I recently upgraded my Excel 2003 to the latest version(Office 2013). I cannot open any of my older versions of Excel workbooks in the new version. Is there any way to do this or do i have to re-create all of the work in new version.

  • 1
    It should let you open them no problem. Do they have Macros in them or similar? Usually they can be blocked by default because of the security risk. Jan 24, 2015 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Office 2013 does not open old office files directly from explorer.
To open these files, you have to associate to and convert it into an office 2013 acceptable format first.

Right click on the file that you want to open and select the Open with... option.
Select Office 2013 as program for opening the file.

After that, office 2013 will ask you if you want to convert the file to office 2013 standards. Accept this request and convert the file.

After the conversion is done, the old office file will have the new office 2013 layout. Your file will now open.

  • Wow talk about ease of use fail on Microsoft's part. Why not just have office 2013 figure out how to handle the file and save the user hours of head scratching? Jan 24, 2015 at 16:54
  • @ScottMcGready the reason behind this is because those old formats are outdated. Microsoft expect people to have converted these old formats long ago. 2003 is 10 years old.
    – LPChip
    Jan 24, 2015 at 18:58
  • Maybe so but in a lot of corporate networks, people still have Office 2003/2007 as standard. Jan 24, 2015 at 19:32
  • @ScottMcGready Since office 2007, the Docx format was introduced, I work in corporate IT, and I honestly haven't seen much Office 2003 lately. 2007 is rare, 2010 is frequent, and 2013 is upcoming.
    – LPChip
    Jan 24, 2015 at 22:37
  • Try working in pharma. Only recently did they start the process of migrating away from XP... Jan 24, 2015 at 22:56

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