Web browser does not support opening Excel files [FIX]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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Windows users can open a variety of files in native external applications instead of opening within browser pages, which is convenient in many ways. However, some users have reported that they get a web browser that does not support opening excel files error while trying to open Excel files. The full error reads:

To open this workbook, your computer must have a version of Microsoft Excel installed and your Web browser must support opening files directly from Excel in the browser.

Follow the steps given in this article to fix the browser that does not support opening Excel Files.

How do I open Excel files directly from Chrome?

1. Use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge (Chromium)

  1. If you are using Google Chrome, there is no way to fix this issue completely but a few workarounds that involve installing third-party plugins.
  2. To open the Excel files any browser requires an ActiveX control feature that is supported by Internet Explorer but not Google Chrome. Even Firefox would need an ff-ActiveX-host plugin to do the same.
  3. So, your best bet is to use Edge Chromium or Internet Explorer to read and edit the files in their native app.
  4. If you still want to use Google Chrome, you need to use the Edit in Browser feature or read the next step.

2. Use Plugin for Firefox and Chrome

IE Tab Extension For Chrome 

  1. Launch Chrome and open IE Tab extension page.
  2. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button.web browser does support opening excel files
  3. Wait for the plugin to download and install. Restart Chrome if needed.
  4. Now whenever you want to open the Excel files, click the IE Tab icon to invoke the action and that should help to resolve the browser does not support opening Excel files issue in Chrome.

ff-ActiveX-host plugin for Firefox

  1. If you want to have the ActiveX control functionality for Firefox you need to get the ff-ActiveX-host plugin installed.
  2. Installing this plugin can be a tricky task, but you can get more information on how to install it from the developer’s GitHub page.
  3. After installing the plugin, check if you are able to work with the Excel files without any errors.

3. Delete Registry Keys

  1. If the issue persists even with Internet Explorer browser, try the steps given below.
  2. Press Windows + R to open Run.
  3. Type Regedit and press OK.
  4. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft \AppV \Client\Virtualizationweb browser does support opening excel files
  5. Now double-click on ProcessUsingVirutalComponents.
  6. Remove/Delete the following values one by one:
    “%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” and “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
  7. Click OK to save the changes.
  8. Close the Registry Editor.
  9. Relaunch your Internet Explorer and check if you are able to edit the files without any error.
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