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Symptoms

When you try to open a file that was saved in a Microsoft Excel format, the file does not open. Additionally, you receive the following error message:
You are attempting to open a file type that is blocked by your registry policy setting.

You are attempting to open a file type <<File Type>> that has been blocked by your File Block settings in the Trust Center.
If you receive a similar error message when you try to save a file, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
945797 You receive an error message when you try to save a file type that was blocked by your registry policy settings in Excel 2007 or in Excel 2003

Cause

This issue may occur if an administrator has restricted the types of files that you can open in Microsoft Office Excel 2010, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or Microsoft Office Excel 2003. To do this, an administrator can set a registry key to restrict this functionality.

By default, the following file types are blocked in Excel 2010:
  • Excel 4 Workbooks
  • Excel 4 Worksheets
  • Excel 3 Worksheets
  • Excel 2 Worksheets
  • Excel 4 Macrosheets and Add-in Files
  • Excel 3 Macrosheets and Add-in Files
  • Excel 2 Macrosheets and Add-in Files
For Excel 2010, the registry key can be set in the 2010 Office System Administrative Templates. For more information, see "Excel 2010" subsection of the "More Information" section.

For Excel 2007, the registry key can be set in the 2007 Office System Administrative Templates. For more information, see "Excel 2007" subsection of the "More Information" section.

For Excel 2003, update 933666 enables an administrator to block the ability to save or to open files in Excel 2003. For more information, see the "Excel 2003" subsection of the "More Information" section.

By default, the following files are blocked in Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3:
  • Microsoft Excel 4.0 Charts (.xlc)
  • DBF 2 (dBASE II) (.dbf)
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
938810 Information about certain file formats that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3

Resolution

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To open files that are blocked by the registry, you can disable the restriction on opening presentations that were blocked by the registry settings of Excel. To do this, click to expand the section according to which version of Excel you are using.

Excel 2010

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  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Help, click Options.
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  3. Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings.
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  4. In the Trust Center, click File Block Settings.
  5. To allow the opening of a file that is blocked, click to clear the check box for that file type.
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  6. Click OK two times.
In addition to these steps, you can move the file to a trusted location to override the registry policy settings.

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Excel 2007

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In Excel 2007, if you trust the file that you want to open, you can move the file to a trusted location to override the registry policy settings.

For more information about how to create, to remove, or to change a trusted location for files, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Excel 2003

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In Excel 2003, there are no trusted locations. You can create an exempt location to override the registry policy settings. To create an exempt location, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Excel 2003.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click to select one of the following registry subkeys:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common


    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common
  4. Point to New on the Edit menu, and then click Key
  5. Type OICEExemptions for the name of the key.
  6. Point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value.
  7. Type a string name, and then press ENTER. For example, type ExemptDirectory.
  8. Right-click the string name that you typed in step 7, and then click Modify.
  9. In the Value data box, type the path of the directory that contains the file, and then click OK.

    Note You must create the folder. Any subfolders are not automatically exempted. For any additional folders that you would like to make exempt, repeat steps 6-9.
  10. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.


Note You can also contact the system administrator to change the Group Policy setting. 
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More information

How to restrict files in Microsoft Excel

Excel 2010


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To restrict the types of files that you can open or save in Excel 2010, an administrator can use the 2010 Office System Administrative Templates to configure the registry on the client computer.
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Excel 2007

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To restrict the types of files that you can open in Excel 2007, an administrator can use the 2007 Office System Administrative Templates to configure the registry on the client computer.

The following table contains the DWORD names that an administrator can add to the registry to restrict certain file types by using the FileOpenBlock subkey. Additionally, the table contains the corresponding file types that are restricted.
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DWORD nameFile types that are restricted
OpenXmlFiles.xlsx, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlam
Binary12Files.xlsb
BinaryFiles.xls, .xla, .xlt, .xlm, .xlw, .xlb
HtmlandXmlssFiles.mht, .mhtml, .htm, .html, .xml, .xmlss
XmlFiles.xml
DifandSylkFiles.dif, .slk
TextFiles.txt, .csv, .prn
XllFiles.xll (.dll)
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Excel 2003

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Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


An administrator can restrict the types of files that you can open in Excel 2003. This ability was not provided in Microsoft Office 2003 when it was originally released. To restrict the types of files that can be opened in Excel 2003, install security update 933666.

For more information about security update 933666, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
933666 Description of the security update for Excel 2003: May 8, 2007

To restrict the types of files that you can open in Excel 2003, an administrator can use one of the following methods: The following table contains the DWORD names that an administrator can add to the registry to restrict certain file types by using the FileOpenBlock subkey. Additionally, the table contains the corresponding file types that are restricted.
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DWORD nameFile types that are restricted
BinaryFiles.xls, .xla, .xlt, .xlm, .xlw, .xlb
HtmlandXmlssFiles.mht, .mhtml, .htm, .html, .xml, .xmlss
XmlFiles.xml
DifandSylkFiles.dif, .slk
TextFiles.txt, .csv, .prn
XllFiles.xll
ConvertersAll file formats that are available by using a text converter (including the Office Compatibility Pack)
DatabaseandDatasourceFiles.odc, .udl, .dsn, .dbc, .dqy, .iqy, .oqy, .rqy, .mde, .mdb, .dbf, .ade, .adp, .cub
LotusandQuattroFiles.wk1, .wk4, .wj3, wk1 FMT, .wks, .wk3, wk3 FM3, .wj2, .wq1, .fm3, .wj1
LegacyBinaryFilesMicrosoft Excel 4.0 Charts (.xlc) files (Office 2003 SP3)
LegacyDatabaseAndDatasourceFilesDBF 2 (dBASE II) (.dbf) files (Office 2003 SP3)
To enable the FileOpenBlock subkey settings, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Excel.
  2. If you are running Excel 2003, install security update 933666 if it is not installed, and then go to step 3. If you are running Excel 2007, go to step 3.
  3. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  4. Locate and then click to select one of the following registry subkeys:

    Excel 2007
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\Security\FileOpenBlock
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\Security\FileOpenBlock
    Excel 2003
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel\Security\FileOpenBlock
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel\Security\FileOpenBlock
    If the FileOpenBlock subkey does not exist, follow these steps to create it:
    1. Click to select the Security subkey.
    2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
    3. Type FileOpenBlock, and then press ENTER.
  5. Point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type the DWORD name that you want to restrict, and then press ENTER. For example, type BinaryFiles.
  7. Right-click the DWORD name that you typed in step 6, and then click Modify.
  8. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  9. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
945797 You receive an error message when you try to save a file type that was blocked by your registry policy settings in Excel 2007 or in Excel 2003
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Properties

Article ID: 922848 - Last Review: April 18, 2014 - Revision: 14.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
Keywords: 
kbsavefile kbopenfile kberrmsg kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb kbcip KB922848

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