Microsoft Office products have been the key software gems from the time of release. Irrespective of your profession or what you do, for example, business, work in corporate or study, these products are of remarkable importance to all as they offer a legion of benefits.

Among these products, Excel is one of the most popular applications with a wide range of uses. It is a spreadsheet developed by the company for both Windows & MacOS, and now the whole suite of Microsoft’ Office apps is now available even on Android & iOS mobile platforms.

Methods in the List

Using Microsoft Excel, you can create digital spreadsheets; a digital spreadsheet is a grid consisting or thousands of cells arranged both horizontally & vertically in which rows are numbered, and columns are assigned with letters respectively.

Doing so much is possible in spreadsheets with Excel. You can add or create functions, do macro programming, create charts, etc. And by installing Add-ins, additional functionality can be added to enhance the usability.
But does this smooth flow rest for long? According to many, answering the question has been a job with frustration and panic. While you work on the Excel spreadsheet, you may encounter an error message and it can either crash the whole application or the data inside would be gone.

Though Microsoft has their tech forums & FAQ sites both to answer general user queries and help in sorting the issue out, the process of fixing an issue with Microsoft Excel is quite complex. And usually, most of the users end up messing the Excel file and lose the spreadsheet data.

rips to recover corrupt excel file

Users search quite a lot on the Internet to find ways of recovering either corrupt Excel file(s) or the data it contains. Thus, addressing the same, we’ve come up with a couple of methods which can help you in recovering the corrupt excel file or recover the data it packs.

Change Excel File Format

Excel spreadsheet that was created on a different machine using an older version of MS Excel might become unusable or inaccessible in a newer Excel version. In that case, changing the file format would solve the problem.
For newer Excel spreadsheets the format is XLSX, and for older the format it is XLS. So, for recovering the inaccessible Excel file, you can change the XLSX format to XLS and vice-versa.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Move to the folder which contains the corrupt Excel file.
  3. Move to the corrupt excel file folder
  4. Right-click on the file and check the format.
  5. check the format

  6. Now that you know the current format of corrupt Excel file right-click on the file again, and select Rename.
  7. rename the file
  8. Change the format to xls, as shown below,
  9. Note: In case if the format of the corrupt excel-file you have on your system is xls then, change it to xlsx. Press Enter.
  10. change the formats to xls

    Note: In case if the format of the corrupt excel-file you have on your system is xls then, change it to xlsx.

  11. Accept the prompt for the changes to take effect; click Yes.
  12. Accept the prompt

  13. Now, double-click on the file to open it and check if it is opening.
  14. Note: You can also set the file format to HTML and accept the changes, and in case of HTML extension the file would open in a web browser. Further, the document can be converted into an Excel file by dragging it onto the Excel icon and saving the file as an Excel spreadsheet.

Repair the Excel File

You can repair the corrupt Excel file using the built-in utility to repair. The corrupt Excel file can only be repaired on a Windows system (if you’re using a Mac, try another method).

Follow the below steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel.
  2. Open Microsoft Excel
  3. Click Open other Workbooks at the bottom left.
  4. >Open other Workbooks” class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-2620″ width=”282″ height=”158″></p>
<li>Click <strong>Browse</strong> to open the corrupt excel file.</li>
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  5. Select the corrupt file, click on Drop-down icon on the Open button, select Open and Repair
  6.  select Open and Repair

  7. A prompt would pop on-screen, click Repair.
  8. repair the corrupt file

    Note: If the option Repair is not there, then select Extract Data and choose between Convert to Values or Recover Formulas.

  9. Once the recovered file opens after recovery, press CTRL + S to save the file as a new Excel Spreadsheet.
  10. Note: Do not assign the same name, set a new name for the recovered file.

Set Calculation to Manual

In Microsoft Excel automatic is the calculation setting by default, but in cases of corruption, you can change the calculation setting from Automatic to Default though, by doing this the spreadsheet would not be recalculated, so it is possible that it may open.

Perform the following steps:

  1. Open Excel.
  2. open excel
  3. Click on File tab and select New.
  4. select new file
  5. Under the New section, select Blank Workbook.
  6. select Blank Workbook
  7. Again, click on File tab and click Options
  8. click the option tab
  9. The wizard would pop open, click on Formulas, under Calculation Options select Manual.
  10. select manual process

  11. Click Ok to apply the change.
  12. Here again, click on File tab and select Open.
  13. select to open file
  14. Browse the Excel file which was corrupt; the spreadsheet now will open.

Use Macro to extract Data

If you’ve linked a chart to the corrupt Excel Spreadsheet and you can’t access the file due to the issue of corruption, you can try using a macro to extract the chart’s source data (using Visual Basic for Applications macro).

For using a macro, below are the steps:

  1. Type the macro code available below:
  2.  the macro code

  3. Paste the macro code in a blank Excel Workbook/spreadsheet.
  4. Double-click on sheet’s tab to rename it -set ChartData as the new name.
  5. Select the corrupt Excel file which has the linked Chart to extract the values it contains.
  6. Run the Macro Code.

To run macro code on Windows: Open Excel > File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
To run macro code on Mac: Open Excel > Preferences > Ribbon & Toolbar.
Inside Customize the Ribbon section under Main Tabs, checkmark Developer check box, and click Ok.

Use Excel recovery tool

With the application of the above methods, you can recover corrupt Microsoft Excel file(s). Every method is different, and in case if one did not work for you, try the second method and so on.

It is possible that even after going through the methods mentioned above the corrupt Excel spreadsheet won’t open, and you will be at the same point from where you’ve started.

In situations like this, we would recommend you to use an Excel recovery tool like Excel File Repair. The tool utilizes a logical and analytical approach to handle corrupt or damaged Excel files and recover the data the Excel file contains inside.

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excel recovery tool

With minimal & meaningful menu options to choose from, and wide support for different Windows versions, Excel file Repair very user-friendly and highly compatible.

If you are doubtful about whether you should buy it or not, you can try the tool, explore the features and make up your mind.


Those were our tips which can help your recover corrupt Excel files, and if you need an advanced approach, you can download Excel file Repair and proceed with file recovery. Excel file Repair can help you save time & data from all the excel issues, and regarding the same users search a lot online, “Fix Excel cannot open the file (filename).xlsx” is one of those common errors.