Cannot open Excel file: File format is not valid

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Microsoft Excel
Excel cannot open this file because file format or file extension is not valid

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Let us know what the current file extension is as it was omitted and what version of Excel you have. It may not be a format Excel can recognize.

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  • TheRealRaven
    And...?

    What does the file contain? What is its extension?
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  • ToddN2000
    What version of Excel and what is the file format? Older versions (pre 2010) of Excel cannot open the newer file format (xlsx). The file itself just may not be compatible. 
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  • Subhendu Sen
    From Excel 2007 onward it is possible to open file on next versions. But before MS Office 2007, it may have problem to open. What error is showing there? Is it .xls/.xlsx or .cvs/.xml or other format?
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Moreover, you can try to repair the file. MS Office has an excellent built-in repair utility to repair office files. Here is a link for your help: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/open-a-document-after-a-file-corruption-error-47df9d48-2165-4411-a699-1786ac734bc3
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  • ToddN2000
    Another option might be to try the free open source program OPEN OFFICE. Without more specifics on the file extension we are only guessing. IF you are sure this is an Excel file, you could try to make a copy of this file then try renaming it with a different file extension that Excel recognizes like XLSX, CSV, XML and many others.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Yes, you can try to open on Open Office/Libre Office, that you can customize to install this software like only install Calc and check if that helps. Open Office or Libre Office is free to use.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Sometimes, people saves a excel file in Open Office Calc format (.ods) when working on Open office instead of MS Excel format like .xls/ .xlsx. If that case, check the file extension, or ask the source for resending the file in MS Excel format, if any.
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