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I have used MS Excel 2007 for many years on a 32 bit computer. My newer computer is a 64 bit Windows 7 (yes, it's an antique :-). The 2007 software will not install on my 64 bit computer.

I spoke with Microsoft and they have offered me two alternatives:

  • Subscribe for $69.99 a year (download)

  • Upgrade to Windows 10 and purchase the current version

My preference has always been to purchase software rather than download and/or subscribe. I'd prefer not to upgrade to Windows 10 because I'm not a tech geek (installation). More importantly, there's always a learning curve with a new operating system and if it ain't broke, I don't want to fix it.

Given these issues, is there a reasonable solution for this, given the above parameters?

  • Is there any kind of patch that will allow 2007 to be installed on the 64 bit computer?

  • Is there a reliable way to purchase an older version of Excel compatible with the 64 bit Windows 7?

In lieu of such a solution, is there an alternative software (free or for sale) that will import/read XLS and XLSX files? I read some online recommendations but I have no idea if they are legitimate or reliable. For example, FreeOffice 'sounded' reasonable.

My spreadsheet needs are ultra minimal. I'm either cutting and pasting data in or importing it and my formulas do their magic. About the only thing that I need beyond that is an easy to use macro writer.

TIA for any suggestions.

EDIT 6/16/20

Sometimes life has an sadistic sense of humor. Last week, the hard drive on my Windows 7 computer fried and rather than toss repair money at it, I bought a new computer which arrived today (Windows 10). If Excel doesn't install on it, I'll be baaaaack! :->)

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions.

  • By "rather than download", I assume you want it to be fully offline? Otherwise, web apps might be an alternative since it's not dependent on the OS. – Andrew T. May 26 at 5:09
  • If you are ok with working online google spreadsheet might be good enough I don't know if it imports existing xls and xlsx files though, you could give it a try. But you will need a google account – user17915 May 26 at 6:05
  • From Windows lifecycle fact sheet Windows7 mainstream support ended: January 13, 2015 and extended support ended: January 14, 2020. So yeah, it's broke - you should fix it. – mcalex May 26 at 6:37
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    The 2007 software will not install on my 64 bit computer - why not? I have no problem using my Excel 2003 on my Windows 7 x64. An x64 Windows perfectly runs any x86 software. It's the other way round that is not supported. – GSerg May 26 at 8:39
  • Win10 is very easy to install and you shouldn't have much trouble if you want to try that. There would be a small learning curve though. As for "if it ain't broke", well... it is. Win7 is dead and insecure with major issues that'll never be fixed. Please consider upgrading. – Tanath May 30 at 2:18
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I will list several answers based on what your question entails, feel free to take your pick as your ultimate solution.


My newer computer is a 64 bit Windows 7 (yes, it's an antique :-). The 2007 software will not install on my 64 bit computer.

Excel 32-bit should absolutely install on your 64-bit operating system, because it is backwards-compatible with 32-bit programs. This sounds like a technical support issue you should look into on its own, rather than trying to purchase new software. Most software running on your 64-bit computer is actually 32-bit software, and it should not be a concern of yours to determine its instruction set. If you are looking for another program and it offers a choice of 32-bit and 64-bit, opt for the latter because it can technically access more of your memory, but for your purposes it won't make a difference.


I'd prefer not to upgrade to Windows 10 because I'm not a tech geek (installation). More importantly, there's always a learning curve with a new operating system and if it ain't broke, I don't want to fix it.

The process of upgrading to Windows 10 is very easy. It is also important because Windows 7 has now reached End of Life, meaning it is not supported and updated by Microsoft anymore. You are not guaranteed to receive patches to security vulnerabilities, which is indeed dangerous. You should not be using unsupported software when security is a relevant concern. So in that regard, your phrase "if it ain't broke, I don't want to fix it" actually means you should upgrade because it is broke. You should even be able to install your 32-bit Excel 2007 software onto your Windows 10 64-bit operating system. The upgrade process should be easy and if you are unsure at any point in the process, a quick Google search should lead you to many resources to answer your question.


Is there a reliable way to purchase an older version of Excel compatible with the 64 bit Windows 7?

All versions of Excel should be compatible with Windows 7 64-bit. You can probably find used copies on eBay that are available from the era when they still sold the software on disks with perpetual licenses.


In lieu of such a solution, is there an alternative software (free or for sale) that will import/read XLS and XLSX files? I read some online recommendations but I have no idea if they are legitimate or reliable. For example, FreeOffice 'sounded' reasonable.

Google Sheets is free and it runs right in your browser. It is capable of reading .xlsx files and has all the core features of Excel that you will likely need to use, including the same formula language and conditional formatting.

LibreOffice is a popular free, open source alternative to the Microsoft Office suite if you want to download the software on your computer.

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Try OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Open Office is from Apache and it's free for linux. I don't know if it is free for Windows or not. When you go to the page, use the computer for which you want the installation and it should sense your operating system.

Here is a link for OpenOffice: openoffice.org

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    A lot of people I know tend to prefer LibreOffice, because it gets bug fixes and new feature faster than OpenOffice. Both can be found for free for Windows, and there are other forks of OpenOffice that are also free, – Jeff Zeitlin May 25 at 22:55
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    Here is a link for Libre Office: libreoffice.org – Stephen Daddona May 25 at 23:01
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    LibreOffice is free for Windows as well. I run it on Win 10, but don't know if it runs on Win 7. – Ross Millikan May 26 at 5:01
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    From the LibreOffice download page, v6.4.4 requires Windows 7 or newer, so should be fine. – mcalex May 26 at 6:41
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While Libreoffice like everyone suggested is a very rounded solution indeed for sake of completeness and more options I am also adding another opensource project here:

https://www.onlyoffice.com/download-desktop.aspx

They offer self hosted option which is completely free and also a desktop version which is free and an effective replacement for MS Word, MS Excell and MS PowerPoint.

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Are you try to use GoogleSheets? It's free and more useful for me. It's very similar with MS Exel: all scripts and formulas from Exel are working; you can import from Exel and export to Exel; you can share if it needs; you can use it online or offline.

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