[Fix:] Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

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Sometimes, while working in Excel, users encounter- an “Excel file opens but does not display” issue. Not knowing the last Excel operation, enabled Hardware Graphics Acceleration option and Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), etc. may cause this phenomenon in Excel. Fort this issue, only the Commands within the Ribbon or the entire Ribbon gets grayed out.

Display-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

In this article, we demonstrate multiple ways to resolve- an “Excel file opens but does not display” issue.

7 Easy Ways to Resolve Excel File Opens but Does Not Display Issue

Way 1: Unhiding Worksheet to Resolve Excel File Opens but Does Not Display Issue

🔄 When working with an Excel file whose last operation you don’t know or remember may have content that is hidden. As a result, after opening the Excel file you encounter the following depicted display (i.e., No content along with grayed-out Commands).

Grayed Out-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

🔼 To work around the issue, go to the View tab > Window section. You see the Hide option is grayed out. Click on Unhide.


🔼 Excel brings out the Unhide dialog box containing all the Sheets hidden within the file. Choose the respective sheet (in this case, there is only one sheet) then click on OK.


Unhiding desired sheet displays contents that Excel doesn’t display previously. If this way doesn’t work in your case, try other ways from the latter section.

Read More: [Fixed!] Unable to Open Excel Files Directly by Clicking on the File Icon

Way 2: Maximization of Window to Resolve Not Displaying Excel File Issue

🔼 Excel refreshes the display every time we switch from minimized display to maximized. For not displaying data in an opened Excel file execute below two steps:

➧ Minimize the Excel file display using the Minimize Icon in the right-most corner of the display.

➧ Go to the device Taskbar or Excel Application and right-click on it. Select your desired file to maximize it. Excel may display the contents of the file.

Maximization-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

Way 3: Disabling Hardware Graphics Acceleration Option to Display File Content

🔼 The device Video Adapter Driver causes an “Excel file doesn’t display content” issue when updates are not met. To solve this, you have to untick the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option.

➧ Open the Excel File.

➧ Go to Worksheet’s File > Options > Select Advanced (from the Right Side of the display) > Untick the Disable hardware graphics acceleration (within the Display section).

➧ Click on OK.

Hardware Graphics Acceleration

Read More: Fix Excel Not Responding and Save Your Work

Way 4: Disabling Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for Other Applications

🔄 The Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) works as an instructor for instructing applications to open files each time you double click or open a file. Therefore, the same thing happens when you try to open an Excel file. In case, if the Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) option is enabled, Excel ignores the DDE request to display the file. As a result, Excel displays a blank worksheet. To resolve the issue, you have to disable the Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) option.

🔼 In the blank worksheet, move to Worksheet’s File > Options.

DDE-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display🔼 Choose Advanced (from the Left side options) > Untick the Ignore Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) option (under the General section) > Click OK.

Disabling DDE option

Read More: [Fixed!] Excel File Not Opening on Double Click (8 Possible Solutions)

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Way 5: Resetting Excel File Association to Resolve File Not Displaying Issue

🔄 In general, your device assigns different Applications to open different types of files. The Applications are known as Default Applications. In some cases, the Default Applications may not perform or there are changes accidentally resulting mismatch in the file’s association. You have to reset the Default Applications to deal with the issue.

🔼 First, you have to check whether the file is identified as an Excel file or not. Right-Click on the File (though it’s clear in this case that the file is identified as an Excel file). Click on Properties.

File Association-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

🔼 In the Properties dialog box, select the General section. Check the Opens with option whether it is Excel or not.

properties window

If the Open with option is not Excel, then follow the latter section to reset it.

⧭ In Windows 10 and 8.1 Operating System:

➧ In the Properties dialog box General section; beside the Open with option, click on the Change option.

➧ Operating System (OS) will display multiple Applications. Select Excel from the options.

➧ If Excel is not shown in the options, click on More Apps afterward select Excel from the options then click on OK.

⧭ In Windows 8 Operating System:

➧ Write Control Panel in the Start Menu display. Choose Control Panel upon appealing on the screen.

➧ Click on the Default Programs, then select the Set your default programs option.

➧ Choose Excel, afterward click on Choose default for this program.

➧ Instantly Excel brings the Set Program Associations dialog box. Select Select All and click on Save in the dialog box.

In Windows 7 Operating System:

➧ Click on Start then go to Control Panel.

➧ Inside the Default Programs, select the Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program option.

➧ After selecting Microsoft Excel Worksheet, click on the change program option.

➧ Below the Recommended Programs choose Microsoft Excel.

➧ In case, there is no Excel option present in the Recommended Programs; browse the device directory for the Excel Installation Folder. Afterward, click on Excel.exe then select Excel.

Read More: Fix Excel Not Responding and Save Your Work

Way 6: Repair Office Program for Solving Excel File Opens but Does Not Display Issue

🔄 Often, the Microsoft Office program causes caveats. In this case, Modifying the Office may sort the display issue. In the Settings menu, inside the Apps & features, you find all installed apps (i.e., Microsoft Office, in this case, Microsoft 365). Click on it then there will be two options displayed; Modify or Uninstall. Select Modify to repair the program.

Repair Office

Execute the below instruction for Operation System (OS) wise outcome.

⧭ In Windows 10 Operating System:

➧ Move to the device Settings or go to Start menu, type Settings.

➧ Choose the Apps & features option inside the Settings window. Then, find Microsoft Office, and click on it.

➧ Two options appear; Modify and Uninstall. Click on Modify.

➧ Operating System (OS) brings the How would you like to repair your Office programs window. Choose Online Repair then click on Repair.

⧭ In Windows 8 Operating System:

➧ Go to Control Panel or type Control Panel on the Start menu.

➧ Below the Programs options, choose the Uninstall a program option.

➧ Find Microsoft Office and click on it. Then choose Change.

➧ Click on Online Repair afterward Repair. Restart your device after all the repairing process is done.

⧭ In Windows 7 Operating System:

➧ Click on Start, then choose Control Panel from the menu.

➧ In the Control Panel, double-click on Programs and Features.

➧ Find Microsoft Office, then click on it. Select Change between the options.

➧ Afterward, choose Online Repair, and subsequently select Repair.

Read More: What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding (10 Handy Tricks)

Way 7: Turning Off Excel Add-Ins Option to Solve Display Issue

🔄 Your Excel application may be using Add-ins without your knowledge. Those Add-ins may cause display issues for Excel files. You need to Turn Off those 1/2 Add-ins to resolve the display issue.

🔼 Hover to Worksheet File > Options > Select Add-ins > Choose COM Add-ins (inside the Manage menu) > Click on Go.

Add ins-Excel File Opens but Does Not Display

🔼 Untick one of the Add-ins then Click OK.

Clearing Add-ins

🔼 Restart the Excel program. If the display issue doesn’t resolve, repeat the above two steps; in this case, clear different Add-ins from the COM Add-ins list.


There are multiple ways to resolve an “Excel file opens but does not display” issue. In this article, we try to address the causes and remedies to work around the issue. Hope these above-mentioned ways help you to solve the caveat. Comment, if you have further inquiries or have anything to add.

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Maruf Islam

Maruf Islam

My self, Maruf Islam, an engineer and Excel & VBA Content developer on Exceldemy. I enjoy solving problems, finding workable solutions, and most of the part I really like to take on challenges. On Exceldemy I write articles discussing various way outs of Microsoft Excel's stuck ons.

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