[2020] 8 Ways to Fix Excel Unreadable Content Error

meet excel unreadable content in xlsx

All the Software from Microsoft Office has been a big part of the lives of almost every professionals. And Microsoft Excel is no different. But recently when the users upgraded from MS Excel 2003 to MS Office 2010, they are faced with Excel found unreadable content 2010 xlsx issues. This Excel found unreadable content 2007 or 2010 issues can get out of hand and can be very frustrating for users if they are in the middle of making a report or any other complex task. Without further ado, let us find out how to resolve Excel unreadable content xlsx issue.

Part 1: 7 Free Methods to Fix Excel Unreadable Content

1. Use Read-Only Mode

Opening the file on ‘read-only’ mode has been seen to solve this issue. So to do that you will have to click on your file with Excel found unreadable content in xlsm issue and select the option for ‘save’ or ‘save as’ in case the file already saved. Now when the window pops up, you will have click on the ‘tools’ to find the ‘General options’. From then you can click on ‘read-only’.

After creating this file, try to create a new .xls file and copy the previous date form the corrupted file and paste it in this new one.

choose general options to use read only mode to fix excel unreadable content

2. Change File Type

Sometimes due to incompatible file types, Excel found unreadable content xlsm error is shown. On the previous versions of MS Excel, like the MS Excel 2003, the files are saved as XLS extension by default. In the case of MS Excel 2007 or anything above, the Default is XLSX format.

So you can change the default file type to any other file type that is supported by your version of MS Excel to resolve this issue.

To do that you have to:

  • Open the File tab on MS Excel.
  • Click on ‘change file type’ from the export option.
  • Now click save as and choose your desired file extension.
click save as to change file type

3. Save Excel File as .html

You can also export the Excel file to HTML to resolve Excel found unreadable content xlsm issues.

To do this:

  • Open MS Excel and navigate your way to “Save as’ option.
  • From the save as type option choose .html.
  • Under the save option, you will find Selection: sheet.
  • Now click publish to open a Publish as web window.
save the file as html

4. Reinstall Excel Completely

“When nothing works, start it all over” is a rule of thumb followed by many professionals, and for good reasons also. When an unexpected error occurs, many a time the main reason behind is not because of a corrupted file but a corrupted software itself. So sometimes it is better to just install a fresh copy of the same version of MS Office or MS Excel or an upgrade if available.

reinstall excel

And a fresh copy of MS Excel may open the file you were trying to use with ease, without any Error whatsoever.

5. Unblock the File

In the modern era, cybersecurity and the security of your data has been a very serious issue. This is why most of us opt for protecting the file. But protecting the file can cause Excel unreadable content issues.

To unprotect the file, simply open the file and click on the protected sheet. Now select the protected data (if there are many) and simply click on “Unprotect sheet”. The data will be unlocked immediately.

You can also unprotect a password protected sheet if you have lost it. In this case:

  • Press ALT + F11.
  • Now click on the spreadsheet that is protected by the password.
  • Copy and paste the code shown into the window.

    Sub PasswordBreaker() Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer Dim i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer On Error Resume Next For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66 For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66 For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66 For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126 ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _ Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _ Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n) If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then MsgBox "One usable password is " & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _ Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _ Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n) Exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next End Sub

  • You can simply manipulate the code here and remove the codes responsible for the protection and you are good to go.
  • You can also Change external content settings for your MS Excel Found on Trust center to completely unblock your file and resolve the issue.

Also, you can use a software to unprotect the spreadsheet. Here we recommend Pssfab for Excel. Just follow several simple steps you can unlock the spreadsheet.

  • Launch the software and choose "Remove Excel Restriction Password".

    choose remove excel restriction password
  • Import your Excel File and click "Remove".
  • Wait for a few moments and the password will be removed.
  • 6. Reopen Excel

    A simple reopening can go a long way to solving random errors in opening a file. When you open a file on MS Excel, the data is stored from your HDD or SDD to your Random access memory. This is a volatile memory that can corrupt the data in case of power fluctuation or other system problems.

    To prevent the “Excel found unreadable content xlsx” issues, you should try to close the MS Excel file and reopen Excel. This refreshing process sometimes can solve the problem.

    7. Disable Hardware Acceleration

    In general, it is always advised for you to enable hardware acceleration to get the most out of your application performance. But it takes more juice out of the battery of your laptop if it is turned on. However, you can try switching this feature off by:

    • From start menu go into the settings.
    • Click on your display settings.
    • Choose advance settings and go to Troubleshoot tab.
    • Now move the hardware acceleration slider to disable it.
    disable hardware acceleration to fix unreadable content

Part 2: Repair Excel through Stellar Repair for Excel

If the conventional methods do not work or seem complicated to you, then there is always Stellar Repair for Excel. It is in excellent application to recover your precious corrupted data from the Excel file. And here is how to use it.

Step 1: Download the Stellar Repair application for Excel and run the program.

Step 2: When the first dialog box appears simply click “Ok” to proceed.

Step 3: Now select the corrupted file by clicking on “Browse” and search by location. You can also search by file name if you do not know the location of your corrupted file.

click browse to select corrupt files

Step 4: Now select the checkbox of the file you want to fix and click on “Repair”.

Step 5: After the work is completed simply save the file on the default location or select a new folder from the dialog box.

select destination to save excel file

Part 3: FAQs about Excel Unreadable Content

Q1: Why does Excel show unreadable content?

In most cases, this is due to a corruption of the complete Excel file or simply a corruption of one or more objects on your MS Excel file.

Q2: What is a corrupted file?

Corrupted files are files that have become unusable or implacable due to various complications. It may not open at all. In case it opens, it cannot be operated on and the data may even not be readable.

Q3: How do I recover corrupted files?

Open Microsoft Office, click "File" and choose "Open". Find your corrupted file, select it. Click the arrow next to "Open". In the "Open" options, choose "Open and Repair".

Read Also: 10 Tricks to Fix Corrupted Excel File

To conclude

In case any kind of corruption in MS Excel file is faced by the user, it is highly advised to download and run the Stellar Repair for Excel to protect their precious data and prevent them from decaying. It is a data recovery tool that every Excel user should have at the arsenal for a more risk-free and pleasing experience while working. It fixes the data from the corrupted file and rebuilds them to its original form. In addition, if you forgot your password for Excel or you want to unprotect your worksheet, PassFab for Excel is your best choice.

PassFab for Excel box
  • Recover Excel Open Password
  • Remove Excel Restriction Password
  • Support Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and More

Updated on / Posted by Andy Samuel to Excel Tips / Follow @Andy Samuel

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