Repair Corrupt Excel file

Struggling with the Excel file corruption or your Excel workbook gets inaccessible? Wondering what goes wrong with your Excel file?  

Then Relax..!! I am here to help you out!!!

In this article, check out the complete information about how to repair corrupt Excel file and recover Excel file data with ease.

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Microsoft Excel files provide a mini-database for storing the inter-related and small data amount.

The data stored in Excel workbook is very sensitive and sometimes due to minor issues or online operations the files might get corrupted.

And as a result,  you start facing difficulty in opening the corrupted Excel files and recover Excel data.

So, in this article follow the complete ways to fix corrupt Excel file and recover corrupt Excel file entire data stored in it.

Well, there are several ways that surely help you to repair Excel file and open a corrupted Excel file.

But, before jumping on the solutions check out some of the common reasons why your Excel file get corrupted.

Let’s Find Out…!

Reasons Behind the Excel File Corruption:


Well, there are many reasons due to which your Excel workbook gets corrupted, damaged or corrupt Excel file

Now check out the common error messages that you may encounter when the Excel file gets corrupted or damaged.

Common Excel File Corruption Errors: 


Time to time after the Excel file corruption many users start encountering various errors messages: Here check out some of the common ones:

Try the given methods one by one torepair Excel file and recover entire data stored in it.

Repair Corrupt Excel File with Inbuilt Open and Repair Tool


This is the easiest way to repair corrupt Excel file, make use of the inbuilt utility available within the MS Excel application.

Follow the steps to make use of it:

  • First click on “Open” in the File Menu
  • Then from the list, select the corrupted Excel file
  • Now, from the drop-down list of the “Open” tab, choose “Open and Repair”

repair corrupt excel file

  • Lastly, click on the “Repair” button to repair Excel file

However, in case, the file is severely damaged then the inbuilt utility is unable to repair corrupt Excel file, so this case makes use of the Excel file repair tool, to repair and recover corrupt Excel workbook data.

Repair Corrupt Excel File with Excel Recovery Tool


Make use of the professional recommended Excel Recovery Tool, this is the best ever Excel file repair tool and is able to repair corrupt, damaged, inaccessible data and fix various Excel errors just by scanning once. With this, you can also recover the entire data stored in the Excel such as charts, worksheet properties cell comments, and other data.

This is a unique tool that is capable to repair multiple Excel file at one time and restore corrupt Excel data in a new blank file. So, apply the tool once and make your Excel file error free without doing anything manually.

Excel Repair for Windows


Alternate Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File: 



3. Data Extraction


Here try retrieving the Excel data by extracting it. You can do it by utilizing Macros. This method will help you to easily extract data on the corrupt spreadsheet.

For data extraction, follow the steps:

  • Click on the “Open” tab on the File Menu
  • And from the list, select the corrupt file
  • From the drop-down list of the “Open” tab, > choose “Open and Repair” option
  • And click on the “Extract” button to extract the data from the corrupt file.

In this way, you can extract data from corrupt Excel file and repair Excel file

4. If the Corruption Occurs while the Workbook is Open


In many cases, the workbook gets corrupted when the Excel file is open. Then, in this case, do not save the workbook as this will only save whatever corrupts the workbook along with the latest changes.

So instead of saving it, revert back to the last saved version. This will help you to discard the corrupted components. Possibly, you will lose data but can be rebuilt easily.

For reverting last saved version, do the following:

  • From the File menu choose Open > click the Office button > select Open.
  • Now, use the Look In control, find and identify the corrupted workbook.
  • Click Open.

Hope after following the given steps you are able to repair corrupt Excel file.

5. Disable Automatic Calculation


There are cases when Excel fails to open the file on its own or through the Open and Repair option, then, in this case, try to set the calculation method to manual and try again.

Follow steps to reset the calculation setting:

  • Open new blank workbook.
  • Then from the Tools menu > select Options > click Calculation tab. And in Excel 2007, click the Office button > Excel Options > choose Formulas in the left panel.
  • And in the Calculation section > click Manual > OK.

