How to Fix Excel’s “Unreadable Content” Error

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Frustrated by Excel giving you nan “unreadable content” error? Here's really to quickly hole it and get backmost to moving successful your spreadsheets.

Excel logo displayed connected a laptop

Microsoft Excel is still nan astir celebrated prime erstwhile it comes to analyzing data, creating charts, aliases uncovering information. So erstwhile Excel encounters nan "unreadable content" error, it whitethorn extremity you from moving successful a spreadsheet. However, you tin quickly get free of nan correction by trying nan solutions below.

1. Launch Excel arsenic an Administrator

There’s a chance Excel is showing nan unreadable contented correction because it lacks nan basal permissions to entree and edit nan file. Right-click Microsoft Excel’s executable record and prime Run arsenic administrator.

If moving Excel pinch administrative privileges fixes nan issue, you should ever run Microsoft 365 apps arsenic an administrator.

2. Unblock nan Excel File

If moving Excel arsenic an administrator didn't hole nan issue, you should cheque if nan record isn’t blocked. Usually, this happens pinch documents from an outer source.

Right-click nan Excel record and caput to Properties. Then, prime nan General tab. At nan bottommost of nan Properties window, cheque nan Unblock option. Click Apply > OK to prevention nan caller file’s settings and effort to unfastened it again.

3. Repair nan File With Excel

Most of nan time, Excel shows nan “Unreadable content” correction erstwhile you effort to unfastened a corrupted spreadsheet. Fortunately, Excel has a built-in repair instrumentality that you tin use. Here’s really you tin do it:

  1. Launch Microsoft Excel.
  2. Select Open.
  3. Click Browse and head to nan problematic file’s location.
  4. Select nan spreadsheet.
  5. Click connected nan Open drop-down menu.
    Open dialog container Excel
  6. Choose Open and Repair.
  7. Click Repair successful nan pop-up window.
    Excel Workbook Repair

If Excel cannot repair nan spreadsheet, effort to retrieve arsenic overmuch information arsenic possible. Go done nan instructions again, but this time, prime Extract Data successful nan pop-up window.

4. Move nan Excel File

While this whitethorn beryllium a weird trick, moving nan record to a caller location mightiness beryllium capable to lick Excel’s unreadable contented error. Moving nan record should exclude nan anticipation of a folder-related aliases strategy record issue.

If you’re accessing it from an outer retention device, transcript it to your computer. The aforesaid goes if you’re utilizing a unreality retention service. Additionally, rename nan record aft relocating it to make judge you are not overwriting nan original file.

5. Download nan File Again

If nan problem is constricted to an Excel spreadsheet, you mightiness beryllium dealing pinch a corrupted aliases incomplete file. Maybe thing went incorrect during nan download, aliases nan record is infected pinch viruses aliases malware. You tin scan nan record for immoderate imaginable threats, redownload nan file, aliases inquire nan sender for different copy.

Additionally, nan record mightiness go unreadable during nan decryption process. While encrypting your files will support them secure, make judge it does not origin immoderate issues erstwhile it comes to accessing aliases sharing nan file.

6. Make nan Excel File Read-Only

Another measurement to activity astir Excel’s unreadable contented correction is to unfastened nan record utilizing nan Read-Only option. To do so, motorboat Excel and spell to Open > Browse. Then, click connected the spreadsheet and prime nan Read-Only option.

Open nan spreadsheet utilizing nan read-only option

If Excel tin now unfastened nan file, retrieve you can’t edit its content. Instead, transportation nan information to a caller spreadsheet, truthful you person a moving Excel sheet.

7. Use an Excel Alternative

If you support moving into nan aforesaid error, nary matter which record you’re trying to open, Excel could beryllium nan 1 causing nan issue. In this case, you tin temporarily switch to an Excel alternative. You tin still position and edit your spreadsheets until you hole Excel.

Get Excel Working Again

It tin beryllium frustrating erstwhile Excel runs into nan “unreadable content” error—especially if you’ve antecedently worked connected that spreadsheet without immoderate issues. However, knowing these troubleshooting steps will thief you quickly hole Excel erstwhile it plans connected going astray by itself.

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