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How to repair a corrupted excel file

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New Member
There is an Excel file that contains about 50 pages with formulas and references. It contains tables with formatting. One day when you run the file has not opened writes that the Office has executed the error and will be closed after restarting offers to restore the file. After that restores: I see all the formula data pages, but there are no tables and formatting completely.


Active Member
You have two options:
  1. Go back to the last backup you took of the file (of course, you have backups ...).
  2. ... but if you don't have backups (why not?), you could try one of the many free online tools that claim to be able to rescue Excel files. Some have been known to work.
Good luck!

Joyce N Johnson

New Member
If the Excel file is corrupt, you should repair it. There are many vendors in the market which provide Excel Repair/Recovery tool. But before you can purchase any such paid software, you must download the free demo version to check what you can actually recover from the corrupt Excel file.


Active Member
Here are a few suggestions I've used in the past :



Restoring a Corrupted File

This is the reply from one of members re restoring a corrupted file

The techs at Microsoft were able to restore the Excel file!

I'm not sure what all they did (some of it was magic, evidently), but here's a tip they passed along.

If you're having a problem with an Excel file, save it as HTML (which is one of the file types in Excel), then save it back to .xls

They say that will often recover lost information, or restore a corrupt file.



'provides a list of steps to recover a corrupt file




Another way of restoring broken/corrupted Excel files

I've been quite lucky actually opening corrupted files in OpenOffice, saving them, and then re-opening them in Excel. Sometimes the formatting will be a little off, but the data is almost always recovered, as well as most of the formatting. Unfortunately, not all of the formula and charts are, but when it happened I was happy anything was salvaged at all :)


New Member
When Microsoft Excel detects a corrupted workbook upon opening, it automatically starts File Recovery mode and attempts to repair the workbook. If File Recovery mode doesn’t start, try using this manual process to recover your workbook:

  1. Click File > Open.

  2. Click the location and folder that contains the corrupted workbook.

  3. In the Open dialog box, select the corrupted workbook.

  4. Click the arrow next to the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

  5. To recover as much of the workbook data as possible, pick Repair.

    If Repair isn’t able to recover your data, pick Extract Data to extract values and formulas from the workbook.
If neither automatic nor manual repair works, there are some recovery methods that might help salvage your data. You can also take some preventive measures to avoid losing your work by automatically saving a backup copy of your workbook or creating a recovery file from time to time.

For more info or you have any query you can also join advanced excel course


New Member
I am going to share few solutions to repair corrupt Excel file:

Solution 1: Open and Repair

This is inbuilt option to repair an Excel file. To use this:
  • Open MS Excel instance
  • Navigate on File->Open
  • Select the file which you want to repair
  • Choose ‘Open and Repair’ option
  • Click Repair
Solution 2: Extract data

Follow 4 steps of the above solution and click on the Extract data insisted of repair.

Solution 3: Delete COM Add-Ins

COM Add-In could be the reason of the file error. Run excel in safe mode and try to open the corrupt excel file. If you are able to open Excel file in safe mode then, its time to delete COM Add-Ins. To do so:

  • Open Excel instance
  • File->Options->Add-Ins
  • Select COM Add-Ins (Under manage drop-down list)
  • Click Go
  • Delete unwanted and save the changes.
Solution 4: update trust center setting

  • Open Excel
  • File->Options->Trust Center
  • Click on Trust Center Setting button
  • Under protected view option, disable all three options
  • Save the changes
So, these are the most simple and effective ways to repair corrupt Excel file. If these options won’t work then, you can repair your corrupt file by using Excel file repair software.

Good Luck!
Last edited by a moderator:

Katherine Pearson

New Member
#Technique 1: Excel File Using MS Office Repair Feature

This Excel file repair option is available in MS Excel application. This is an in-built feature provided by Microsoft to resolve this kind of issues. It will help you to Fix corrupted Excel file. Also, it resolves minor-level corruption with these steps.
  1. Start MS Excel application

  2. Go to the file menu, click to Open.

  3. A dialog box will pop up where all XLSX files are stored.

  4. Select the damaged XLSX file from its location.

  5. Choose Open and Repair, from the drop-down arrow.

  6. Click Repair to repair XLSX file.

  7. If this won't work, click Extract Data option to retrieve XLSX file.

#Technique 2: Try to Open MS Excel in Safe Mode

This technique is useful when your MS Excel doesn’t start. MS Excel application can be open by this trick. In fact, opening MS Excel in safe mode will alter some of the errors and this problem might be resolved. Try to fix corrupted XLSX file with this technique in easy steps:
  1. Go to start menu or press "Windows + R key".

  2. Now, type "excel.exe/safe" in the command prompt and hit "Enter".

  3. Here, MS Excel will run in safe mode.

  4. Select on the "File tab" and open it.

  5. choose the XLSX file to Open.
The above-mentioned techniques will help you to get rid of this problem, try to fix Excel file with any of the methods. It will help you to recover Excel files with original formatting intact. It’s an easy way to repair and recover MS Excel file.
Last edited by a moderator:
Here are the few solutions that worked for me to repair corrupt Excel file, Hope it works for you too.

1. Open and Repair Excel files
A corrupt Excel file opens in File Recovery mode automatically. If not, you can repair Excel files manually as below:
  • Click on the File, and select Open.
  • Go to the location where the corrupt workbook is present, and select the corrupted worksheet.
  • Expand the arrow next to Open. Here select Open and Repair.
  • In order to repair, select Repair.
Note: If the Repair option doesn’t work, you can select Extract Data and try to extract values and formulae.

2. Recover the data from an open workbook
If you face issues while working in an Excel file, you can choose to return to the last saved version of the Excel file. For this:
  • Click on File. Select Open.
  • Double click on the name of the workbook (the one that it is open in your Excel)
  • Click Yes to reopen it.
The workbook will now appear. Please note that you will not have the latest modifications in the newly opened document.

3. Recover by setting calculation option as manual
You can recover data from Excel workbooks that cannot be opened. For this, you will need to configure the calculation option as manual in Excel as:
  • Begin by clicking on File. Select New. In New, select Blank workbook
  • From File, select Options.
  • From the Formulas category, under the section Calculation options, select Manual. Now click on OK.
  • Now, click File, and select Open to and open the corrupted or damaged Excel file.
Mod Edit: Advertisement removed
Last edited by a moderator:


New Member
Hello, you can try unlocking the Excel File :
Step1: Locate your Word or Excel file with said error.
Step2: Right-click on it and choose Properties.
Step3: Look for Unlock button in the General Tab. Click on it to unlock the file.
If it doesn't work, you can apply a repairing tool like the Bitwar a or other Excel file repairing program, hope that can help you.
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