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How to Repair And Recover a Corrupt Excel File?

There are numerous instances when an excel file may get corrupted. It could either occur when the system crashes all of a sudden or when the application stops working. So, rather than hitting the panic button, you should stay calm and search a solution for resolving the issue. Once you open the file, the file recovery mode is enabled. In case the option doesn’t work, then you need to follow some steps.

Check also: Best Tools to Repair Corrupt Pdf Files

Step 1: Once you open Excel by clicking the icon. Go to ‘File’ and select ‘Open’

Step 2: Go to the location and the folder which contains the corrupted file.

Step 3: As soon as the open dialog box pops on the computer screen, you must select the corrupted workbook.

Step 4: Just next to the ‘Open’ button, you should click the ‘arrowhead’ and then select ‘Open and Repair..’.

Open and Repair

Step 5: In order to recover data as much as possible, you need to select ‘Repair’.


NOTE: If the ‘Repair’ function is unable to recover the information, then choose ‘Extract Data’. This option would aid you to fetch values and formulae set within the workbook.

If you can’t accomplish the task with manual or automatic repair, then you must follow some recovery methods to retrieve data. Besides, you can move with some measures so that you won’t lose work as the excel file is automatically saved as a backup copy.

How to Recover Data From A Corrupted Spreadsheet?

There are many methods in which you can help yourself recover data. Alternatively, you can use a third-party software which tries to recover the excel file.

Stellar Repair for Excel software is a powerful tool for repairing severely corrupt Excel files in .XLS/.XLSX format. It recovers tables, charts, chartsheets, cell comments, images, formulas, sorts and filters from corrupt Excel files and restores them in a new worksheet with 100% integrity. It supports Excel versions: 2019, 2016, 2013, & older.

In case you can’t open the workbook owing to disk or network error, then you should copy and paste the workbook to another partition and then proceed with the recovery options.

What to Do When The Excel File is Open?

Step 1: Go to the workbook that has been automatically saved by the application. This step should only be followed when the spreadsheet gets corrupted but you are not able to save the changes. In this situation, we are referring to the last saved version.

Step 3: Once you click ‘open’ under ‘File’, do open the workbook by double clicking the icon.

Step 4: Later, for reopening the workbook, you must select ‘Yes’.

What to Do When You Can’t Open the Spreadsheet?

Step 1: As you go to ‘File’ you should move on and click ‘New’.

Step 2: Click ‘Blank Workbook’ once you’ve selected ‘New’.

Step 3: Under ‘Options’, in the Formulae category you must select ‘Calculation Options’.

Step 4: Soon after you have confirmed the action by clicking ‘Ok’, open the corrupted workbook.

How to Use External References to Correlate With the Workbook?

To get back the data and not the formulae, you can also use external references to link the concerned spreadsheet.

Step 1: As usual, when you open the spreadsheet, you should go to the folder which contains the corrupted file.

Step 2: Later, you should right click the file name, and click ‘Copy’ followed by the option,’Cancel’.

Step 3: You should then click on ‘New Workbook’ and go to cell A1 and type ==File Name!A1. In this case, the file name is nothing but the name of the corrupted workbook.

NOTE: If the updated values dialog box is visible, then you should select the corrupted excel file and click ‘Ok’ to confirm. On the other hand, you should select the suitable sheet from the ‘Select Sheet’ dialog box. Later, you need to follow Step 3.


Step 4: Select the range of cells, and go to home and copy as well as paste the data.

You can remove the links, by select ‘Paste Values’ once you copy the data.

paste values

In the end, you can always use the Microsoft Office Tools which can be selected from the ‘Start Menu’. After you have selected Microsoft Office Application Recovery, you must choose ‘Microsoft Office Excel’ as shown in the dialog box below.

ms office application recovery

Feel free to share your experience as you recover data from an Excel File. If you have found another way of retrieving data, then don’t hesitate to comment.

Hardip Koradia

Written by Hardip Koradia

Hardip Koradia is a pro tech blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different tech topics like mobile apps, PCs, gadgets, software, how to guides, etc. His passion for technology inspired him to start Techbylws, a growing tech blog.