How to Fix and Recover Corrupted Excel File?

The Microsoft Office suite has become one of the most used and acclaimed tools throughout the world. Its applications are often installed in computers at homes and businesses and their users range from little kids that have to write something for the school to advanced computers geeks that use it for their daily tasks.

Among the programs packed in this suite, there’s a powerful utility to create data sheets known as Excel, a great tool that provides excellent features for all kinds of tasks. That’s why its use is so extended: there’re options and characteristics to fit all types of needs.

Unfortunately, Excel files can be corrupted for several reasons (the PC unexpectedly shutting down while working, incomplete transfer from flash drives, etc.) and, in case you didn’t back those materials up, they can be lost for good.

Luckily, there’re some alternatives to retrieve the information in this situation, so don’t give up on those corrupted Excel files (XLS) yet since here are some solutions that might actually help you no matter which MS Excel you are using you can try this option in MS Office 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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How to Fix and Recover Corrupted Excel File?

how to fix corrupted excel file

Method 1 – Using “Open and Repair”:

Microsoft Excel has a built-in repair tool in the 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016 versions for corrupted files. To access it:

  • Go to File and Open.
  • A menu will pop up in which you’ll have to select the file you want to fix and then choose “Open and repair” from the dropdown menu.
  • This will open a dialogue box in which you can pick between the repair option (which will recover as much information as possible) and the extract option (which will copy values and formulas).
  • The two alternatives combined should work fine to save your work.

how to fix corrupted excel

Method 2 – Saving the file to a different format:

If you can open the file but you can’t modify it or save the changes, you should use this method. You’ll have to save the file to a different format (such as PDF, XPS, or HTML) via the “Save as” menu.

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Once you’ve done this, you’ll have to open the recently saved file and then save it once again (but this time, you’ll have to choose the XLSX Workbook as the format).

By doing this, you’ll be creating a fresh new file with all the data from the corrupted file.

how to recover corrupted excel file

Method 3 – Opening the file in Microsoft Word:

For this option, you can download and install Microsoft Excel to Word converter on their PC or you can simply use the online tool to convert your damaged XLSX file into word.

You simply have to open the corrupted XLSX file with Word. However, you should know that this method only works for retrieving data (all the structures from the sheet will be gone, such as formulas and macros).

how to repair corrupted excel file

Method 4 – Altering the Calculation option:

If your file isn’t opening at all you can try to adjust the calculation option.

  • Simply open Excel in a blank workbook, go to the “Tools” menu, and look for “Options”.
  • There you’ll find the “Calculation” tab in which you’ll have to look for the “Calculation” section and set it to “Manual”.
  • Click OK and then try to open the corrupted file once again.
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When the automatic calculation is enabled, Excel recalculates the workbook automatically each time a value affecting a formula changes. If you turn off automatic calculation, you must manually recalculate the workbook, such as by pressing the F9 key or by using the Calculate Now Command.

how to repair damaged excel file

Method 5 – Linking the corrupted file:

In this method, you’ll have to link one cell of a blank worksheet to the corrupted workbook. Be sure to create the new worksheet in the same location as the corrupted file.

Once you’ve done this go to the blank worksheet and enter the following in the A1 cell: <Filename>!A1. This will copy the data from the A1 cell of the corrupted file to the new sheet.

In case it works, simply click “Edit” on the cell and select an area like the one that covers the cell that contains data in the damaged file, and then click Paste.

Then (and with the cells still selected) click Copy on the Edit menu.

Try combining these methods in order to recover all the data from the corrupted Excel file. In case you have any problems or if you know another alternative to these procedures, feel free to tell us all about them.

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