 8

  • Click or open the Control Panel.
  • Tap to the Default Programs option, and then click Set your default programs.

  • Click Excel, and then click Choose default for this program.
  • On the Set Program Associations screen, click Select All, and then click Save.


Windows 7

  1. Tap Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Default Programs.
  3. Click Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program.
  4. Select Microsoft Excel Worksheet, and then click change program.
  5. Under Recommended Programs, click Microsoft Excel.
  6. If on the list, excel doesn’t appear then click the Browse Locate the Excel installation folder, click Excel.exe, and then click Excel.

If still, you getting the issue then go to method 4.

Method 4: Repair MS Office

Try to repair your office programs with the following steps mentioned here for your installation type and operating system.

For an Office 365 Click-to-Run installation

Windows 8

  • On the Start screen, type Control Panel.
  • Click or tap Control Panel.
  • Under Programs, click or tap Uninstall a program.
  • Click or tap Microsoft Office 365, and then click or tap Change.

Repair MS Office

  • Click or tap Online Repair, and then click or tap Repair. You may have to restart your computer after the repair process is finished.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Programs and Features.
  3. Tap Microsoft Office 365, and then click Change.
  4. Select Online Repair, and then click Repair. Note: You need to restart your PC after the repair process is complete.

Windows 7 office repair

For an Office 2013, Office 2010, or Office 2007 installation

 To repair Office 2007, office 2010, 2013, follow the steps in the following Office website topics:

Repair Office programs

Method 5: Turn off Excel Add-ins

Sometimes the problem also occurred due to Excel and com add-in programs. These two kinds of add-ins are located in a different folder. For testing, you need to disable and isolate the conflict by turning of each add-in one at a time. To do this, follow these steps:

  • From the File menu, click on the Options and then click Add-Ins.
  • In the Manage list at the bottom of the screen, select COM Add-Ins item, and then click Go.

Turn off EXCEL Add-ins

  • Remove one of the add-ins from the list, and then click OK.
  • Again try to open the excel workbook by double-clicking the icon or file name that you are trying to open.

If your excel file is loaded, the add-in you last cleared is the main culprit. For this situation, you are recommended to visits the manufacturer’s website for the add-in to learn whether an updated version of the add-ins is available or not. If there is not any newer version of add-in available or if you don’t have to use the add-in, you can leave it turned off.

But if your Excel file doesn’t get open even after turning off all the add-ins then the problem has a different cause and try method 6.

Method 6: Disable Hardware Acceleration

To work around this, you need to disable the hardware acceleration until a fix is released by your video card manufacturer.  So don’t forget to check out the latest update for your video card driver.

To disable hardware acceleration, follow these steps:

  • Start any Office 2013 program.
  • On the File tab, click Options.
  • In the Options dialog box, click Advanced.
  • From the list of available options, select the Disable hardware graphics acceleration checkbox.

Disable hardware acceleration

  • Click OK.

Note: to get more knowledge regarding this hardware acceleration, follow the other Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

2768648 Performance and display issues in Office 2013 client applications

If after trying the given solution you are still experiencing unable to open Excel files directly by clicking on the file icon problem. Then contact Microsoft Support for additional troubleshooting help. Or else you can also make use of the automatic MS Excel Repair Tool.

Automatic Solution To Fix Excel File Not Opening On Double Click Issue 

Automatic Solution To Fix Excel File Not Opening On Double Click Issue 

If you are unable to open Excel files directly by clicking on the file icon then the chances are also that your Excel file is somehow got corrupted. So, at that time it’s better to approach for a reliable solution to fix Excel file corruption issue.

Undoubtedly the above-mentioned manual solution will most probably resolve the Excel file not opening on double click in 2016/2013/2010/2007 Excel file.

But if in case it fails to works then the best option left now is to make use of MS Excel Repair Tool. This is highly competent in restoring corrupt Excel files and also retrieves data from worksheets like cell comments, charts, and other data & worksheet properties. This is a professionally designed program that can easily repair .xls and .xlsx files and recovers entire data without any modification.

Try Now       Buy Now
* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:

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Here in this article, we have tried our best to provide ample solutions to fix Excel file not opening on double click issue and recovers the file easily. Try the given solution and get rid of this irritating unable to open excel files directly by clicking on the file icon issues easily and effortlessly.

Good Luck!!!  

Priyanka is a 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.