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

28 Jul 2019   #1
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files

I've installed plenty of software, and changed the default associations governing what the software opens, and what file extensions are opened by it.

But I'm over a barrel dissociating old .xls files from Excel 2000, so a newer Excel opens them.

Background:

I actually ran the same Office 2000 on my computers from when I first got the software in 2000, to earlier this month. It got the job done, though with increasing issues, none of them show-stoppers.

But I discovered that I had other open seats on my volume-licensed Office 2016 from work, so figured I'd install that on my home computer.

Word behaves as wanted and expected. It opens the old .doc and the newer .docx files by default. No intervention needed from me.

For Excel though, it will open .xlsx files by default, but double-clicking on a .xls file will launch Excel 2000.

I have not been able to fix this with either the context menu "open with" option, or through the control panel.

If I go through the context menu - see below - the desired (new) Excel program does not appear in the recommended or "other" programs list. So I browse to the location of the .exe file using the browse option, double-click the icon, or single-click it and click "open" - and - nothing. It's like I didn't even do anything.




If I go through the control panel - see below - it's hard to see here, but the checkboxes for the file extensions are grayed out, and nothing changes if I click on a box, or click "select all."




There's also a "set associations" option in the control panel, but that works just like the context menu that I described above. Same thing if I right-click on a .xls file, pick "properties," then use the "open with" option to change the associated program.

There are two solutions I can think of, but neither appeals to me.

One is to uninstall Office 2000. It's illogical but I like the "crutch" of having it on my machine. And I've had other work computers where my Office 2000 coexisted fine with later (post-2007) versions of Office, and there weren't these file association problems.

The other is to edit things in the registry. Which I don't mind doing, but don't know what to edit here. And I'd think the normal Windows user interface should be able to do this.

Insight, please?




Attached Thumbnails
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-xls.jpg  
Attached Images
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-context-menu.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2019   #2
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Under default programs | set associations, can you not double click the xls extension, navigate to the new Excel path? Seems like you mention that but I want to be sure. It should take and once done opening any xls file should open in the new Excel.

You have to browse to the correct path to the new Excel though. Don't just click what Excel they show.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #3
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F22 Simpilot View Post
Under default programs | set associations, can you not double click the xls extension, navigate to the new Excel path? Seems like you mention that but I want to be sure. It should take and once done opening any xls file should open in the new Excel.

You have to browse to the correct path to the new Excel though. Don't just click what Excel they show.
Thanks. This is covered in the red portion of my original post.

I can navigate to the correct Excel exe. But when I double-click it or click "open," nothing happens. I am returned to the "open with" menu, which has not been populated with that as a choice. Note that "Other Programs" are listed alphabetically, and Excel (file name of current version) is not listed.



When I originally posted, I'd been doing a lot on my computer that day, so part of me hoped that this setting the association would work as advertised after a fresh start. But I tried this morning, within ten minutes of a reboot, and got the same results as described here and in the original post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2019   #4
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

So when you click browse and go to the directory of the new Excel install nothing happens when you select that .exe?

When you click browse, are you sure you are navigating to the right path of the new Excel install in the programs folder?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #5
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F22 Simpilot View Post
So when you click browse and go to the directory of the new Excel install nothing happens when you select that .exe?

When you click browse, are you sure you are navigating to the right path of the new Excel install in the programs folder?
Yes, I am 100% sure.

First, I've done this - and it's worked for other apps/file types - dozens or hundreds of times, so I know how it's supposed to work.

Second, right, I select that exe, in the correct folder, be it by double-clicking, or highlighting and picking "open," and nothing happens. It just throws me back to the screen shot I posted.

Third, yes, navigating to the right path:
  1. Folder and subfolder creation dates all match when I installed the newer Office
  2. Exe file is called "Excel"
  3. Exe icon matches the icon of the new Excel, not the icon of Excel 2000
Below is a screen shot of the exe file I'm selecting:

Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-excel-exe.jpg


Attached Images
Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files-excel-exe.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #6
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Does this YouTube video help you.

YouTube

Or perhaps this website might help as well.

Open Office 97/2003 xls files in Excel 2016 , 365 / 2019 | EasyTweaks.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #7
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ranger4 View Post
Does this YouTube video help you.

YouTube

Or perhaps this website might help as well.

Open Office 97/2003 xls files in Excel 2016 , 365 / 2019 | EasyTweaks.com
I appreciate this, but my problem isn't converting file formats. It's simply being able to tell Windows to open .xls files with the newer Excel.

Excel opens the files if I open Excel first, then open them. But if I double-click on the files, it opens the older Excel 2000.

This is explained in more detail in the original post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2019   #8
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Can you explain a bit more about what you see when you try Open With right-mouse context menu?

You can use Open With to change the default program (ie from Excel2000 to Excel2016).
Open With - Change Default Program
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #9
450125

Win7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iko22 View Post
Can you explain a bit more about what you see when you try Open With right-mouse context menu?

You can use Open With to change the default program (ie from Excel2000 to Excel2016).
Open With - Change Default Program
Although I thought I documented that sufficiently in my original post and subsequent replies, here goes, annotating from Open With - Change Default Program
Quote:
3. To Select a Program that is Not Listed in Context Menu
NOTE: This option will allow you to be able to select to have the file type to always open with the selected program by default if you like.
A) After you have expanded Open with, select Choose default program. (see screenshot below step 1) (no problems doing this)

B) Under Other Programs, click on the drop down arrow to the far right to exapnd it and see more programs to select from. (See screenshot below) (no problems doing this)

C) Select the program that you want to open the file with. (See screenshot above)
NOTE: If the program you wanted to select is still not listed, then click on the Browse button and navigate to the program's exe file. (I do this correctly) Select it, and click on the Open button (no problems doing this) to add it to be able to select it (FAIL! The correct Excel program does not add to the list - see Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files).


D) To Always Open this File Type with the Selected Program by Default
  • Check the Always use the selected program to open this kind of file box. (See screenshot below step 3B)
  • Go to step 3F.
E) To Only Open this File Type with the Selected Program for Just this One Time
  • Uncheck the Always use the selected program to open this kind of file box. (See screenshot below step 3B)
F) Click on OK. (See screenshot below step 3B)
4. The file will now be opened by the selected program. (Not true - D/E/F above did not apply, and read read annotations)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2019   #10
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

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
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to associate newly-installed Excel with .xls files




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