5 Fixes To Resolve Excel Open And Repair Does Not Work Issue

Summary:  This article will provide you the alternative options to repair and recover corrupted Excel files when Excel open and repair does not work.

Microsoft Excel is a highly advanced program, used and trusted to calculate and provide the solutions to our difficult problems like calculating salaries to creating budgets.

This is a world-widely used application to calculate and carry out other tasks easily. But sometimes like other applications, this fails to works due to unexpected errors and as a result, the entire stored data become inaccessible.

Well, this is really a very miserable situation, and proactive methods to avoid data loss situation is saved a backup copy of your data or create an automatic recovery file at set intervals.

Moreover, to deal with the Excel file corruption Microsoft has provided an inbuilt Open and Repair tool to repair and recover corrupt Excel file data.

But there are also cases seen where the users are reporting the Open and Repair doesn’t work in Excel.

Well, there is no exact reason why Excel open and repair not working all of a sudden.

So, in this article check out the other alternative solutions to fix the Excel file corruption and restore corrupt Excel XLS/XLSX file.

Best Alternative Option For Excel Repair When Open And Repair Doesn’t Work

The easy and trusted way to repair corrupted, damaged, and inaccessible file makes use of the Excel File Recovery Tool. This is a professional recommended solution that is capable to fix various errors and issues in an Excel workbook. It is also capable to restore entire data including the charts, worksheet properties cell comments, and other data. It is easy to use and supports all Excel versions.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Moreover, if you are looking for other possible manual solutions then follow the given solutions to open a corrupted workbook when Open and Repair not working in Excel.

How To Fix Excel File Issues When Open And Repair Doesn’t Work?

Well, there are two circumstances in which Excel open and repair does not work. Let’s discuss them one by one

Part 1: Methods To Repair Excel File When The Workbook Is Open In Excel?

If the Excel workbook gets corrupted while working or you are able to open the corrupted Excel file then try the given solutions one by one.

1: Revert the workbook to Last Saved Version before the Corruption

  • Start Excel > click File > Open
  • Now choose the corrupted file and open it
  • Then click ‘Yes’ to reopen the workbook
  • Now the workbook opens without any changes you made that corrupt the Excel file.

Please Note: By using this method you can lose entire changes made to the file after it was corrupted.

2: Save the Corrupt File in the SYLK file format

  • Start Excel > File > Save As.
  • Then in the Save as Type field > choose SYLK (Symbolic Link) > click Save
  • For only saving only the active sheet in the workbook > click OK. A message appears that the sheet has features that are not compatible with the SYLK file format.
  • Click Yes.
  • And in Excel > click File > Open.
  • Now choose the file saved in SYLK file format and open it.
  • Then in Excel > click File > Save As.
  • Now in the Save as Type field > from the drop-down menu > choose Excel Workbook
  • And in the File Name field,> type a new name for your workbook > click Save

Save The Workbook In SYLK

Now the SYLK file format filters out the corrupted elements from the workbook by restoring data.

Please Note: This method allows recovering the active sheet only in the workbook.

So, these are the methods you can try when the workbook is open or you are able to open a corrupted Excel files but what if the corrupted Excel file is cannot be opened or repaired.

Part 2: How To Open Corrupted Excel File That Can’t Be Open?

You need to follow the given solutions when you are unable to open the corrupted Excel file and when open and repair doesn’t work in Excel.

1: Set the Calculation Option to Manual

Here try changing the calculation setting from automatic to manual as the workbook won’t be recalculated and may get open.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Start Excel > File > New.
  • And from the Available Templates window > choose blank workbook.
  • Now click File > Options.
  • And under Formulas > go to Calculation options section > click Manual > OK.

  • Now click File > Open.
  • Locate the corrupted file and open it.

Hope this works for you but if not then follow the second method to open the corrupt Excel workbook.

2: Link the Workbook to External References

Doing this allows you to retrieve the data only without the formulas or calculated values from the workbook.

Follow the given steps:

  • In Excel > File > Open.
  • And copy the name of corrupted file > click Cancel.
  • Click File > New > choose blank workbook
  • Then in the new workbook, on cell A1, type the following: [=File Name!A1]. Note – Here the filename is the name of the corrupted file that you copied earlier > Enter
  • And if the Update Values dialog box appears > choose the corrupted workbook, > click OK
  • Or if the Select Sheet dialog box appears > choose the sheet > click Ok
  • Select cell A1. And select the same range of rows and columns, occupied by the corrupted sheet data, including cell A1.
  • Now click Home tab > click Paste.
  • With the range of rows and columns are still selected > click Copy > click Paste
  • And under Paste Values > click Values.

It is estimated now you can recover data only without the formulas or values from a corrupted Excel workbook.

Additionally, you can also utilize macros to extract data from corrupted Excel workbook. But macros are generally risky and using them needs technical knowledge.

So, if you are not technically skilled then make use of the automatic Excel File Recovery Tool. Here check out the steps to use it.

Steps to Utilize Excel Recovery Tool:



From now on you don’t have to take stress on how to fix XLS/XLSX file issues if Open and Repair tool fails to work.

As the given methods help you to repair Excel file even if the Excel open and repair not working.

Make use of the given solutions one by one and check which one works for you. Despite this if you are not technically savvy then makes use of the Excel Recovery Tool, this allows you to repair and recover corrupt Excel files with ease.

Moreover, as I always say make sure to back up your important Excel data regularly or utilize Excel Autorecover feature this automatically backup data in set intervals.

If, in case you have any additional questions concerning the ones presented, then visit our Repair MS Excel Facebook and Twitter page.

Good Luck….

Repair Excel File When Open and Repair Inbuilt Tool is Not Working
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Repair Excel File When Open and Repair Inbuilt Tool is Not Working
When your Excel Open & Repair free tool does not work & you fail to resolve MS Excel file corruption then try other methods to recover corrupt workbook data discussed in this blog.
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Repair MS Excel Blogs
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Priyanka is an entrepreneur & 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.