Now try to open the corrupted workbook. Excel can open the workbook also if it does not have to recalculate.

6. Try Microsoft Office Tools


If still, Excel can’t open the corrupted workbook, then make use of the Microsoft Office Tools, to repair XLSX file.

Follow the steps to run it: 

  • Select All Programs from the Start menu.
  • And choose Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools.
  • Then, select Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
  • Select Microsoft Office Excel, in the resulting dialog box.


  • Click on Recover Application. This process might take a couple of minutes.
  • And, respond to the Send Report To Microsoft prompt.

The recovery tool will close the Excel file and restart it, showing a list of recovered workbooks.

Check your corrupted workbook and open it to verify it is repaired or not. But if still, you are unable to repair corrupt Excel workbook data then follow the another given solution.

7. Move the File


Commonly, the corrupted workbook is not really corrupted, it just becomes inaccessible. The networks and servers mark Excel as corrupted files.

So if you stumble upon an apparently corrupted workbook that Excel can’t repair, then in this case simply move the corrupted Excel file to another folder, drive or server.

It is estimated now your Excel file corruption is fixed and you can recover corrupt Excel file data.

8. Open the Corrupted Workbook in WordPad or Word


This is another valuable way to repair Excel file, try to open it in WordPad. If it works, the WordPad will convert everything to text.

But this method won’t recover the formulas. Unlike many other data recovery methods, WordPad will restore the VBA procedures (macros). Just search recovered text for Sub and Function to find them.

You can also open the corrupted .xls file in word, but the results would be limited. And, to make this method work, must install the Microsoft Office Excel Converter.

Hope this works for you to fix corrupt Excel file

9. Utilize External References


In some cases, the users can recover data by referring to the actual cells in a corrupted workbook. In this situation, you won’t recover formulas, formats, charts, macros, and many other items.

But as it is said that “Something is Better than Nothing” so recovering data is better than recovering nothing. For recovering data by referencing corrupt workbook, follow the given steps:

  • Open the new workbook and enter into cell A1 formula in the form to reference A1 in the corrupted workbook: nameofcorruptedworkbook!A1. (You won’t require including .xls in the filename.) and hit Enter
  • If the corrupted workbook is not in the same folder, the Excel will display Update Values: nameofcorruptedworkbook dialog box. Utilize the Look In control to find the corrupted file. Select file > click OK.
  • When the Select Sheet dialog box appears then select the proper sheet and click OK. Excel will show the value in cell A1 of the corrupted workbook.


  • Now choose cell A1 and drag it across many columns as desired to accommodate the data in the corrupted file. If Excel displays the Update Values: nameofcorruptedworkbook dialog box, choose the corrupted file > click OK.
  • Repeat Step 4, copying row A down as many rows as essential to contain data in the corrupted file.
  • Choose the data and select Copy from the Edit menu.
  • Choose Paste Special from Edit menu > Select Values > Click OK.

If still, you are unable to repair corrupt Excel file, then follow the below-given solution.


10. Try SYLK (Symbolic) Format


This is other option to manually repair Excel file by converting it into SYLK or symbolic link format. It is one of the Microsoft-recommended solutions.

The solution is particularly helpful when the corruption is caused due to printer related issue or there was a problem during printing.

  • From the File menu > select Save As and in Excel 2007 > click the Office button.
  • Now from the Save As Type control, select SYLK(Symbolic Link) (*.slk).


  • Provide the active sheet a name, like corruptedworkbooknameSheet1. If the workbook has only one sheet, this step is useless > click Save.
  • And when the workbook is having multiple sheets, Excel will ask if you want to continue because the selected format doesn’t support multiple sheets. Click OK.
  • But if Excel prompts you with a warning that workbook might contain features that aren’t compatible with the SYLK format, and then click Yes.

It is essential for you to know that SYLK format only saves active sheet. But, you won’t identify that the format has stripped the entire pages with the active one till you close and reopen the .slk file.

