Fix ‘The File Couldn’t Open in Protected View’ issue: Microsoft’s Protected View is an extra layer of security. It is a read-only mode where most of the editing tools are turned off. Protected View is also turned on by default. This is also helpful when opening files from places on your computer, the Internet, or Microsoft Outlook that you don’t know about.
Even though this mode is turned on for security, users have said that Protected View also causes problems. Users have said that when they open a file, it either says it is broken or stays on the opening screen. This problem happens when either a Microsoft Word or Excel file is opened. Also, most of the files that cause problems come from Microsoft Outlook. Visit their official website for more information.
4 Fix: ‘The File Couldn’t Open in Protected View’ issue
Disable hardware graphics acceleration
- To disable hardware graphics acceleration, open Excel or Word.
- Click the File tab.
- Then click Options on the File tab to open that window.
- Select the Advanced tab on the Options window.
- Select the checkbox for the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option.
- Press the OK button to exit the window.
Check if the Dynamic Data Exchange option is enabled
- Open Excel.
- Go to “File > options > Advanced.”
- Scroll down to locate the General section.
- If the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) checkbox is selected, deselect it and click OK
Change the Trust Center settings
- Open Microsoft Excel.
- Go to “File > Options > Trust Center.”
- Now, click on the Trust Center Settings button.
- Select Protected View from the left side.
- Uncheck all the options on the right side.
- Click OK to save the changes.
- Click OK again to close the Excel Options window.
- Launch Control Panel.
- Then go to Programs and Features.
- Select Office 365/Microsoft 365.
- Click on the Change button.
- Select Quick Repair. And if that does not help, select Online Repair.
What Does “The File Couldn’t Open In Protected View” Error Mean?
Microsoft Excel has a feature called “Protected View” that turns off the editing tools and opens the file in “read-only mode.” But if the Excel file is saved in an unsafe place, it will open in Protected View and you won’t be able to make any changes to it until you turn off that feature.
But sometimes, even though the file is in a safe place, it won’t open because of a feature called “Protected View.” And when you try to open that Excel file, you might get the strange error message below: When the error “Microsoft Excel: The file couldn’t open in protected view” appears, it just means that you can’t open the file and make any changes to it.
If your DisplayLink adapter is plugged in, Excel will usually hang on the Opening in Protected View screen. If the adapter is unplugged, Excel will usually display the ‘Microsoft Excel (Protected View) has stopped working’ error.
Yes, you can remove or change workbook passwords. Anybody who knows the current password can remove or change workbook passwords. The steps are pretty simple. All you have to do is open the desired workbook and click on the Unprotect Sheet, which will remove the password.
If you don’t want others to open your file: You can encrypt the Excel file, which is the most common technique used. This basically means you lock it with a password and nobody except you can open it.