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Windows 7: Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files

29 Jul 2019   #11
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iko22 View Post
Thanks for taking the trouble to explain and annotate the problem which you are experiencing.

You might like to try to download and run this Fixit from Microsoft for the current Office installation: Double-clicking an Office file fails to open it in the correct Office program | Office Support
We're getting somewhere! However incrementally.

The fixit did seem to associate .xls with the correct Excel exe. It also populated the correct Excel EXE into the "open with" choices.

BUT... we are not there yet.

If you look at the screen below, "Excel" - not "Microsoft Excel for Windows" - is the default program for .xls. You can even see the correct icon for the correct program right below "click on an extension" in the screen shot.

Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-associate-file-type.jpg

But in the description (or file type) column, it says "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet" for .xls - and I think that is what is driving Windows to open it using Excel 2000, even though supposedly Excel is supposed to open it.

I think there's something in the registry I can edit, to change the "type" of file .xls files are. But I am not sure where this is.

Below you can see a listing from a folder containing several .xls sheets. And they're all listed as "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet" types.

Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-file-list-20190729.jpg

So, again, my hunch is that if I can somehow tell the O/S that .xls files are "Excel" types, not "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet," I will solve my problem.




Attached Thumbnails
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-associate-file-type.jpg  
Attached Images
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-file-list-20190729.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2019   #12
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Update - I am still not there, so I'm going to wait for someone more expert to come along.

I edited my registry, exporting the .xlsx key from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to an editable file, and changing all the instances of .xlsx in it to be .xls

Then I renamed the .xls key in the registry to .xls_old and imported the edited xlsx key, renaming it to .xls

Quitting regedit, I'd have hoped that after restarting my machine, the .xls file type would be treated exactly like the .xls file type.

Nope.

Then I went in and outright deleted the .xls key and started the machine again.

No change. It still views .xls files as being "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet." And double-clicking on those files starts Excel 2000, not Excel 2016.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #13
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

And, another fail.

After implementing the last few suggestions, then right-clicking on a .xls file and picking properties and changing "opens with" to Excel (not Excel 2000), the file type for my .xls files lists as "Microsoft Excel Worksheet," and not "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet." Good.

Also good is that double-clicking on an xls file will launch the Excel that I want (not Excel 2000).

But bad is that it just launches Excel. It doesn't automatically open the selected file. I have to, once in Excel, browse to the selected file and open it. Total pain. In fact, now it doesn't even open xlsx files when I click on them. It just launches Excel. At least before, it would open xlsx files correctly.

Running the fixit from #11 above found no problems.

So this time, I'm going to just stand down until a good suggestion arrives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jul 2019   #14
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

I guess I have it solved, if not figured out (why any of this was happening in the first place).

Navigating to the change or remove a program control panel, I selected my newer (not Office 2000) installation and picked "change" which launched the repair program/process.

Repair ran for sometime between 30 and 60 minutes, but when it was done, the xls (and xlsx) files had proper associations, and all opened with new Excel, be it from double-clicking, or from the "recent files" list.

After a restart and getting on to the computer this morning, it still works.

So - and maybe doing this at the start would have fixed it, who knows - repairing Office from the "change or remove a program" control panel did the trick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2019   #15
Sven1458

windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

The only thing you have to do is open the "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet." and have Excel convert it to the new format. I did the same when I upgraded to office 10. you still have the old XLS file and the new XLSX. You then can delete the old file
Sven
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2019   #16
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sven1458 View Post
The only thing you have to do is open the "Microsoft Excel 97-2003 Worksheet." and have Excel convert it to the new format. I did the same when I upgraded to office 10. you still have the old XLS file and the new XLSX. You then can delete the old file
Sven
I know this is an option, but for practical purposes, it would be like accidentally installing Windows using a different language, and relying on some online translator to make the pages readable.

That solution forces the user to do extra steps every time he or she wants to take an action.

Whereas the desired and sought solution is one that is applied one single time, that prevents all further occurrences of the issue.

Which, as shown in post 14 above, I was finally able to do, solving my problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files




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