repair corrupt excel file

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 due to minor issue or online operations these files might get corrupted. So, if you are the one whose Excel file gets corrupted, damaged or become inaccessible, then in this article follow the ways to fix corrupt Excel file and recover the entire data stored in it.

However, there are many unpleasant reasons behind Excel file corruption and as a result, you need to repair corrupt excel file. This can be one of the most distressing positions faced by the Excel file users. But as there are many reasons behind the corruption of the Excel workbook there are also several ways that will surely help you to repair Excel file and open a corrupted Excel file.

So, before moving further here check out some of the common reasons that can corrupt your Excel file so that you can avoid further corruption.

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Reasons Behind the Excel File Corruption:


Well, there are many reasons that can corrupt the Excel workbook, some of the common reasons are:

• Due to sudden power failure or an unexpected damage of power equipment
• Mistake while using the Excel file
• Due to virus/malware as this corrupt the excel file
• Any kind of defect in the Excel application
• Due to hardware failure
• Abruptly system shutdown can damage the excel file
• Sudden close in the Excel file can corrupt the workbook
• Bad sector in the storage media

Well, these are some of the common reasons and can be faced by anyone accidentally or while working. So, to fix the corrupt excel workbook



Included Manual Methods:



Ways to Repair and Recover Corrupt Excel Workbook:


1: Open and Repair


This is one of the easiest ways to repair corrupt Excel file. This is the built-in utility available within the MS Excel application. To repair Excel file make use of the manual methods. To make use of it follow few simple steps and corrupt excel file is repaired easily.

Follow the steps given below:

1. First click on “Open” in the File Menu

2. And from the list, select corrupted excel file

3. Now, from the drop-down list of the “Open” tab, choose “Open and Repair”

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

However, in case, the file is severely damaged and the inbuilt utility is unable to fix corrupt excel file then follow the second way.

2. Data Extraction:


Here in this solution 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:

1. Click on “Open” tab on the File Menu

2. And from the list, select the corrupt file

3. From the drop-down list of the “Open” tab, > choose “Open and Repair” option

4. And click on the “Extract” button to extract the data from the corrupt file.

3. If the corruption occurs while the workbook is open


Well, as we said earlier there are many reasons behind the Excel file corruption. The workbook also gets corrupted when the workbook is open. Then, in this case, do not save the workbook as doing 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:

1. From the File menu choose Open > click the Office button > select Open.

2. Now, use the Look In control, find and identify the corrupted workbook.

3. Click Open.



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4. 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:

1. Open new blank workbook.

2. 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.

3. And in the Calculation section > click Manual > OK.

Now try to open the corrupted workbook. In some cases, it is found that Excel can open a corrupted workbook also if it does not have to recalculate.

5. Try Microsoft Office Tools


If still, Excel can’t open the corrupted workbook, then make use of the Microsoft Office Tools:

1. Select All Programs from the Start menu.

2. And choose Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools.

3. Then, select Microsoft Office Application Recovery.

4. Select Microsoft Office Excel, in the resulting dialog box.


5. Now click on Recover Application. This process might take a couple of minutes.

6. 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 file then follow the another given solution.

6. Move the File


It is found that a corrupted workbook is not really corrupted, it just becomes inaccessible. The networks and servers mark errors 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 file to another folder, drive or server. This will help you to repair Excel file.

7. Open the Corrupted Workbook in WordPad or Word


This is another valuable way to repair corrupt 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

It might also possible that you open the corrupted .xls file in word, but the results are limited. So, to make this method work, must install the Microsoft Office Excel converter. And unlike WordPad, Word won’t recover procedures.

8. Utilize External References


Well, in some cases it is found that user 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 others 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:

1. 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

2. If 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.

3. When the Select Sheet dialog box appears then select proper sheet and click OK. Excel will show the value in cell A1 of the corrupted workbook.


4. 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.

5. Repeat Step 4, copying row A down as many rows as essential to contain data in the corrupted file.

6. Choose the data and select Copy from the Edit menu.

7. 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.


9. Try SYLK (Symbolic) Format


This is other option to manually repair Excel file by converting it into SYLK or symbolic link format. This 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.

1. From the File menu > select Save As and in Excel 2007 > click the Office button.

2. Now from the Save As Type control, select SYLK(Symbolic Link) (*.slk).


3. Provide the active sheet a name, like corruptedworkbooknameSheet1. If workbook has only one sheet, this step is useless

4. Click Save.

5. 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.

6. 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 saves only active sheet. But, you won’t identify that the format has stripped the entire pages but 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 you have reconstructed the workbook, discard the corrupted file or rename it, freeing up the original name. Avoid replacing it until you are sure you have recovered all the data as possible. 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.

10. Recover Macros


If you are able to recover data but not macros through previously given ways, then you can still save macros.

To do so, follow the steps:

1. Open Excel, but not the corrupted workbook. And set the calculation mode to Manual (see #2).

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.

3. 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.

4. Press [Alt]+[F11] for opening the Visual Basic Editor (VBE).

5. Utilize the Project Explorer (press [Ctrl]+R) > right-click a module > Export File.

6. Now type name and folder for the module.

7. And repeat steps 6 and 7 as many times as required for exporting the entire modules.

8. Close the VBE and exit Excel.

9. Next, open the new blank workbook (or the newly constructed workbook that contains recovered data from the corrupted workbook) and import the modules.

11: XML Method

Here know how to use XML method to fix corrupt Excel file.

Follow the step to do so:

1: 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.

2: 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 file and click “Save”. This will fix the file and allow continuing working on the document.

12: Open Excel with HTML Method


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

Here know how to do it:

1. 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.


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


3. 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

4. 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”.

5. 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 same as the original corrupted file. Press “Save” to complete the whole process.

This will repair corrupt Excel file but if it doesn’t, then go for the third party recovery tool.

13. Professional Repair Tool


Make use of the professional recommended MS Excel Repair toolthis is the efficient tool to recover any of the corrupted excel workbooks in all scenarios. With the help of this software, it can restore all corrupt excel file including the charts, worksheet properties cell comments, and other important data. It can also restore the corrupt excel file in a new blank file.


Excel Repair for Windows     Excel Repair for Mac


Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:


Final Verdict:


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

Hope after following the manual solutions given in this article you are able to repair corrupt Excel file and recover the entire data stored in it. But if not then make use of the automatic solution and repair Excel file easily.

However, if you are having any additional fixes or any query then please share it with us. You can go to the comment section or on MS Excel Ask Question page.

Good Luck….

13 Inexpensive Ways to Fix Corrupt Excel File Assuredly
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13 Inexpensive Ways to Fix Corrupt Excel File Assuredly
Are you the one facing Excel file corruption then here in this article follow the 13 best manual solutions to fix Corrupt Excel File and restore entire data
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13 Inexpensive Ways to Fix Corrupt Excel File Assuredly