And to restore data from the entire sheets, reopen the corrupted workbook and save every sheet one by one. This is why it is recommended in step 3 to give the sheet a descriptive name as this will help you while reconstructing multiple-sheet workbook.

Now after saving entire sheets to the SYLK format, open one of the .slk files and rename it by using the .xls format. Remember not to employ the corrupted workbook’s name. As the corrupted Excel workbook is reconstructed, discard the corrupted file or rename it, freeing up the original name.

Avoid replacing it until you restore corrupt Excel file data completely. Then, reconstruct the workbook by importing or copying data from the .slk files. It is a deadly process, but worth the effort if nothing works. This method helps in saving values resulting from formulas, but not the formulas themselves.

11. Recover Macros


If you are able to recover data but not macros through previously given ways, then you can still recover macros from corrupted Excel file with the given ways.

To do so, follow the steps:

  • Open Excel, but not the corrupted workbook. And set the calculation mode to Manual (see #2).
  • Select Macro from the Tools menu > choose Security > High option. In Excel 2007, click Office button > Excel Options > Trust Center in the left panel. Then, click on the Trust Center Settings button > Macro Settings in the left panel >Disable All Macros Without Notification in the Macro Settings section > click OK twice.
  • Now open the corrupted workbook. If Excel opens the workbook, a notice appears that the macros are disabled. If Excel shuts down, this method won’t work.
  • Press [Alt]+[F11] for opening the Visual Basic Editor (VBE).
  • Utilize the Project Explorer (press [Ctrl]+R) > right-click a module > Export File.
  • Now type name and folder for the module.
  • And repeat steps 6 and 7 as many times as required for exporting the entire modules.
  • Close the VBE and exit Excel.
  • Next, open the new blank workbook (or the newly constructed workbook that contains recovered data from the corrupted workbook) and import the modules.

12: XML Method

Here know how to use XML method to repair XLSX file

Follow the step to do so:

  • Try to open the corrupted file, once it is open select “File” and “Save As”. And from the list of possible formats click on “Save as Type” select “XML Spreadsheet” and then click “Save” and open the document again in Excel.
  • Go to “Save As” again and save the document as an Excel Workbook by selecting and Excel format from the drop-down list next to “Save as Type”.


Assure to modify the file name to avoid saving it over the corrupt Excel file and click “Save”. This will fix the file and allow continuing working on the document.

13. Open Excel with HTML Method


The HTML method is known to work in a certain situation and might help you to recover corrupt Excel file.

Here know how to do it:

  • Open the Excel file and go to “Save As”. If required select other formats from the drop-down menu in the “Save As Type” option.


  • Then from the options in the drop-down list, choose “Web Page”.


  • For maximizing the chance that you will recover the entire document, it is important to assure “Entire Workbook” is selected and click on “Save”.


Please Note: Certain elements of the original workbook might get lost including formatting may be lost. If Excel displays a message indicating this fact, click “Yes” to accept the risk and to continue

  • As the file is saved, situate it in the folder you saved the file. Do this by clicking “File” and selecting “open” and opening the folder to find the file. As find it, right-click on the file and select “Open with > Microsoft Office Excel”.
  • As the document is open, go to “Save As” and choose Excel format from the drop-down list next to the “Save As Type” option. When asked for a Page Title, create that is not the same as the original corrupted file. Press “Save” to complete the whole process.

So, these are the solutions you can try to repair corrupt Excel file effectively and get rid of Excel file corruption issues.


Steps to Utilize Excel Recovery Tool:



Now It’s Your Turn:


Thanks for reading the article. I tried my best to provide the possible solutions to repair corrupt Excel files.

So, try the given solutions one by one and fix Excel file corruptions issues.

I also love to hear from you, share with the us which solutions works for you to recover corrupt Excel file data, additionally if you any query, suggestion then share it with us

Good Luck…!!!

13 Best Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File Effectively
13 Best Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File Effectively
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13 Best Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File Effectively
In order to repair corrupt excel file, try the given solutions that effectively fix Excel file corruption issues and recover XLSX file data with ease...
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