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"Cannot find the file" error message when you try to open a workbook by double-clicking the .xls file

This article was previously published under Q323216
SYMPTOMS
When you double-click an Excel workbook (.xls) file to open it, you may receive the following error message:
Cannot find the file path (or one of its components). Make sure the path and file name are correct and that all required libraries are available.
Note In this example, path is the location of the workbook file.

Excel starts, but it does not open the workbook that you double-clicked. Instead, it opens a blank workbook.

You can open the workbook if you click Open on the File menu.
CAUSE
This problem may occur if registry entries for earlier versions of Excel conflict with registry entries for your current version. This condition can exist if you had an earlier version of Excel previously installed on your computer.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this problem, remove the registry entries for earlier versions of Excel. Registry entries for Excel are found in subkeys that correspond with the version, as shown in the following table:

   Excel Version      Subkey Name   ------------------------------   97                 8.0   2000               9.0   2002               10.0				
Determine which version of Excel that you are currently running, and then rename the subkeys from earlier versions, as shown in the following procedure. For example, if you are currently running Excel 2002, rename any Excel subkeys that appear in the 8.0 and 9.0 subkeys. If you are currently running Excel 2000, rename only the Excel subkeys that appear in the 8.0 subkey. These subkeys may not appear on all systems.

To remove the conflicting registry entries, follow these steps:

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
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In Registry Editor, locate the following subkey in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office
  4. Expand the subkey that corresponds to the earlier version of Excel, and then click the Excel subkey.
  5. Right-click the Excel subkey, and then click Rename.
  6. Type OldExcel, and then press ENTER.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for any other subkeys for earlier versions of Excel.
  8. Locate the following subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office
  9. Expand the subkey that corresponds to the earlier version of Excel, and then click the Excel subkey.
  10. Right-click the Excel subkey, and then click Rename.
  11. Type OldExcel, and then press ENTER.
  12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 for any other subkeys for earlier versions of Excel.
  13. Quit Registry Editor.
  14. Start Excel. (This makes sure that the appropriate registry entries are created.)
  15. Quit Excel.
  16. Double-click an .xls file to start Excel and open the workbook.
MORE INFORMATION
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304424 When you click a file icon, Excel starts but the file does not open as expected
211494 Excel opens without displaying a workbook
207574 Error message when opening a file by double-clicking the file name
XL2000 prb XL2002
Properties

Article ID: 323216 - Last Review: 02/01/2007 03:00:28 - Revision: 3.5

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • kbstartprogram kbopenfile kberrmsg kbprb KB323216
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