I don't understand why spreadsheets I receive open in Excel Viewer. The only way I get them to open in Excel is if I open Excel and then open the desired file. Double-clicking on the file in Microsoft Outlook or after saving the file will open it in Excel Viewer. This is frustrating.

I seem to have Microsoft Windows XP and the Microsoft Office 2007 suite. Thanks for your help!

  • Welcome to SuperUser. It sounds like the default application is the viewer. When you right-click the file in Windows Explorer, and select "Open With", is Excel an available option? – dangowans Sep 20 '12 at 16:15

Sound like your default file association has messed up. I could go into a long lengthy explaination of how to fix, or let Microsoft do that for me.


the fix itself is easy, its just buried a few menus deep.


The default action for the Excel workbook file type on your system was probably changed to "Open with Excel Viewer". You should be able to open the files in Excel by right-click > Open. Uninstalling the viewer should restore the file association to Excel.


Do you need the viewer? If not, uninstall it. You can also associate .XLS, .XLSX etc. extensions with Excel, by following the steps detailed here:

How to change or select which program starts when you double-click a file in Windows XP

Other helpful resources:

Windows XP: To associate a file with a program

Windows XP: To associate a file name extension with a file type

  • Meh, looks like I just duplicated the other answers while taking time to code those links. ;) – Karan Sep 12 '12 at 19:54

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