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.


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.

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 a XLS file? Advice and guidance

Absolutely most often appearing reason that prevents you from opening the XLS file is the lack of a proper application to support it in your operating system. It is notably the first thing you need to address. When one of the programs to support a XLS file from the list is already installed, you can try to rerun the file. The system should display a message asking you to choose a primary application to support XLS files. At this point we are looking for disk space where the application was installed in and we can link it with a XLS file. Since then, our operating system will use the selected program to support all XLS files.

Other issues

Despite the described problem with XLS there may be many more problems. If the existing operations were not effective, get involved with the following matters:

- verify that the XLS file is not damaged and that it has been downloaded or copied in whole
- verify that the file has a file extension that has not been intentionally changed (for example, if it do not contain other information than its extension suggests)
- make sure again whether the XLS file type is linked in the operating system with a proper program
- make sure that the file is not infected with a virus and you have up to date software and drivers.

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