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Article ID: 288612 - Last Review: October 23, 2013 - Revision: 1.3

This article was previously published under Q288612
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


When you open a workbook, the following error message appears:
This workbook has been password protected with an encryption scheme not available in this region. This workbook cannot be opened.


This problem can occur when all of the following are true:

  • The regional language (locale) in Microsoft Windows is set to French when you set your workbook security encryption type to Weak Encryption (XOR) and typed a password.
  • The workbook is shared to allow changes by more than one user at the same time.
  • The regional language (locale) in Microsoft Windows is set to another language, such as U.S. English, when you attempt to open the workbook in Excel 2002.


To share a workbook protected by an encrypted password between the French language and other languages, follow these steps:
  1. Remove sharing from the workbook.

    1. On the Tools menu, click Share Workbook.
    2. Click the Editing tab. Click to clear the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.
    3. Click OK.
    NOTE: If the workbook is opened by any other users when you remove sharing, the other users will not be able to save their latest changes to the workbook.
  2. Change the encryption type to Office 97/2000 Compatible.
    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. Click the Security tab. Click Advanced. Change the encryption type to Office 97/2000 Compatible. Click OK.
    3. In the Password to Open box, type your password and click OK. When prompted to reenter your password, type it again, and then click OK.
  3. Share the workbook again.


XOR encryption is the weakest encryption available. It is the default option for the French locale. In the French local, when XOR encryption is used, you can share a workbook. However, the default encryption for Excel 2002 running on other locales, such as U.S. English, is Office 97/2000 Compatible. In this latter case, if the XOR weak encrytion scheme is selected, the option to share workbooks is unavailable.

  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
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