File Extension XLS

  • Full name
    Microsoft Excel 97 To 2003 Workbook Format
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a XLS file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a XLS file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your XLS file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.

What is XLS file?

The file extension XLS is a proprietary file format of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program. The .xls format is the standard format for versions 97 through 2003. As of version 2007, Microsoft has released a new version of the Excel Spreadsheet format.

More info

An XLS file contains table cell values as well as formatting instructions, formulas, and possibly macros. These macros may also contain malicious code, which is why it is advisable, especially for XLS files from unknown sources, to subject them to virus scanning before executing the macros.

XLS is based on the proprietary binary format of Microsoft, the Binary Interchange File Format (BIFF) format, which, however, can still be read by almost any spreadsheet program due to its age and its high popularity.

Programs which can open a XLS file

How to open file with XLS extension?

In order to open a file with XLS extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening XLS file occurred, it is highly possible that none of the listed programs is present on user’s system. Even if one or more said programs are installed, there may be issues related with given programs. In order to solve a problem with XLS files, follow the instructions below.
Install Microsoft Excel or other program from the list

Most often resolving problems with opening XLS files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support XLS files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of XLS files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.

Set Microsoft Excel as the default program for opening XLS files

It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate XLS files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Microsoft Excel applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Microsoft Excel has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with XLS files

Sometimes problems with opening XLS files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as:

  • File data is corrupted
  • XLS files has been not been completely download from the internet (only a part of the data has been downloaded)
  • Currently used user account hasn’t been granted necessary privileges to open XLS files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • XLS file was being copied from a corrupted storage device and is incomplete or data is corrupted. (Copying files from unknown or untrusted sources should be conducted with great care as such files may contain malicious software, which can damage your system)

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