August 19, 2016

Excel Services Fix – "The workbook cannot be opened".

When I tried to open any excel file in SharePoint, I was facing below issue: Excel Services – "The workbook cannot be opened".

After spending some time on checking configuration settings of Excel Service Application, I found root cause of the issue was permission to Service Account under which Excel Service is running. It does not have enough permission to Content Database of Web Application.

To fix the issue, follow below steps and execute PowerShell Commands.
1. Click Start, click All Programs.
2. Click Microsoft SharePoint 2010/2013 Products.
3. Click SharePoint 2010/2013 Management Shell.
4. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt (PS C:\>), type the following command, and then press ENTER:

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication –Identity <URL of the Web application>
$webApp.GrantAccessToProcessIdentity(“<insert service account>”)

When you run these commands SharePoint does following actions:
1. Add Service Account user to Content Database of the Web Application. 
(Security > Users).
2. Assign "SPDataAccess" membership role to Service Account user. (Account > Membership)
3. Assign full control permission to the Service Account user on the Web Application.

You can get the “Service Account” details for Excel Service Application from Central Administration. Please follow below step:
1. Go to Central Administration > Security > Configure Service Accounts >
2. Select the application pool “Excel Services Application”.
3. You will find associated Service Account with application in other dropdown.


If you have any questions you can reach out our SharePoint Consulting team here.

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