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8 Best Ways to Repair Damaged Excel File 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003

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Repair, Recover, Retrieve & Restore MS Excel File

Corruption is the most common problem encountered by anyone even if a user has faithfully backed up the Excel workbook. It is because the backup files do not always maintain the most recent work, so a user needs to enter all data again in the workbook. However, if there is some corruption in the workbook, a user is advised to repair Excel file as soon as possible. In this case, Excel itself offers many options like Open and Repair to recover and retrieve corrupt workbook manually. First of all, a user is suggested to try manual approaches to remove corruption. If that does not work perfectly, then a user needs to use some third-party tool like Excel Recovery software to fix corrupt Excel file without losing any data. Thus, in this blog, we have discussed 8 best ways to repair damaged Excel files.

Solutions to Recover Corrupted/Crashed XLS File

Know the different approaches to repair and retrieve .xls file in a hassle-free way:

1. Open and Repair Option in MS Excel

First of all, Excel itself try to repair the damaged file automatically. If it fails, then a user is suggested to perform the manual feature for recovering a damaged workbook:

  1. First, open MS Excel sheet, click on the File menu and select Open option.
    Note: In MS Excel 2007, click the Office button >> Open option.
  2. After that, you have to click on the location and the folder containing damaged workbook.
  3. Now, select the Open and Repair option from the Open button’s drop-down menu.
  4. If you are trying to recover the workbook manually, for the first time, then, click on the Repair button.

It might be possible that MS Excel will repair the file using the above methods. However, if it is unable to recover the corrupted Excel file, then just click on Extract Data button in step 4 above. This will extract all values and formulas from the Excel file.

2. Turn Off the Automatic Calculation

If the above solution fails to open the repair damaged Excel file using Open and Repair option, a user is suggested to set the calculation method to manual and try once again. Now, to change the calculation settings, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. First of all, open a new blank spreadsheet.
  2. After that, choose the Options from the Tools menu. Then, click on the Calculation tab.
    Note: In MS Excel 2007, click the Office button >> Excel Options and choose Formulas.
  3. Then, you need to click on the Manual option in the Calculation section.
  4. In last, click on the OK button.

After changing the settings of calculation, a user can try to open the damaged Excel spreadsheet. However, in some cases, the Excel will open the corrupted workbook if an automatic calculation is disabled.

3. Revert the Excel Spreadsheet Back to Last Saved Version

If corruption occurs when Excel workbook is open, then a user is suggested to not save the workbook. It is because a user will save corrupted data in the workbook along with the all latest modifications. However, a user is advised to revert it back to the last saved version. Now, to do the same, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. First of all, click on the File tab and choose Open option.
    Note: In MS Excel 2007, click the Office button >> Open option.
  2. After that, browse the location of damaged Excel file and double-click on it.
  3. Then, simply, click on Yes button to reopen the workbook.

The above methods work well to repair damaged Excel file in an easy way. But, still if you are not able to recover the data from corrupted XLS/XLS file, then there are some more solution, you can go for.

4. Take Help of Microsoft Office Tools

  1. First of all, click on the Start menu and select All Programs.
  2. After that, choose Microsoft Office from the displayed list.
  3. Then, select Microsoft Office Tools.
  4. Now, you simply have to choose Microsoft Office Application Recovery option.
  5. A dialog box will pop-up on the screen. Here, select Microsoft Office Excel option.
  6. After that, click on the Recover Application button. The process might take few minutes.
  7. In last, you have to respond to the Send Report To Microsoft message prompted on the screen.

This method will close the MS Excel and restart it. In addition, it will display the list of recovered workbooks also (if any).

5. Try to Move the Corrupted File

In some cases, the damaged workbook is not damaged really in the traditional sense. However, it is just not accessible as usual because networks and servers frequently mask errors as a corrupted file. If you are not able to repair damaged Excel file, then move the damaged Excel file to some another folder, drive, or server.

6. Open Damaged Workbook in WordPad

Another possible way that a user can try to repair corrupt Workbook to open it in WordPad. If it works successfully, then WordPad will convert all data to text and a user will be one step closer to restore important data. However, this method is not able to recover formulas of the workbook but it will retrieve all VBA procedures (macros), which is not done by most of the methods. A user might also be able to open damaged Excel file in Word, but it shows limited results.

7. Method to Recover Macros

If with the help of any of the above method, a user is able to repair damaged Excel file but not macros, then follow the steps mentioned below to save the macros:

  1. To start the process, open the MS Excel application (Do not open the damaged Excel file).
  2. After that, change Calculation Mode to Manual (refer solution 2).
  3. Now, from the Tools menu, choose Macro. Then, choose Security and set it to High option.
    Note: In MS Excel 2007, click on the Office button >> Excel Options >> Trust Center. After that, click on the Trust Center. Settings button >> Macro Settings. Then, from the Macro Settings section Disable All Macros Without Notification >> OK >> OK button.
  4. Then, try to open the damaged workbook. If MS Excel opens it, a message is displayed that macros are disabled. Otherwise, if Excel shuts down, then this method fails.
  5. Next, press [Alt]+[F11] keys in order to open the Visual Basic Editor (VBE).
  6. After that, via Project Explorer (hit [Ctrl]+R key), you have to right-click on a module, and select Export File option.
  7. Then, simply give name and folder for the module.
  8. Now, Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all modules are exported successfully.
  9. Close Visual Basic Editor and exit MS Excel application.
  10. Finally, you have to open a new blank workbook and import all modules.

8. Use Excel Recovery Software

If any of the above methods do not work perfectly to repair damaged Excel files, then a user is suggested to switch to a third-party tool. Excel Recovery tool is one of the popular application to repair and restore unlimited spreadsheets from the damaged Excel file (.xls). This application is capable to remove all type of error messages related to Excel file. Moreover, the tool does not require any extra installation to recover corrupt Excel file data. And, a user can use this application on any version of MS Windows OS.

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