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Problem with old Excel files in Windows 10
Thread poster: Tina Vonhof

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 08:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jan 29

I had Windows 7 on my old PC moved to a new laptop with Windows 10 and Office 365. I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet but not save them or copy and paste the contents into a new worksheet. These files are very important to me. Has anyone had this problem and found a solution?

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
:-) Jan 29

Tina Vonhof wrote:

I had Windows 7 on my old PC moved to a new laptop with Windows 10 and Office 365. I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet but not save them or copy and paste the contents into a new worksheet. These files are very important to me. Has anyone had this problem and found a solution?


Hi Tina,

Can't say that I have, but I could have a look if you want, assuming the contents isn't all too confidential.

Michael


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Just how old are they? Jan 29

My oldest .xls files are from 2002, and I have no problem opening them in Office 365 on Windows 10.

If you have Office 365, you also have support, so if you can't solve the problem with online resources, you may want to contact Microsoft support.


Germaine
 

Hugh Thomson
Spain
Spanish to English
Have you tried... Jan 29

to open them in the (free) Libre Office suite?

esperantisto
 

Tanguy Przybylski  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:58
Member (2008)
Japanese to French
+ ...
Use other software Jan 29

If you can't open your files,

The easiest way is to install a free program that is compatible like libreoffice or Polarisoffice (the free version) and to save them into xlsx format.
Then you should be able to open them without to much problem in the lastest MS office.

I recommand Polaris office because it is the most compatible with MS office thus you have less risk of font/size troubles.

Unless there are huge problem with the files themselves (files
... See more
If you can't open your files,

The easiest way is to install a free program that is compatible like libreoffice or Polarisoffice (the free version) and to save them into xlsx format.
Then you should be able to open them without to much problem in the lastest MS office.

I recommand Polaris office because it is the most compatible with MS office thus you have less risk of font/size troubles.

Unless there are huge problem with the files themselves (files corrupted but it is not likely since you can open them in a different way) this easy trick should do the job I think

Have a nice day

[Modifié le 2020-01-30 05:04 GMT]
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Tony M
France
Local time: 16:58
Member
French to English
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
One workaround I have found for some problem files... Jan 29

...is to upload and open them in e.g. Google docs, then save them from there in some other format, and download again; this has saved my bacon on a number of occasions, though admittedly, not with XLS.
Once I had to go DOCX > Google > ODT > [OpenOffice] > DOC > WordXP — and it worked very well! This was a DOCX file that refused to convert using the Office compatibility pack.


 

Giuliana Maltempo
Argentina
Local time: 12:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Check Office support Jan 30

Tina Vonhof wrote:

I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet


What exactly do you mean by this?

Also, is this happening with your old files only? Can you edit and save new speadsheets?

By default, Office opens files transferred from other computer and downloaded from the internet as "read-only", meaning you cannot edit nor save them. Other possibility is that you Office has not been activated.

Check this link to Office's support page. Hope this helps


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Sounds odd Jan 30

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet but not save them or copy and paste the contents into a new worksheet.

Sounds odd. I have files from the late 1990s that I can open without problems in the Excel that comes with Office 365.

What three-letter extension do these files have - is it .xls, or .xlm, or...?
How are you trying to open them? Double-click in Windows Explorer?
What happens when you try to open them?

Dan


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Yes, LO or AOO Jan 30

Hugh Thomson wrote:

to open them in the (free) Libre Office suite?


Yes, try LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice. Both feature very good support of XLS files. With LO, you can save files to XLSX as needed (but do not do it for ongoing work, work only in ODS). AOO, in my experience, is more stable when handling large files.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Tina Jan 30

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I had [an] old PC, [and] moved to a new laptop with Windows 10 and Office 365. I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet but not save them or copy and paste the contents into a new worksheet.


I have no problem opening Excel files of all different types in Excel 365. But another way to get the data from such files is to go to the Data tab and select Get Data > From File, and select the old Excel file. This will import the data.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 08:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Giuliana Jan 31

Giuliana Maltempo wrote:

Tina Vonhof wrote:

I can open my old Excel files via a detour I found on the internet


What exactly do you mean by this?

Also, is this happening with your old files only? Can you edit and save new speadsheets?

By default, Office opens files transferred from other computer and downloaded from the internet as "read-only", meaning you cannot edit nor save them. Other possibility is that you Office has not been activated.

Check this link to Office's support page. Hope this helps


Thank you for your questions. They helped clarify what is happening.

1) I found several suggestions on the internet for opening an Excel file via several other steps in the program rather than opening it directly. Using one of these methods I was able to open the files but not do anything else with them.

2) I checked and it also happens with a newly created file.

3) By opening them directly the files are not 'read only', they are just a grey blank page. The menu bar does not work either. This happens even to files from a USB drive (i.e. not transferred to my new laptop).

Altogether this suggests that the problem is not with the files but with the program. I will go to support.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 08:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks! Jan 31

Thank you all for your questions and suggestions. It's clear to me now that the problem is with the Excel program, not with the files. All other office programs are working except Excel - that doesn't make sense. I will contact support and i'll let you know what I find out. If all else fails, I could use one of the free programs, it's good to know that there is that option.

Thanks again,
Tina


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 08:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Mystery solved Feb 3

I discovered that with Windows 10 came a trial version of Office 365. A few days ago I received a notice that I would be paying for the full version automatically on Feb. 1, like it or not. That's when I began to suspect that the trial version did not include Excel and that turns out to be the case. As of today all my files are opening just fine.

I'm happy about that, of course, but bothered by the fact that Microsoft can just force you to buy a program that you never needed or wan
... See more
I discovered that with Windows 10 came a trial version of Office 365. A few days ago I received a notice that I would be paying for the full version automatically on Feb. 1, like it or not. That's when I began to suspect that the trial version did not include Excel and that turns out to be the case. As of today all my files are opening just fine.

I'm happy about that, of course, but bothered by the fact that Microsoft can just force you to buy a program that you never needed or wanted.
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Is that fair? Feb 3

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I'm happy about that, of course, but bothered by the fact that Microsoft can just force you to buy a program that you never needed or wanted.

Could you not have used the version of Excel included in your previous edition of Office, for which you no doubt still have the media?

Dan


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Then… Feb 3

Tina Vonhof wrote:



I'm happy about that, of course, but bothered by the fact that Microsoft can just force…


Use free software and support the Free Software Foundation.


 
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