3 Ways to Fix “The File is Corrupted and Cannot be Opened”


Summary: This article includes the best ways to solve the file is corrupted and cannot be opened error and the free data recovery software to recover lost documents.

Those who use Microsoft Word or Excel are very familiar with The File is Corrupted and cannot be opened” error. This is a very common error with Microsoft Office files; it usually occurs if you try to open an old file with the brand new updated version of MS Office. Like you have saved an MS Word file with Word 2007, and recently you have updated your MS Office to the version 2016. Now, if you try to open that existing file with the new Office 2016, you may face the said error.

The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened

Unfortunately, this is a very common and difficult issue to deal with; numerous users have reported such issue to the Microsoft forums after updating their MS Office and asked for help, online.

Don’t Miss: 4 Efficient Ways to Recover Unsaved Word Document Without Obstacles

Part 1: General Solutions to fix “The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened” error

If you happened to encounter such error, don’t get scared. The appearance of “The File is corrupted and cannot be opened” error message does not mean that the said file is corrupted or damaged in any way. Mostly, it means that the particular file is just inaccessible due to the change of settings with Microsoft Office. So, there are obviously a few possible ways you can fix this issue with your Office files. Have a look, they are detailed below;

Method 1: Change the Settings of the Protected View

Well, the very first method you can try to fix “The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened” error, is to make changes in the settings of the Protected View. The procedure is very simple. There is a very probable chance that this procedure will work in your favor; so, take a look;

Step1: Open the Microsoft Office file in question. It can be a Word file or an Excel file or even a PowerPoint application.

Step2: Now, look for the file menu and click on “Options”.

Microsoft Word Options

Step3: In the options window, click on the last tab called “Trust Center.”

Word options - Trust center setting

Step4: Now, go to the Trust Center Settings, and new windows will appear.

Step5: In the new windows, select the “Protected View” option.

Step6: After that, uncheck all the available options and click “OK”.

Uncheck Protected View

Step7: Finally, restart the application.

Possibly, you will be able to access the said Microsoft Office file, now.

Method 2: Change the Component Security Settings to Default

Another option is to change the settings of the Component Services back to default. It is also a straightforward procedure to fix this Microsoft Office issue; so, read the steps below;

Step1: Press Win logo key + R and then type dcomcnfg to launch Component Service.

Step2: After opening the window, navigate to Console Root and then expand Component Services and also expand My Computer. Then, make a right-click on “My Computer” and click on “Properties.

Step3: In the Properties tab, click on Default Properties.

Step4: There, you need to set Default Authentication Level to Connect and Default Impersonation Level to Identify.

Default Authentication Level

Step5: Lastly, click “OK” to confirm the changes.

This is another way of fixing “The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened” error.

Method 3: Unlock the Word or Excel File

If you have received the error prompt “The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened”, to unlock the Word or Excel file is another solution you can give it a try.

Step1: Locate your Word or Excel file with said error.

Step2: Right-click on it and choose Properties.

Step3: Look for Unlock button in the General Tab. Click on it to unlock the file.

You can now check whether the said error is persisted or not.

Part 2: Recover Microsoft Office Files using Bitwar Data Recovery

Sadly, it is possible that any of the corrupted or damaged Word & Excel file can be fixed within the above methods, however, if your word document or Excel spreadsheet was lost due to accidental deletion, disk formatting or any other possible reasons, here our Bitwar Data Recovery Software can help restore the needed document files.

Our software has a straightforward and user-friendly interface that provides easy recovery steps that help users to get back the deleted/formatted Word, Excel, PowerPoint, RTF, Text and any other office document files.

The operation is also effortless, it is as detailed below;

Step1: Download and install Bitwar Data Recovery on your disk, after installation, launch it.

Download for PCDownload for Mac

Step2: Now, as for the location of the Office file; you have to choose a partition where it is located. Then, click “Next”.

Select Driver 6.48

Step3: Then, choose the “Quick Scan” option and hit “Next” to proceed.

Choose Quick Scan 6.48

Step4: Now, you have to select the file types. You will have several options like photos, documents, audio, video, etc. But you need to choose “Document” to proceed.

Choose Document 6.48

Step5: A list of the found files will appear, and you have to make double-click or either turn to Preview tab to have a good look at the needed files.

Document Recovery 6.48

Step6: Lastly, click on the “Recover” button below to retrieve the files.

Remember these steps: Select the partition > Choose a scan mode > Select the file types you want to recover > Scan and Preview, after that, recover to the drive that doesn’t contain your lost files. As these steps can help you recover most of the files not only document files but also photos, videos, audios, archive files, emails, etc.


Although it is a very common MS Office error, it disturbs the users pretty devastatingly. The detailed procedures are extremely useful to fix the internal settings of the file and revert it to a working condition. However, whenever the error occurs, apply the methods mentioned above and to fix The File is Corrupted and cannot be Opened error.

Besides, if you have any data lost due to mistakenly operations, try with Bitwar Data Recovery to restore those needed files.

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