You cannot open an IRM protected workbook in Protected View in Excel 2013

Note

Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.

Symptoms

When you try to open an Information Rights Management (IRM) protected Microsoft Excel 97-2003 workbook (.xls file) in Protected View in Excel 2013, the operation fails. Additionally, you receive the following error message:

We found a problem with some content in <file name>. Do you want us to try to recover as much as we can? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.

Workaround

To work around this issue, temporarily disable Protected View in Excel 2013, and then open the workbook again. To disable Protected View in Excel 2013, follow these steps:

  1. In the File tab, click Options.

  2. In the Excel Options dialog box, click Trust Center.

  3. Click Trust Center Settings.

  4. Click Protect View.

  5. In the Trust Center dialog box, clear the following check boxes as appropriate for your situation:

    • Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet
    • Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations
    • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments

More Information

Protected View is a read-only mode in which most editing functions are disabled. Additionally, Protected View is enabled by default, and files that are located in potentially unsafe locations are opened in Protected View. For more information about Protected View, go to the following Microsoft website:

What is Protected View

Status

This is a known issue in Excel 2013.