When opening a damaged or corrupt Excel XLS or XLSX file with Microsoft Excel, you see the following error message:

The file is not in a recognizable format

* If you know the file is from another program which is incompatible with Microsoft Office Excel, click Cancel, then open this file in its original application. If you want to open the file later in Microsoft Office Excel, save it in a format that is compatible, such as text format
* If you suspect the file is damaged, click Help for more information about solving the problem.
* If you still want to see what text is contained in the file, click OK. Then click Finish in the Text Import Wizard.

Below is a sample screenshot of the error message:

This file is not in a recognizable format.

Precise Explanation:

When an Excel XLS or XLSX file is corrupt and Microsoft Excel cannot recognize it, the Excel will report this error.


You can first use Excel built-in repair function to repair the corrupt Excel file. If that does not work, then only DataNumen Excel Repair can help you.

Sample File:

Sample corrupt XLS file that will cause the error. Error1.xls

The file recovered by DataNumen Excel Repair: Error1_fixed.xlsx