13 Best Ways To Repair Corrupted Excel File Effectively

Struggling with the Excel file corruption issue or does 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 corrupted Excel file and recover Excel file data with ease.

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 files and open a corrupted Excel file.

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

Let’s Find Out…!

Repair Corrupted Excel File With Excel Recovery Tool

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This is a unique tool that is capable to repair multiple Excel files 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.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Steps to Utilize Excel Recovery Tool:

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Why Do Excel Files Corrupt?

Well, there are many reasons due to which your Excel workbook gets corrupted, damaged, or inaccessible. To know how does an Excel file get corrupted, take a quick glance over this image.

repair corrupt Excel file

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

How To Verify If Excel File Is Corrupted?

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 to repair corrupted Excel file and recover entire data stored in it.

How To Repair Corrupted Excel File?

2. Inbuilt Open and Repair Tool

This is the easiest way to repair corrupted Excel files, 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.

excel open and repair

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

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

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

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

4. If Excel File Gets Corrupted When It Is Open

In many cases, the workbook gets corrupted when the Excel file is open. Then, in this case, don’t save the file as this will only save whatever corrupts the Excel file with the entire updated changes.

So instead of saving it, go back to the last saved Excel version. This will help you to discard corrupt components. Possibly, you may be lost data but can be rebuilt easily.

For reverting previously saved version, follow the steps:

  • Go to the File menu choose Open > then Office button > select Open.
  • Now, use Look In control, find and identify the corrupted Excel file.
  • Click on Open.

Hope after following the given steps you are able to repair corrupt Excel file 2007.

5. Turn Off Automatic Calculation

There are cases when an Excel file fails in opening the file by itself or by the Open and Repair option, then, in this case, try to set the calculation from automatic to manual and try again.

Follow steps to do so:

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

Now try opening a corrupted Excel workbook. Excel may open the workbook also if it does not need to recalculate.

6. Utilize Microsoft Office Tools

If still, Excel can’t open the corrupted Excel workbook, then make use of the Microsoft Office Tool, 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, choose Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
  • Select Microsoft Office Excel, in a dialog box appears.

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

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

Check your corrupted Excel file 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 other given solution.

7. Move The Excel File

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

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

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

8. Open Corrupted Excel File In Word Or WordPad

This is another valuable way to repair Excel file, try opening the file in WordPad. In case this works, then the WordPad will convert entire data to text.

But this method won’t recover the formulas. Unlike various other data recovery solutions, WordPad restores the VBA procedures (macros). Just look for the retrieved text for Sub & Function to locate them.

Well, you can also open the corrupt .xls file in word file. However, the results would be limited and to make this method work you should try installing the Microsoft Office Excel Converter.

I hope this works for you to repair corrupted Excel file.

9. Utilize External References

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

But as it is said that “Something is Better than Nothing” so recovering some of the data is good than having nothing. For recovering data through referencing corrupt Excel workbook, follow the given steps:

  • Open the new Excel workbook and go to cell A1 > formula in the form to reference A1 in corrupt Excel workbook: nameofcorruptedworkbook!A1. ( No need to include .xls in the filename.) and hit Enter
  • If in case the corrupt Excel workbook is not in the same folder, Excel shows the Update Values: nameofcorruptedworkbook box. Utilize the Look In control to locate the corrupted Excel file. Choose file > click OK.
  • When the select Sheet dialog box displays then select the proper sheet > OK. Excel will display the value in cell A1 of the corrupted file.

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  • Now choose cell A1 > drag it in many columns as desired to accommodate Excel data in the corrupted workbook. If Excel shows the Update Values: nameofcorruptedworkbook box, select the corrupted Excel file > OK.
  • Repeat Step 4, copy row A down in many rows as essential to accommodate the data in the corrupted Excel workbook.
  • Choose data > Copy from the menu.
  • And choose Paste Special from menu > Select Values > Click OK.

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

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10. Try SYLK (Symbolic) Format

This is another 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 Excel workbook corruption is due to printer related issue or there was a problem during printing.

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

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  • Provide the sheets active a name, like corruptedworkbooknameSheet1. If the Excel workbook only has one sheet, this is useless > click Save.
  • And when the workbook is having multiple file sheets, Excel asks if you need to continue as the selected format won’t support multiple sheets > OK.
  • But if Excel prompts a warning message that Excel workbook may contain features that are not matched with the SYLK format, > then click Yes.

It is essential for you to understand that SYLK format just saves an active sheet. And, you won’t identify that format had stripped the entire pages with the active sheet till you close > reopen the .slk file.

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

Now after saving entire sheets to the SYLK format, just open any one of the .slk files > rename it > utilizing the .xls format. Remember not to employ the corrupted workbook’s name. As the corrupted Excel workbook is reconstructed, discard the corrupt Excel file or else rename it.

Avoid replacing it until you restore corrupted Excel file data completely. Reconstruct the Excel workbook through import or copy data from .slk files. It is a deadly way, but helpful if nothing works. This step helps in saving values from formulas, but not formulas itself.

11. Restore Macros

If your data is recovered but not the macros through previously given ways, then you can recover macros from corrupted Excel file with the given ways.

To do so, follow the steps:

  • First, open the Excel, but not the corrupted file. And set calculation to Manual (check #2).
  • Now. from Tools menu, select Macro > choose Security > High option. In Excel 2007, you should click the Office button > Excel Options > Trust Center. Click on Trust Center Settings button > Macro Settings >Disable All Macros without any Notification in the Macro Settings >  double click OK.
  • And open a corrupt Excel workbook. If the workbook opens, a message appears that macros are disabled. However, if Excel closes then this method won’t work for you.
  • Press Alt+F11 keys for opening the (VBE )Visual Basic Editor.
  • Utilize the Project Explorer (pressing Ctrl+R key) > right-click module > Export File.
  • Now for module type name and folder.
  • And repeat steps 6 &  7  many times as required for exporting the entire module.
  • Close VBE > exit Excel.
  • Next, open the new workbook (or the newly constructed Excel workbook that comprises the data restored from the corrupted  Excel workbook) > then 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”.

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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 corrupted 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.

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

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

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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 corrupted Excel files effectively and get rid of Excel file corruption issues.

Now It’s Your Turn:

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

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

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

Good Luck…!!!



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13 Best Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File Effectively
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13 Best Ways to Repair Corrupt Excel File Effectively
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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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Margret Arthur is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and expertise on MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in easy to understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.