How To Fix “Cannot start the source application for this object” when opening an embedded PDF In An Excel file?

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Cannot Start The Source Application For This Object

There are lots of objects and additions that are allowed as extensions in an Excel file. There are embedded objects that you can click on and open.

These files are then opened in the relevant source applications. 

In this article, we are discussing the error, “Cannot start the source application for this object” when opening an embedded PDF in an Excel file.

This indicates the failure of launching a PDF file embedded in the Excel file. This is because Excel is unable to launch the source application for the PDF.

There can be many reasons for this and we will discuss them in the section below with the solutions to this issue.

Let’s get into it.


How to solve the error, “Cannot start the source application for this object” in Excel?


The PDF file that you are trying to launch is not able to open because the source application failed to launch.

This is the issue that we are dealing with and now let’s discuss the various fixes for the same.

Fix 1: Change the default app 

You might need to change your preferences about the app that launches whenever you encounter a PDF file.

There is an easy way to change the preference. We will mention the steps for it below.

  • Launch the Windows Settings.
  • Click on the Apps option
  • Click on the option Default Apps
  • Now you can decide the apps to launch according to the file type
  • Change the default app for the .pdf files
  • Now launch the Excel sheet again and try to open the PDF.

Most likely, this should solve your issue.


Fix 2: Make sure you have the same program installed on your system that was used when the PDF was created

PDF files can be created through different programs and usually, you can only open the embedded PDF file on your system if you have the app that was used to create the PDF. if you use any other app to launch the PDF, you might face issues like this one.


Fix 3: Contact Microsoft support

There are not many options you can try for this particular error code. If the above solutions do not help you get rid of the error code, take a screenshot of the issue and then raise a complaint to Microsoft support.

Their team will get back to you with the solutions for the issue and these might be specific solutions catered to your specific problem.

You can also do the same on other online forums where other users may guide you with their experiences on the error code.


To conclude


The error code that we have mentioned in this article, does not allow you to launch the PDF app when you click on an embedded PDF in an Excel document.

This could be the problem with Excel or the app that you are trying to launch. 

We have mentioned the solutions that can help you get rid of the error code easily and if those do not help, you can always contact the Microsoft support team.

Keep following for more technical advice if you found this helpful.


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A Digital Marketer by profession and a passionate traveller. Technology has been always my first interest, so I consistently look for new updates in tech to explore, and also has expertise in WordPress.