Killer Tech Tips

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Convert XLSX to XLS

with 62 comments

You got an XLSX file that was created using Microsoft Office 2007 but unfortunately you cannot open it because you have an older version of Microsoft Office installed on your computer that can only handle XLS files and not XLSX files.

So, how do you convert XLSX to XLS so that you can open the XLS spreadsheet file and edit it in older versions of MS Excel? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can go about converting XLSX to XLS:

Download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Excel 2007 from here (27 MB) and double click  FileFormatConverters.exe. Accept the license agreements and click Continue.

Microsoft XLSX to XLS Converter

The installation of the XLSX to XLS converter begins. A confirmation is displayed when the installation is complete.


Double click on the file that has to be converted from the XLSX to XLS format. Otherwise, right click, select ‘Open With’ and choose ‘Microsoft Open XML Converter’. Give a name for the XLS file and then click the Save button.


The XLSX to XLS conversion process begins, and the new XLS file is saved in the location you specified.

image XSLX Conversion

The XLSX to XLS conversion is complete.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

April 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 am

Posted in how to

Tagged with , , ,

  • roman

    ho ho ho

  • roman

    hy my friends….

  • thank you, thank you..that was easy, crystal clear instruction that really worked….thoroughly impressed.


  • alienclone

    or you could dl which will read all of those no matter what version.

  • damon

    anyone knows the commandline to convert xlsx files to xls files using this convertor utility, as far as i know these 2 executables are involved in conversion


    i would really appreciate if someone tell me how to do it

  • Jim

    I’ve perform all steps up to “Double click on the file that has to be converted from the XLSX to XLS format.”, and I’m getting a “Save as” error window saying, “The converter failed to save the file.”. What now?

    THANKS in advance.


  • Yes this is rite way ….

  • Cameron

    I too am getting a “Save as” error window saying, “The converter failed to save the file.”. What now?

  • H. McCartney

    “Save as” error states that a *.misC file is in the wrong format. Congratulations Microsoft. You have yet again dissapointed us with your failed attempts to fix a broken system with another broken “bandaid”.

  • Robert

    Very usefull, very easy, very fast.
    thanks alot.
    you really helped me

  • dd

  • Microsoft’s antagonist

    How about getting open office? much easier to use.

  • Open?

    How about open office row limit is far below Excel 2007s.
    Making it utterly useless to use against large xlsx files.

  • Open?

    How about open office row limit is far below Excel 2007s.
    Making it utterly useless to use for large xlsx files.

  • Erik

    How does one find the Microsoft Open XML Converter if it’s not given in the list of “open with” programs? I can’t find it anywhere on my hard drive.

  • manisha

    Erik answer to your question … to find the Microsoft Open XML Converter… you will have to brows first and then… under programs files–> Microsftoffice –>OFfice12–> MOC. choose moc,,,and there u r done………. i had the same trouble finding it.. but not its good 🙂

  • RAY

    this didn’t work
    I have downloaded the fileformatconverter three times and installed to no avail.
    what else might you suggest?

  • Nice software. I already use. It so much help me.

  • Wendy

    Thank you so very much for this information. It worked perfectly and really saved my butt! LOL! (Not to be crude or anything) But it was a great help. THANKS! I will certainly pass on to others!

  • Amaresh

    Nice…It worked! Thanks mate!

  • mostafa


  • Allan P


    My .xlsx-file has more than 65536 lines, but the conversion does not handle this issue.
    Apparently just the usual MS Office crap!

    Disappointed, but not surprised.

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  • Mike S

    I too am getting a “Save as” error window saying, “The converter failed to save the file.”. What now?

  • hanendra

    thank a lot of your solution to convert xlsx to xls, although I can’t find XML converter previously. Because solution from manisha, this problem can finished. Thank’s a lot of all

  • I had absolutely no problem with this utility. The installation and use was even easier than described. I downloaded the installation, it self extracted and installed seamlessly and opened the .xlxs file upon right clicking and choosing > “Open With” > Microsoft Open XML Converter. I’m running XP Home and I’ve got Office 97 installed. For all of you Microsoft bashers, I don’t think the problem is Microsoft…

  • Dav

    Tried everything and does not work. I can click it 100 times and it doesn’t start. I’ll have to check for other solutions…

  • Thank you for providing just what I needed to solve this problem. I went to the Microsoft Office site and searched for the solution and tried to follow along. It did not work. But when I followed your instructions, it was easy to fix.

  • Thanks for that it’s just what I was looking for. Come visit sometime maybe you’ll find something useful too 🙂

  • jeff

    thanks for this. its useful! i dont have to find a 2007 version just to convert into 2003 version. thanks a lot!!!

