21 August, 2013

The workbook cannot be opened error while opening excel files in SharePoint 2010

I am using SharePoint 2010 and when users click on an .xlsx document in a document library it throws the following error message:

The workbook cannot be opened because it contains the following features that are not supported by Excel in the browser:
• Data validation
• Sheet protection
Would you like to try and open this file in Excel?
Learn more about unsupported features

Number of things to check or troubleshooting steps to find out the culprit:
1.   Make sure that this file is not broken. Download a copy of this file and edit it Excel client. Remove the Consolidation, Data sources and Data validations on the file to have a test whether it fixes this issue.

2.   Check the event viewer and try to find out the exact error information as it will give you the account name where the problem lies.

3.   Check the SharePoint ULS logs where it will show the exact root cause.

4.   Check the supported and unsupported features: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff595319%28v=office.14%29.aspx

5.   If you getting this error while trying to view the excel file in browser mode then please have a look on this article:

6.   If there are unsupported features then you need to remove it before uploading that excel file in SharePoint document library.

7.   You can define in the library settings whether or not to open documents in the browser or the client application. The default is set on the server, but you can overrule that at the library level. Since Excel Services cannot open workbooks with data validation, graphic object or VBA, many Excel files with basic functionality simply won't load in the browser.

8.   Make sure that you are using 32-bit version of IE- Microsoft Recommended. - This is very important as it resolves most of the issues.

If you have any queries/questions regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know. I would be more than happy to help you as well as resolves your issues, Thank you.

Request: If you have any other resolution then please share so that it would be helpful for the entire community, Thanks again!


  1. without removing data validations can we view the workbook in xslx viewer

    1. Apoorva,
      You have asked a very valid question! No, it does not support 100% validation, that's why i mentioned in the first point (Remove the Consolidation, Data sources and Data validations on the file to have a test whether it fixes this issue). You need to remove completely and check the results. Once you are good that the results are fine then start with minor validation and then again check the results! - this will take some time to check the results as it's not 100% solid proof!

      Let me know in case of any further queries, Thank you!

    2. I have doubt related to excel web access web part....Can we automatically reload the workbook in the EWA web part


Your feedback is always appreciated. I will try to reply to your queries as soon as possible- Amol Ghuge