Excel files can get corrupted due to a variety of reasons, such as abnormal system shutdown, sudden application termination, hardware or software issues, virus infection, hard drive errors, problematic MS Office updates, etc. When you try to open the corrupted Excel file, you may encounter various errors or issues. Sometimes, you even fail to access the Excel file data.
When the Excel application detects corruption in the file, it automatically initiates the file recovery mode and tries to repair the corrupt file. Nevertheless, if it fails to start the recovery mode, you can repair the file manually or use specialized Excel recovery software. In this post, we will mention the three best and most efficient methods to repair a corrupt Excel file on a Windows system.
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3 Best Methods to Repair Corrupt Excel Files
Here we’ve shared three effective methods to repair damaged or corrupted Excel files.
Method 1: Set the Calculation Option in Excel to Manual
Excel has a default settings to refresh the Excel file. It recalculates each formula in the file, even if you make a small change. Sometimes, you may fail to open a large Excel file with lengthy and complex formulas. You can change the calculation settings in Excel from automatic to manual to prevent the application to automatically recalculating the formulas. This can help in opening the affected Excel file. Follow the below steps to set the calculation option to manual:
- In the Excel file, go to File and then click
- Under the Available Templates tab, click Blank Workbook.
- Go to File > Options.
- In the Excel Options, click on the Formulas
- Under the Workbook Calculation section, select the Manual
- Click OK.
Now, go to the File menu, select the affected workbook, and then click Open to check if the file is opening.
Method 2: Run the Open and Repair Utility
Microsoft Excel provides an Open and Repair utility to repair corrupt Excel files. To use the Open and Repair utility, follow the steps below:
- In Excel, go to File > Open. The Open dialog box is displayed.
- Click on the corrupted/damaged Excel file.
- Click the arrow that you see next to the Open button and then from the dropdown, select Open and Repair.
- Next, click on the Repair option to recover maximum data from the Excel file.
Method 3: Use a Professional Excel Repair Tool
In case the Open and Repair utility fails to provide the desired outcomes, you can use a reliable Excel repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Excel. It is a professional tool for repairing severely corrupted Excel (.XLS/.XLSM/.XLSX) files. Repairing corrupt Excel files using Stellar Repair for Excel is easy and quick as it provides a very intuitive interface. The tool is compatible with Windows 11, 10, and earlier versions.
Steps to repair damaged Excel file using Stellar Repair for Excel:
- Download, install, and launch Stellar Repair for Excel.
- Click Browse to choose the affected Excel file.
- Click on the Repair option to begin the repairing process.
- Wait till the Repair process is complete.
- You will see all the recoverable data in a tree-like structure. You can click on any item to see its preview.
- Now, click on the Save File option and then select a location to save the repaired file. Click OK.
Some Additional Solutions
You can try to restore the previously saved version of the corrupted Excel file or disable the Protected View. Let’s see how.
1: Restore the Previously Saved Version of Excel File
Microsoft Excel has an Auto-Recover option that saves a version of the file automatically. If this feature is enabled, you can restore the last saved version of the affected Excel file. Here’s how to restore the previously saved version of the Excel file:
- First, open the damaged Excel file (if you can open it).
- Then, go to File, click Info, and then click Manage Workbook.
- Click on the Recover Unsaved Workbooks
- Choose the available recent auto-saved file version and then click Open.
2: Check and Turn Off Protected View Settings
If the Protected View is enabled, Microsoft Excel prevents opening the file received from suspicious sources. If you’ve received the file from any other source, you can turn off this setting to see if it helps. Follow these steps:
- Open Microsoft Excel.
- Navigate to File > Options.
- Click the Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View.
- You will see the following three options under Protected View:
- Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet.
- Enable Protected View for files located in a potentially unsafe location.
- Enable protected view for Outlook Attachments.
- Unmark all the above options and click
Caution: Before unselecting the protected view settings, make sure your system has antivirus software to protect files against virus attacks.
Excel files can get corrupted due to numerous reasons. In this post, we have shared 3 best methods to repair the corrupt Excel file. The Microsoft built-in utility can help fix minor corruption issues. If it fails to work, then you can use a reliable third-party Excel repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Excel to repair the corrupt Excel file without any size limitation. You can even repair multiple Excel files. The tool can recover all the data from the damaged Excel file with complete integrity.
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