10 Effective Ways To Recover Corrupted Excel File Data

Does your Excel workbook refuse to get open or each time when you try to open your Excel workbook it suddenly starts showing errors?

If you all are rendering such issues with your Excel spreadsheet then it’s a clear indication that your Excel workbook has now got corrupted. Now the question arises on how your Excel file got corrupted and how to recover corrupted Excel file 2016/2019 data

Well to get an answer to such a question, you need to go through this post. As here in this article,  I will give you all the complete information about Excel file corruption. Such as the root causes of corrupted Excel file and how to recover corrupted Excel file 2016.

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  • Retains the structure originality of your corrupted Excel workbook in the recovered file.
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  • well supports for MS Excel 2019/ 2016/ 2013/ 2010/ 2007/ 2003/ XP/ 2000/ 97/ 95 versions.

Steps to Utilize Excel File Recovery Tool:

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How To Recover Corrupted Excel File?

How To Recover Corrupted Excel File 

After getting an idea of how to identify corruption of Excel file and the main causes of Excel file corruption. It’s time to move on to our next section i.e how to recover corrupted Excel file 2016/2019.

Have a look over the list of methods we are going to discuss for easy recovery of corrupted Excel file 2016.

1: Use Open and Repair Tool

2: Restore corrupted Excel file from TMP file

3: Restore From File Recovery

4: Revert Workbook to last Saved Version

5: Disable Automatic Calculation

6: Try Microsoft Office Tools

7: Move The File

8: Recover Corrupt Excel By Saving as Another Format

9: Use External References to Link to the Corrupted Workbook

Let’s start discussing each of these methods on how to recover corrupted Excel file 2016 deeply….!

Solution 1: Use Open And Repair Tool

Make use of the inbuilt Open and Repair tool to repair corrupt Excel files.

Try the given instruction to do so:

  • Open Excel sheet > click File > Open.
  • Now select the corrupted Excel file
  • And click the arrow next to the Open button > Click Open and Repair.

repair corrupt excel file

  • If this is your first attempt at manually recovering the workbook > click Repair in the resulting dialog box.

open and repair tool

  • I Hope Excel will repair the file, but if something goes wrong, Excel will not recover any data from the corrupt Excel workbook.
  • Well, in this case, click the second option Extract Data

However, in many cases, it is seen this fails to repair the severely damaged or corrupted Excel file.

So, in this case, make use of the professional recommended Excel File Repair Tool, to recover corrupted Excel files.

Solution 2: Restore Corrupted Excel File From TMP File

Microsoft is having an AutoRecovery feature that allows automatically saving Excel files just like a temp file on the Windows operating system.

So, that if in case the MS office applications such as Excel, PPT  or Word file gets crashed or corrupted, you can recover it.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Open the folder where your temp file is stored on your PC. After then locate the temp files of Excel having extension .tmp.

The Windows 8/10 users:

Go to – C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

The Windows 7 users:

Go to – C:\Users\name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\

  • Locate the Excel temp files starting with “$” or “~” > and ending with “.TMP”.
  • Copy the files > save to some other Safe location > change the file extension from .TMP to .XLS/.XLSX.

And you can restore corrupted/damaged XLS/XLSX file easily.

Solution 3: Restore From File Recovery

The File recovery is the alternative backup, which means this is a file that contains entire Excel data as if the original workbook gets damaged or corrupted the data can be accessed from there.

And when the Excel file gets corrupted and tries to open a corrupted workbook, Excel engages the File Recovery mode that tries to repair the workbook.

You can create a recovery file automatically during intervals.

Follow the given instructions:

  • Open Excel > click File > Options
  • Then in the Excel Options dialog box > Save > check every box of the Save AutoRecover information > and as per your recommendation set the time limit (the default is 10).

  • Provide the location where you want to save the recovery file in the AutoRecover file location box.

Please Note: Make sure the Disable AutoRecover for this workbook-only box is unchecked.

In many cases, the Excel automatic File Recovery mode or Autorecover fails to recover corrupt Excel file. If this happens then try the below-given solution.

Solution 4: Revert Workbook To Last Saved Version

When the workbook gets corrupted at the time you are working then the best thing to recover corrupted Excel file is reverting the workbook to the last saved version.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • First, click File > Open.
  • And double-click on the name of the workbook that you have open in Excel.
  • Next click Yes to reopen the workbook.

Doing this will open the workbook without any modification made by you, but doing this will open the Excel file and data stored in it.

Solution 5: Disable Automatic Calculation

If Excel fails to open the file on its own or through the Open and Repair option, then, in this case, try changing the calculation from automatic to manual. As the workbook won’t recalculate in this case and might open.

Follow the steps to do so:  

  • Open a new blank workbook.
  • Click File > Options > in Formulas category > under Calculation option
  • Then click Manual > click OK.

