How to Repair Corrupted Excel File? – 2024

We all know how irritating it can be when there is a problem with excel files. Particularly, when we can`t recover some Excel documents, even we have an automated recovery feature. There are situations when we simply can`t recover a file through the recovery function in Excel.

Luckily, there are ways of recovering data from Excel. These methods are far more complex than usual data recovering. And, in this article, we are going to introduce you with some of the best alternatives for repairing corrupted files in Excel. We have chosen some of the most common problems with Excel, and here is a further explanation of the best solutions for each of those difficulties.

Corrupted File while Excel is Open


If there is a situation where you have a corrupted file while Excel is still open, it is important not to save the workbook, because then you will also save the cause of the problem.

Instead of saving the file, you should find the last version of your saved document in Excel without the corrupted file in it, and delete the existing one. Also, you have to know that you will probably lose some of the data in the latest spreadsheet, but that is much better than losing the whole project.

These are the following instructions for a proper recovering of the last opened version of a file.

Step 1 – Click on the Open in File Menu;
Step 2 – Find your corrupted file with the Look option;
Step 3 – Open that file;

Recovery with Office Tools

If you have a situation where Excel is not able to open the corrupted file, you should use the Microsoft Office Tools. This solution is a bit complex, and you will have to launch the Office Tools, choose the Application Recovery Option, and select Excel, and in the end, the PC will send a report to Microsoft employees to help you solve the problem.

There is also a much easier solution, where you could use a program that is specially made for recovering files on your computer. The is a website where you can find software that can recover files from Excel and other programs like Illustrator, CorelDraw, MySQL, Outlook, Photoshop, and many other programs.

Try Using a Word or WordPad


If you are not able to find a solution in Excel for recovering some corrupted files, maybe you can open it in Word or WordPad.

WordPad has a feature where it can convert every format into text, which could help you to get back the most of the lost data. The only problem with this method is that WordPad won`t show you any formulas from Excel, but it is still a great solution.

On the other hand, Word is more complicated than WordPad, and you will need a converter for Word to be able to open Excel files. Also, you can save only some of the data by using Word.

Set the Manual Calculation

Another method for recovering some corrupted file in Excel is to set the calculation method to manual. There is a chance that Excel will be able to open a file without calculation. The exact steps for these settings are:

  1. Select File, and then New;
  2. Choose Blank workbook;
  3. Click on button File, and then choose Options;
  4. Find the category Formulas, and in the options for Calculations, select the option Manual;
  5. Find the new file and open it;

Furthermore, if you want to recover the file without formulas and values, you can use the external references.

Automated Backup


One of the best options for your Excel Files is to set the intervals for an automatic backup of your files. With this option, you will be able to find your workbook or a previously saved version, that doesn`t have any problems.

Automatic Recovery is one of the best solutions because you won`t have to worry if there is some problem with your file, in a situation where you deleted it by mistake, or there is some corrupted part in it. Most of the people choose the general option of intervals for recovery of 10 minutes, which is usually enough to recover most of your file.

Use SYLK Format

One of the ways to clean the file from corrupted components is an SYLK format, which is also well-advised from Microsoft. You will have to choose this format when you are saving the file. However, this format can only save the active spreadsheet. That means that you will need to separately save all of the sheets.

The most important about recovering the files while using the SYLK format is that you will need to rename the recovering file from SLK to XLS format, and the name of the workbook. You can save the values, but there is no ability to save the formulas with this method.

Excel Recovery Option


In a situation where Excel is not able to automatically find the problem with your corrupted file, there is a manual option, where you will have to find and open the corrupted file as a new workbook, and click on a Repair button.

However, there is a small chance that Excel will fix the whole file, but it can certainly save some of the data.

Recovering Macros

The most complicated part of recovering some corrupted files is to get back the macros, but there are some methods for this too. You will have to open the Excel without the files that need recovery and change the mode of calculation to Manual.

After that, you need to select the High Option in the Security category. In that section, you will find an option for disabling all macro settings.

Furthermore, you have to try to open the corrupted file when macros are disabled.

In case that file won`t open, you will have to try the method with the Visual Basic Editor, where you can copy some of the modules and macros from the corrupted file. In any case, using Excel templates from Simple Sheets can help you be more productive and make up for whatever time you lose scrambling for old files.
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