repair corrupt excel file

Excel files provide a mini-database for storing the inter-related and small data amount. The data stored in excel sheet in very sensitive due to minor issue or on-line operations these files might get corrupted. There are many unpleasant reasons behind the corruption of the excel workbook and needed to repair corrupt excel file. This can be one of the most distressing positions to find you in. 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 the corrupted, inaccessible excel files and open a corrupt excel file.

Here in this article, we are going to describe ways that will help you to restore corrupt excel workbook. But before moving further here check out some of the common reasons that can corrupt your Excel file so that you can avoid further corruption. HAVE A LOOK:

Reasons behind the Excel file corruption:

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

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• 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 CHECK THIS OUT!!!

Included Repair Ways:

Ways to Repair and Recover Corrupt Excel Workbook:

1: Open and Repair

This is one of the easiest ways to repair corrupted excel Workbook. This is the built-in utility available within the MS Excel application. To restore the corrupt excel file you can make use of this manual method. 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 the excel file.

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

2. Data Extraction:

If in case the file is damaged severely, and the inbuilt repair option could not repair then you can utilize the next way to retrieving the 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 that 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.

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 fix the error.

7. Open the corrupted workbook in WordPad or Word

This is another valuable way to repair an excel sheet, 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.


9. Try SYLK (Symbolic) format

This is other option to manually repair the corrupt Excel file by converting it into SYLK or symbolic link format. This is one of the Microsoft-recommended solutions. This 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 try it, do the following 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 recover the corrupted Excel document.

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 work to fix the error but if it doesn’t, then go for the 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.


How to Recover Corrupted Excel Workbook:

Step 1: Download and install MS Excel Repair tool and hit on “OK” button in order to start the process.


Step 2: Click on a Select file and the corrupted excel workbook and click on the “Select folder” for searching the file in a specific folder and then click “Select File” to search the file for the particular drive.


Step 3: Click on “Scan” for scanning the corrupted file after select your file.


Step 4: Now you are able to see the scanning process.


Step 5: After performing the above steps for scanning, you can preview the corrupted workbook.


Step 6: Now click on “Repair” button to repair.


Step 7: Lastly you have to select the preferred location to save the repaired workbook on your PC.


After applying all the above mentioned steps, you will easily recover your corrupted excel workbook.


In the end, I hoped that this article provided you what you are looking for. Now you know how you can repair the corrupted excel workbook and recover the data. Here various manual ways are provided you can make use of that but if not then make use of the Excel Repair tool. This automatically repair the corrupt excel file and recovers data.

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