Excel prompts you to grant access to files and then hangs or shows a warning that it cannot open the .xlsx file because the format or extension is not valid

Last Updated: June 11, 2019


You may receive an unexpected prompt to Grant Access to files when you try to open a file or do "Save as..." or "Save a copy". When this happens, Excel may become unresponsive and you will need to force quit the application to recover.


We are investigating this issue, but you may work around the problem by following these steps:

  1. Quit Excel.

  2. Go to Finder on your Mac.

  3. Press SHIFT+CMD+G and paste this folder path into the Go To dialog: ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences

  4. Select OK to go to the folder.

  5. Find the file called com.microsoft.Excel.securebookmarks.plist and move it to the Trash.

  6. Restart Excel.

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