  • Next click File > open
  • Now locate the workbook > double-click corrupted workbook to open it.

And check if this repair corrupt Excel file then recovers the entire data stored in it.

Solution 6: Try Microsoft Office Tools

If you are not able to open the corrupted workbook, then try the Microsoft Office Tools to recover corrupted Excel file data.

Follow the steps to do so:

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

  • Next click Recover Application.
  • The whole process takes a few minutes and responds to the Send Report to Microsoft prompt.

The recovery tool closes the Excel file restarts it and displays the list of the recovered workbook. I hope this helps you to recover corrupted Excel file data.

Solution 7: Move The File

In some cases, the corrupted workbook is not really corrupted just becomes inaccessible. The networks and servers often cause corruption and corrupt the files.

If your Excel file becomes inaccessible and Excel won’t repair than move the corrupted file to another drive, folder or server.

Solution 8: Recover Corrupt Excel By Saving As Another Format

You can try these easy tricks to recover corrupted Excel file data:

  • Open corrupted Excel file > go to Save As.
  • And choose Web Page from possible file formats.
  • Check if the entire Excel file is selected > click Save
  • Locate the saved file > right-click on it > select Open with > Microsoft Office Excel.
  • If file won’t opened normally > go to Save As > select an Excel format .xls or .xlsx.
  • And change the file name to prevent confusion > click Save

In, this case you can recover corrupted Excel file.

It is estimated the given solutions will help you to repair and recover corrupt Excel file data.

Solution 9: Use External References to Link to the Corrupted Workbook

Well, you can try to recover data only without formulas or calculated values from the workbook, try using external references to link corrupted workbooks.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Click File > Open > and go to the folder that contains a corrupted workbook.
  • Then right-click the file name of the corrupted workbook > click Copy > Cancel.
  • Now click File > New > click Blank workbook.
  • In cell A1 of new workbook > type =File Name!A1, ( FileName is the name of the corrupted workbook copied earlier) > press Enter.

Please Note:  Just enter the name of the workbook, don’t type the file name extension.

  • If Update Values dialog box appears > choose corrupted workbook > click OK
  • If Select Sheet dialog box appears > choose appropriate sheet > click OK
  • Select cell A1 > click Home > Copy
  • Now choose an area starting in cell A1 that is approximately the same size as the range of cells that hold data in the corrupted workbook.
  • Click Home > Paste
  • And with the range of cells still selected, click Home > Copy
  • Click Home > Paste > under Paste Values > click Values
  • The pasting values remove the links to the corrupted workbook and leave the data only.

[BONUS TIP]: Automatically Save Backup Copy Of A Workbook

I always recommend backup your Excel data, so that you can access your data if in case your Excel workbook gets corrupted or deleted.

Follow steps to automatically save the backup copy of your workbook:

  • Click File > Save As.
  • Then click Computer > click Browse button.
  • In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow next to Tools.

save backup copy of excel workbook 1

  • From the drop-down option of tools choose the General Options.

save backup copy of excel workbook 2

  • Now in opened General options dialog box, check Always create backup option.

save backup copy of excel workbook 3

FAQ’s Related To Excel File Corruption:

What is Excel File Corruption?

MS Excel is used worldwide by professionals and organizations for calculating, maintaining data, keeping records, and track.

But there are many cases seen when the Excel file gets you on the nerves.

Commonly the Excel macros and formulas go haywire and make everything worse, corrupting the entire information stored in the workbook.

Well, this is the most frustrating situation as a minor corruption in the Excel workbook makes the entire data stored in it inaccessible. And as a result, you are not able to access the data stored in an Excel file.

How To Identify Corruption Of Excel File?
What Causes Excel File Corruption?

There are many causes seen responsible for Excel file corruption. Here check out the most common one:

  • Due to the sudden closing of the opened Excel workbook
  • Unexpected Excel crash
  • Due to a virus/malware infection
  • Mistakenly using the Excel file
  • Excel application defection.
  • Unexpected system shutdown
  • Bad sector in the Excel workbook

To repair corrupted Excel workbook, Microsoft hasn’t offered any manual solution but an inbuilt Open and Repair utility available in Excel files.

Despite this, there are many other manual ways you can use to recover corrupted Excel file. Below check the detailed process.


So, this is all about how to recover corrupted Excel 2016 file.

Try the given solutions one by one and check if this helps you to restore corrupted/damaged XLS/XLSX file.

Additionally, Excel is an essential application and used in daily life, so it is recommended to handle the Excel file properly and follow the best preventive steps to protect your Excel files from getting corrupted.

Despite this it, is always recommended to create a valid backup of your crucial Excel data and as well scan your system with a good antivirus program for virus and malware infection.

If, in case you have any additional questions concerning the ones presented, do tell us in the comments section below.

Good Luck….

Priyanka is a content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.