XLSM file icon

XLSM File Extension

Excel Open XML Macro-Enabled Spreadsheet

What is XLSM file?

XLSM is a commonly used spreadsheet document created with Excel 2007 or later. XLSM files store data in cells organized in rows and columns. XLSM files can aslo contain spreadsheet macros. XLSM is based on Open XML format and uses ZIP compression, similar to XLSX file.

Macros in XLSM files

XLSM and XLSX are almost identical spreadsheet formats, with the difference that XLSM contains macros written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language. Macro is a user-defined function that can be used to automate some repetitive tasks. Macros are disabled in Excel by default for security reasons, as macros are susceptible to being used for malicious code delivery. In order to user-defined Excel macros the spreadsheet document must be saved as XLSM file.

Programs which support XLSM file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with XLSM files, divided into 2 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with XLSM suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Programs that support XLSM file

Updated: 02/23/2024

How to open file with XLSM extension?

Being unable to open files with XLSM extension can be have various origins. What is important, all common issues related to files with XLSM extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install Microsoft Excel

Install software to open XLSM file Problems with opening and working with XLSM files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with XLSM files being present on your machine. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft Excel or one to the listed programs: Microsoft Office, WordPerfect Office, Corel Quattro Pro. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Microsoft Excel website and download the installer.

Step 2. Check the version of Microsoft Excel and update if needed

Update software that support file extension XLSMYou still cannot access XLSM files although Microsoft Excel is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. This can be one of the causes why XLSM files are not compatible with Microsoft Excel. The latest version of Microsoft Excel should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Excel Open XML Macro-Enabled Spreadsheet files with Microsoft Excel

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Excel installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage XLSM on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with XLSM file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the XLSM with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Excel installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open XLSM files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with XLSM file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with XLSM extension, select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with XLSM extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Verify that the XLSM is not faulty

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the XLSM file in question. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check XLSM file for viruses
1. The XLSM may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the XLSM is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the XLSM file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

Did you receive the XLSM file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. If the XLSM file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Excel Open XML Macro-Enabled Spreadsheet file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Microsoft Excel

If the systems has insufficient resources to open XLSM files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Excel Open XML Macro-Enabled Spreadsheet file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle XLSM files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the XLSM file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on XLSM file.

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