[Solved] How to Fix “The file format and extension of” Microsoft Office Excel Document “Don’t Match. The file could be corrupted or unsafe”

“The file format and extension of” document “don’t match” error prompt when the user trying to open certain files in Microsoft Office especially Microsoft Excel. All previously saved data will be gone if click on the Yes button.

[Solved] How to Fix "The file format and extension of" Microsoft Office Document Don’t Match
[Solved] How to Fix “The file format and extension of” Microsoft Office Document Don’t Match

Content Summary

Solution 1: Change File Extension Manually
Solution 2: Unblock at File Properties level
Solution 3: Open via 3rd Party Equivalent Software
Solution 4: Disable Protected View
Solution 5: Disable Add-ins
Solution 6: Suppressing Warning Message using Registry Key

Solution 1: Change File Extension Manually

Step 1: Open File Explorer > View tab > Check File name extensions option.

Step 2: Right-click on the file and choose Rename from the context menu.

Step 3: Modify the extension to .xls, .xlsx or .xlsm, and attempt to open the Exel file after each rename.

Solution 2: Unblock at File Properties level

Step 1: Right-click the file and choose Properties from the context menu.

Step 2: Select the General tab then scroll down to the Security section and click the Unblock button.

Solution 3: Open via 3rd Party Equivalent Software

Step 1: Download the Full installation of OpenOffice.

Step 2: Double-click the installation executable and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Step 3: After OpenOffice Calc was installed, right-click on the file that you’re having issues with and choose Open with > OpenOffice Calc.

Solution 4: Disable Protected View

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel > File > Options.

Step 2: Select the Trust Center tab > Trust Center Settings.

Step 3: Select Protected Views, uncheck all Protected View condition option then click Ok to save the changes.

Step 4: Restart Microsoft Excel.

Solution 5: Disable Add-ins

Step 1: Hold CTRL key and click on application icon till it asks you for Safe mode confirmation.

Step 2: If the problem does not happen again, then start application normally and disable add-ins one by one and start application again every time you disable an add-in to determine the culprit add-in.

Step 3: To disable the add-in, go to File > Options > Add-ins > Click on Go button beside Manage: Excel Add-ins > Untick the Add-ins to disable and tick to enable them.

Solution 6: Suppressing Warning Message using Registry Key

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor. If the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.

Step 3: Go to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\*X*\Excel\Security

  • For Excel 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\Security
  • For Excel 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel\Security
  • For Excel 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Excel\Security
  • For Excel 2016: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\Security

Step 4: Right-click on an empty space and select NEW > Dword (32-bit) Value.

Step 5: Name it ExtensionHardening, double-click on it and set the Base to Hexadecimal and the value to 0.

Add ExtensionHardening registry key
Add ExtensionHardening registry key

Step 6: Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Source: IBM Support > “The file you are trying to open … different format than specified by the file extension” when running Standard Reports to XLS format, using Excel 2007 (or later)

Thomas Apel Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.