Excel file cannot be opened after export

Depending on the security settings, the Excel download of the results may take place in read-only mode and the editing functions may be deactivated or it may not even be possible to open the file due to the protected view (possible error message: "File could not be opened in protected view").

Possible solutions:

1. one possible solution is to close all Excel applications and then open the corresponding file again - until the error message is no longer displayed.


2. another solution is to deactivate the settings for the protected view.

Note: Before you deactivate the settings for the protected view, make sure that reliable anti-virus software is installed on your computer.

  • Open the Excel file that is causing the error, click on File and then on the Options tab.
  • In the Options dialog box, go to Trust Center and click Trust Center settings.
  • In the Trust Center settings dialog box, select the Protected view tab.
  • Deactivate the corresponding option in the "Protected view" section and then click OK to apply the changes.

Now try to open the problematic Excel file. If it still won't open, move on to the next solution.

3. repairing the Office installation

Sometimes damage to the Office installation can cause Excel to return the error "Could not open file in protected view". Try repairing your Office installation and see if this solves the problem.

  • Open the Control Panel and click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs.
  • Under the Programs tab, click Uninstall program.
  • Right-click on the Microsoft Office program you have installed and click on the Change button.
  • Select the Repair option and click Next.

After completing the repair process, check whether you can now open the Excel file.

4. install the latest MS Office updates

Several Excel users have reported problems (such as the Protected View issue) when opening an Office document such as Excel, Word or others after upgrading Windows to a newer version. This problem may occur due to an incompatibility between the Office application and the updated version of Windows. You can try to fix the problem by updating the Office app:

  • Click on the File tab in the Excel file that triggers an error.
  • Click on the Account tab at the bottom left of the screen.
  • In Office Updates, expand the update options and then click Update now.

After installing the updates, restart your PC and open the Excel file. If this does not work, go to the next solution.

5. convert the file and rename it

Some Excel users have solved the "protected view" problem by renaming their Excel files. However, first make sure that the file you want to open is saved in .xlsx format. If the file type is .xls, you will need to convert the file to .xlsx format and then rename it. Before converting the file, save a copy of the original file in the desired location.

If the file type is .xlsx, copy the problematic file. Then open an empty Excel document and paste the copied file. The file is displayed as an icon, double-click on it. If it opens without error, save it under a different name. It is hoped that the problem can be solved by renaming the Excel file.

If you have problems loading the Excel file due to the "Protected view" error, you can restore the data using an Excel repair tool.