Excel Tips & Tricks: 7 Ways To Recover Corrupted Excel Files
Wednesday 11 December 2013

Excel Tips & Tricks: 7 Ways To Recover Corrupted Excel Files

There are many ways to work around Excel file corruptions. To recover a corrupt Excel file, try one of the methods below.

Method 1 of 7: Repair Method
  • 1 - Open a blank Excel workbook.
  • 2 - Go to Open.
  • 3 - Find the desired file and choose Open and Repair. This option is in the drop-down list associated with the Open button.

    * If Excel cannot open the file, choose Extract Data.
  • 4 - Confirm by clicking Yes. If Excel warns you that the file caused a serious error the last time it was opened, agree to continue opening it.
Method 2 of 7: HTML Method If you can Open The file, but, feel error when using data or trouble when saving file, Then this methos may usefull for you.
  • 1 - Open the file.
  • 2 - Go to Save As. If necessary, choose Other Formats from the quick list of options.
  • 3 - Select Web Page from the possible file formats.
  • 4 - Make sure Entire Workbook is selected and hit Save. Note that certain elements of the formatting may be lost. Click Yes to confirm or Help for more information.
  • 5 - Locate the saved file.
  • 6 - Right-click the file and choose Open With > Microsoft Office Excel.
  • 7 - Go to Save As and choose an Excel format from the drop-down list. example, Microsoft Excel 97-2003 produces the classic .xls format, whereas Excel Workbook produces the newer .xlsx format.
  • 8 - Change the title to prevent confusing it with / saving over the (corrupted) original.
  • 9 - Hit Save.
Method 3 of 7: Copy Data Method If you can Open The file, but, feel error when using data or trouble when saving file, Then this methos may usefull for you.
  • 1 - Open the file.
  • 2 - Right-click a sheet tab and choose Select All Sheets.
  • 3 - Right-click a sheet tab and choose Move or Copy.
  • 4 - Choose New Book and check the Create a Copy box.
  • 5 - Hit OK.
Method 4 of 7: XML Method (Excel 2003) If you can Open The file, but, feel error when using data or trouble when saving file, Then this methos may usefull for you.
  • 1 - If you can, open the file.
  • 2 - Go to Save As.
  • 3 - Select XML Spreadsheet from the list of possible formats and hit Save.
  • 4 - Close the file and reopen in Excel.
  • 5 - Go to Save As.
  • 6 - Select an excel format (ex. Microsoft Excel 97-2003 or Excel Workbook) from the drop-down list.
  • 7 - Change the title to prevent saving over the (corrupted) original.
  • 8 - Hit Save.
Method 5 of 5: Disable automatic calculation If Excel fails to open the file on its own or via the Open And Repair option, try setting the calculation method to manual and try again. To reset the calculation setting:
  • 1 - Open a new blank workbook.
  • 2 - From the Tools menu, choose Options and click the Calculation tab. In Excel 2007, click the Office button, click Excel Options, and select Formulas in the panel to the left.
  • 3 - In the Calculation section (Calculation Options in Excel 2007), click Manual.
  • 4 - Click OK.
Then, try to open the corrupted workbook. Sometimes Excel can open a corrupted workbook if it doesn't have to recalculate. Method 6 of 7: Try Microsoft Office Tools If Excel can't open the corrupted workbook, give Microsoft Office Tools a whirl:
  • 1 - From the Start menu, choose All Programs (in Windows XP).
  • 2 - Select Microsoft Office.
  • 3 - Choose Microsoft Office Tools.
  • 4 - Select Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
  • 5 - In the resulting dialog box, choose Microsoft Office Excel.
  • 6 - Click Recover Application. The process could take a few minutes.
  • 7 - Respond to the Send Report To Microsoft prompt.
Office Tools might recover a corrupted workbook.
The recovery tool will close Excel and then restart it, displaying a list of recovered workbooks (if any). If you're lucky, your corrupted workbook will be in the list. Simply open it and count your blessing. Method 7 of 7: Other Possibilities If you can Open The file, but, feel error when using data or trouble when saving file, Then this methos may usefull for you.
  • 1 - Close Excel, re-open it, and try to open the file again.
  • 2 - If this doesn't work, restart the computer, open up Excel and try to open the file again.
  • 3 - If this doesn't work, delete the contents of your c:\windows\temp directory then reboot. Try again.
  • 4 - If this doesn't work, open the file using OpenOffice. This is free, Microsoft-compatible software that may be able to work around the corruption.
  • 5 - If this doesn't work, open Excel in Safe Mode. This will disable VBA and Add-ins.
    • Restart the computer in Safe Mode.
    • Click on Start then Run then enter the actual path to the executable file. Depending on your version of Windows, this may be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\excel.exe, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office11\excel.exe, or something similar. (For Excel 2002, Office XP, click cancel if the MS Office Installer starts; Excel in safe mode will still start)].
    • Try to open the file.
  • 6 - If this doesn't work, be sure to scan the file for viruses. Make sure your macro heuristics scanning option is turned on. Ask your IT administrator how to do this.
  • 7 - Make sure your macro heuristics scanning option is turned on. Ask your IT administrator how to do this. (This option may not be available on newer systems.) Try to open it as Word document.
  • 8 - If this doesn't work, try to determine if the file is unrecoverable on the disk. Open the file in Explorer and try to copy it to another location.
    • If you can copy the file to another location, skip to step 9. If not, the actual sectors on the disk may be corrupted.
    • If the data is valuable enough to you, seek professional services as a damaged hard disk file recovery is not for the faint at heart.
  • 9 - If this doesn't work, try to open the file in a more recent version of Excel. As the version numbers increase, their ability to recover corrupt files increases. If this doesn't work or such a version of Excel is not available, see if some other spreadsheet application is and try to open the file in that program.
  • 10 - If this doesn't work, copy the file and rename the copy with a .txt extension (This option may not be available on newer systems.) Try opening the file, and if Windows says it can't open it Notepad but will open it in WordPad, agree. Be sure to turn on word wrapping in either program; in Notepad it's under the Format menu, and in WordPad it's under the View menu (choose Options, choose the Text Tab, and choose Wrap to Window). Next, look for where the data stops, which should be followed by a bunch of spacer characters. These actually tell Excel where cells, columns, and rows are. When you find your last bit of data, delete the rest of the file. After this, rename it back to an .xls extension, try opening the file in the oldest version of a spreadsheet you can find. You may be able to recover your data in some semblance of a spreadsheet.
  • 11 - If you know someone with a Mac If you know someone with a Mac, save the file to a thumb drive. View the contents of the thumb drive with Finder. You will be able to see the file extension .xlsx. Change the file extension to .xls. Open the file. Perform a Save As and save the file with the .xlsx extension