  • Imad Sahib

    I need it for education work

  • EXCELLENT !!! Thanks

  • Jayashankar

    Excellent! it save cost for me because of many offers xlxs to xls need download and cost $40?
    Thanks a lots!!!!!

  • Sporty

    I spent HOURS trying to get the XML converter to open! On another machine I had no problem, download the converter, double-click the document, opened right up. Even if I right-clicked and selected ‘Open With’ the XML Converter showed up as an option. Then got a new computer, downloaded the converter, and nothing. I was thiiisss close to giving up when I found Manisha’s post of 16 Feb 10. It was a lifesaver, I’d been browsing to the excelcnv.exe instead of the moc.exe. Works perfectly, thanks!!

  • saran

    its useful! i dont have to find a 2007 version just to convert into 2003 version. thanks a lot!!!

  • Ferdie

    Thanks! this really works!

  • wie2design

    Thanks a lot…….it’s usefull…….thanks you…….!!!
    it’s really work………!!!!

  • John Walter Kujur

    I guess sometimes the File Converter is not able to save the document (from Outlook)to the desired location and therefore we might get error message saying that “The converter failed to save the file.” If that is the case, we can just save the file from Outlook to that particular location and then open it from a Blank Excel sheet, we just need to browse to that file.

  • John Walter Kujur

    Apparently, when I try to uninstall the Compatibilty Pack from the Control Panel, it asks me to browse to the .msi file which I am not able to find (I just had the .exe file downloaded). Could someone help me with that?

  • John Walter Kujur

    Just found that we can extract the FileConverter.exe file using Winzip and it will give you the .msi file. Sorry for the botheration.

  • help me plzzzzzzz

  • Othello

    This is a typical Microdumb fix: It doesn’t work.

    As you open a file Excel yelps and yelps about what it can’t do, tells you it couldn’t handle the formats and delivers a de-formatted copy and when you try to re-format it, it squeals: “Too many different cell formats” (even if its only one simple number format).

    I believe, this “upgrade” by Microdumb is only to try to frustrate you even more into buying a newer version if you want to try to avoid buying a newer version following what appears to be a typical Microdumb willful and pointless extension change purely motivated by greed.

  • Donna

    Worked perfectly…thank you!

  • Dave Bulatek

    Similar but different. I have one machine with multiple users. All users can open pptx files by double clicking except one user. For all users, double clicking invokes the Microsoft Open XML Converter. The users are members of the same groups and therefore have the same overall privileges. The error message is as described above: a SAVE AS window with “The converter failed to save the file” message. This sounds like an access or privileges issue to me. Where does the converter try to save this file anyway? Any other ideas?

  • ron


    from INDONESIA



  • JOHN

    This did not work; I still have the same problem; leave it up to MS to screw up something as simple as a spreadsheet; what a bunch of jackasses

  • JOHN

    leave it to MS to screw up something as simple as a spreadsheet

  • Marc Boulware

    Other Alternatives such as OpenOffice might cut it, but one Company I do consulting work for was given a spreadsheet (from a Mfgr Rep Site) that was almost one megabyte in size! We threw EVERYTHING at it, incl. OpenOffice 3.3 (which choked on the XLSX file for about 10 minutes (gets an “A” for effort)), Corel QuattroPro, and some German Office Software (Softmaker Office 2010 (which I don’t recommend)). In the end, none of these solutions worked. The Solution was to nuke Office 2000, 2003 and the Compatibility Pack and put MS Office 2007 on, which properly handles XLSX files. This person can now save the XLSX file in an older format (with his Office 2007) and, in turn, send it on to all the co-workers (still running Office 2003). This is going to be a growing problem going forward, especially with the “XLSX -vs- ZIP” bug that exists in OWA 2003/EXCHANGE 2003 (use Google Chrome to side-step that bug). Marc.

  • Jim

    I received xlsx file as an attachement in my google mail & I couldn’t open it. I uses google spreadsheet to open it & then save it as xls. It works.

  • You can easily convert .xlsx to .xls online by using

  • Bibi63

    Very good help – thank you

  • Sonaline2008


  • santde

    Cool. It works. Thanks a lot.

  • Ejpro

    Excellent converter program, saved many hours!

  • N N D

    Really works. Thanks!!!

  • Martin Garcia

    Thanks for this tip, it was really useful!

  • Dandlo

    Does it work on a PPC Mac G5?

  • Asadeque

    thanks a lot. Working nicely.

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  • Gonzoo

    very tanks ….working .