Forcing .xls files to open in 2003 when 2007 also installed

cedricthecat

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
460
I know this is a question that's been asked and answered many times before, for which apologies, but my usual fix isn't working!

I have both Office 2003 and 2007 installed on my laptop. I tend to use 2003 as it's what I am comfortable with, and also because the ribbon annoys me in 2007. In the past when .xls files suddenly start to open with the newer version, I've used the fix of

Start>Run excel.exe /unregserver
Start>Run excel.exe /regserver

but this doesn't work now :(

I think it's to do with being unable to open Outlook (for which I do use 2007) last night and then running "Detect and Repair" which flashed up "installing" momentarily. This sorted Outlook, but now whenever I try to open an .xls file it chooses Excel 2007. I know I can open 2003 and then choose the flies, but this is messy!

I've tried a system restore, but this is failing, with an 0x80070005 error. This error message states that an anti-virus program is probably at issue, but a bit of Googling suggests it might be an "Office activation error", so perhaps the cause of being unable to restore is fixing Outlook?

Anyway, I'm going to try a safe mode restore later but in the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, then they would be appreciated. It's frustrating not to be able to choose a different file association, but this method only gives 2007 as an option. There was a critical update to Windows yesterday (I'm on W10), so wondering if this might have affected things?
 

mole999

Moderator
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Messages
9,960
Office Version
2019, 2016, 2013
Platform
Windows
select the file then right click properties and open with.... something like that and set that as default

there is a program around that can make 2007 look like 2003 (I think)
 

cedricthecat

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
460
Thanks, but tried that and it doesn't work! :(

Followed all the steps, including "Always use this app to open .xls files" but when I navigate to the required older version of Excel, it still opens with 2007!
 

cedricthecat

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
460
Got this sorted and will detail how in case it helps anyone else!

I wondered if un-associating the file type first would do the trick, so I followed the suggestions here

Once the file type was removed, I then navigated to the excel.exe for 2003, but, on re-associating and double clicking to open, it still chose 2007!

So, I re-named the excel.exe for 2007, started over, and now as it had nothing to link to for 2007 on the double click, it started up with 2003 - and stayed on it!

Messy, but back to normal now, with .xls files opening in 2003 and .xlsx and .xlsm in 2007
 

mole999

Moderator
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Messages
9,960
Office Version
2019, 2016, 2013
Platform
Windows
Yep, 2016 robbed my 2007 connection, and deleted the 2013 I had wanted to keep
 

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