excel logo

Is my Excel file format too old?

This morning I was doing some work, and needed to open one of my Microsoft Excel files. I haven’t used it for a while, and opened it through a Folder on the Desktop. However, it wouldn’t let me open the file, saying I need to download an App.

So I did some investigations, and it turns out that all my older Excel files were behaving like this. I also seemed to be having issues if I email an old file format. The person receiving the email cannot open the file.

How do I know if my file is an old file format?

To check whether your file is an old file format: look in the Title bar at the top of the screen when the file is open. It will say Compatibility Mode next to the filename.


To upgrade the file to a new file format is really easy. Ensure the File is open. Select File, CONVERT. The file will be automatically upgraded.


There are many advantages of upgrading your files from the old format which worked with Office 2003 and before. Because of the type of code used, the new files formats produce a smaller size file than the old file formats.

Very few people are still using Office 2003 (and earlier!). Microsoft does not support these products anymore so virus defences and patches will not be available if you are still using this version.

If you don’t upgrade your files, they may start to behave slightly erratically. You may start to have trouble emailing them, and it will be harder to open them through the normal channels.

Good luck – guess what I am doing over the next few days…

Similar Posts