How to Fix Excel Found Unreadable Content Error (Easy Guide)

Excel Found Unreadable Content in 'Filename.xlsx'

"Hi Team, I am generating files using this module. Some files I am able to open without any issues. But some other file
I am getting errors like 'Excel found unreadable content in XXXX.xlsx'. I am unable to resolve the issue. Can you please confirm, if it is an issue with the file or with the module and help me to fix it out. I have attached two files out of which the file I am able to open without any issue is 'Export_201605.xlsx'."

Excel found unreadable content

Does the Excel file have unreadable content? You can solve the problem here! What Is Excel file corruption? It is when contents inside an Excel workbook go haywire. A workbook can be damaged, if improperly manipulated, by any application which reads or writes .xlsx files.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover/Repair Corrupted Excel Download, install and launch Deep Data Recovery. Go to the software's home screen and...Full steps
Set Excel as Read-only In Excel, click "File" from the main menu. Select "Save" for a new...Full steps
Install Visual Basic Component Go to "Control Panel > Programs > select Microsoft Office 2010"...Full steps

What Causes the Excel Found Unreadable Content Error

Many reasons could lead to this error. The main reasons are listed below:

As you can see, corruption can be a reason that leads to this error. Following are some workarounds you can try to resolve this error.

Method 1. Repair Corrupted Excel Content with File Repair Tool 

To fix corrupted Excel files and recover tables, images, charts, and formulas from Excel, use professional file repair software - Deep Data Recovery. It is designed to repair corrupted Office files and PDF documents efficiently. 

Step 1. Launch Deep Data Recovery. Select file types and click "Next" to start.

Select file types that you want to recover

Step 2. Then scan disk with corrupted documents. This software enables you to fix damaged Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files in same steps. 

select the disk with corrupted documents

Step 3. Qiling data recovery and repair tool will scan for all lost and corrupted files. You can find the target files by file type or type the file name in the search box. 

find corrupted documents

Step 4. Deep Data Recovery can repair your damaged documents automatically. After file preview, you can click "Recover" to save the repaired Word, Excel, and PDF document files to a safe location.

Method 2. Set the Excel File as Read-only

You can try to use the read-only mode to remove the error "Excel found unreadable content". Here are the details:

Step 1. In Excel, click "File" from the main menu.

Step 2. Select "Save" for a new document or "Save As" for the previously saved document.

save as read only to fix Excel found unreadable content

Step 3. From the "Save As" dialog box, click "Tools > General Options".

Step 4. Click the "read-only" checkbox to make the document read-only, and then click "OK". 

fix Excel found unreadable content by turning on read only

Now open a new, empty .xls file. Next, you need to copy everything from the damaged file to the new file. After that, save the file.

Method 3. Install Visual Basic Component of MS Office

It is said that installing the "Visual Basic" component of MS Office 2010 resolves the error message. You can apply the steps to repair unreadable excel files:

Step 1. Go to "Control Panel > Programs > select Microsoft Office 2010".

Step 2. Click "Change > Add or Remove Programs". Click the "plus" sign provided next to Office Shared Features at the bottom of this list.

Step 3. Click "Visual Basic for Applications" and select "Run from My Computer".

Then, reboot your system when this process finishes in order to get the data recovered after fixing the issue.


If you are faced with Excel found unreadable content error, don't worry. There are many ways to repair Excel files and recover lost data. Stellar Toolkit for File Repair is my recommendation. With it, you can not only restore Excel files but also repair damaged Office files with simple clicks.

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