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Tips to Resolve “Excel Found Unreadable Content Error”

Pritam Majumdar
Pritam Majumdar Updated On - 29 Jul 2020

Excel, like all other applications of Microsoft Office, has eased the lives of most professionals. Whether you have to make reports, or they are to be used to make some tables for work and so on, Excel has always proven helpful. But Excel is not exempt of errors. One such error being, “Excel found the unreadable content error.”

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To understand what the error is, let us define what unreadable content is. It is the unrecognized format of functions that are used in the particular excel file. In case a complicated Excel file is created with the ability to make appropriate calculations easy, it requires inset of specific macros as well as formulae. In this case, some of the settings might be automatically changed within the backdrop of the file. Working in such an Excel file, all of the functionaries that have been inserted, work hale and hearty. But, when you try to open the same data, it might be disrupted by “Excel found the unreadable content error.” Why? Well, this crashing is a result of the removal of individual objects of Excel file.

This Error is not a secular error but rather is preceded by symptoms such as these:

Firstly, when you try to open corrupt Excel XLS and XLSX files, the following message appears as a symptom to the above greater Error:

Is there a way out? Indeed, there is. You can use to eradicate the error:

  • “Excel found unreadable content in . Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.”

As soon as you Click ‘Yes,’ you will find yourself in a situation such as these:

  • Excel cannot repair the particular file in case of which, “Excel cannot open the file ‘filename.xlsx’ because the file format or file extension is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file.” message in case of where you have the corrupt or damaged Excel file with filename.xlsx.
  • Excel can repair the file, in which case “Excel was able to open the file by repairing or removing the unreadable content.” appears. When this happens, the contents are repaired or removed. But when you click ‘Close,’ Excel opens the file. This would cause you to go through:
    1. Some data is recovered in the fixed file, and then you might lose quite a massive amount of data after the process of repair or recovery.
    2. No real data exists in the fixed file post-repair/recovery process.
    3. When opening a damaged or corrupt Excel XLS file with Microsoft Excel, you will also see a similar error message:

      “The document is corrupt and cannot be opened. To try and repair it, use the Open and Repair command in the Open dialog box, and select Extract Data when prompted.” In this case, Click on OK. And when you have clicked OK, Excel tries to repair the corrupt file displaying this: “Errors were detected in ‘filename.xls,’ but Microsoft Office Excel was able to open the file by making the repairs listed below. Save the file to make these repairs permanent.” But just as you click Close, Excel opens the fixed file. However, you lose after the repair/recovery process.

What may lead to ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error?

What leads to this ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error? It is very important to know the root cause of any error. As knowing the reason why an error has occurred, can lead you to its solution. So, let’s know what all the factors are that may cause this error in your Excel file.

  • You may face this issue if the cache of your Excel is probably full. When the cache is full Excel cannot save the documents opened after that. So, if you think that this is the case, try closing all the files and try again.
  • You can face this issue if there is some conflict between Excel version and that XLS file of yours. No need to wonder, this may happen due to several reasons that Excel starts conflicting with an XLS file and you won’t be able to use the file. In this case, it is suggested to convert the file to some other format and try to open that file to access the content.
  • If you are facing this error in your system, then you may not have administrative access to the file. In this case, you can try to open the Excel file with administrative access.
  • If you see this error on your screen, check if your Excel application is installed completely or not. Sometimes due to incomplete installation, some very important components of Excel are found missing. Visual Basic component is one of them. So installing Excel completely can solve this issue for you.
  • You can also face this error if you are using a low configuration system. Usually the users who are using old systems or older versions of software face such issues. In this case, the fix is to find the advanced hardware that can help you fix the issue or go for the Advanced Excel settings and disable hardware acceleration.
  • This error may occur to you if there is this MS Office issue in which Word and Excel may open a file as a read-only document. This situation leads to this error on your screen. To fix the error in this scenario, transfer the file to some other location on your system and try to open it again.
  • Another reason to face this error in your Excel file is your operating system’s security feature. When you receive a file through an email or you download it from the internet, then your operating system may block the file. To fix this error in this case, try to unblock the file and try to open it again.
  • One of the most serious reasons why you might be facing this error could be the corruption in the XLS file. An XLS file like all the other files is vulnerable to corruption and hence may get corrupt due to many known and unknown reasons. So, to know how to fix the corruption in your XLS file, keep reading the blog.

So, these all are the reasons why you might be facing this particular error. As we have mentioned that corruption can be a reason that can lead to this error, apart from that it can also be due to damaged or broken XLS files also. We have mentioned the guaranteed solution for such files, keep reading the blog.

Having said the above, let us now proceed to the easiest way to do away with this error, namely; a third-party software. Kernel for Excel Repair software is mainly dedicated to this task and aims at providing benefits to its users. Some of its many benefits are as given here below:

  • The Software is capable of repairing those Excel Files which are damaged.
  • Kernel for Excel Repair ensures a full-fledged data recovery.
  • Further, the Software is capable of providing an instant preview of the repaired file.
  • The embedded properties of the Excel files remain intact, and the structure of the data remains 100% original.

Kernel for Excel Repair can be used in these simple steps:

  1. Browse to select the File to be repaired.
  2. Click Repair
  3. The Process to improve the File begins.
  4. Now, you can preview the File.
  5. Click Save to save the fixed File, and a Window will be visible which allows you to find destination directory where you can save the file. Click Save.
  6. The software starts saving. Post-completion, a link to the saving location is shown.
    Save the file
    Note: The Above procedure is for a single file.

Final words

If you are facing Excel found unreadable content error, you needn’t be perturbed because there are many easy ways to repair Excel file and recover lost data, both manually and mechanically. However, it is advisable that you seek refuge in the mechanical means due to the speediness in which such means work and that is where Kernel for Excel Repair comes in. For more information do take a look at the website or connect with their Support team.

Watch the Complete Video to Repair Corrupt Excel Files