How to Repair Corrupted Excel File with Ease? [2023]

Excel files can get corrupted for many reasons, such as the abrupt closing of the system or application, the large file size, virus/malware attacks, etc. When an Excel file becomes corrupt, you cannot access its data. So, it is essential to repair the file as soon as possible. Here, we’ll cover a few effective methods on What to do when an Excel file is corrupted and retrieve all the data from it.

How to Repair Corrupted Excel File With Ease

Methods to Repair Corrupted Excel Files

When you try opening a damaged/corrupted file, Excel automatically starts the File Recovery mode to repair your file. However, if it fails to start, you can try the below-listed methods to repair and recover corrupted Excel files.

Method 1: Restore the Previously Saved Version of the Excel File

If you have enabled the Auto-Recover feature (that saves a version of a file automatically) in Excel, then you can easily restore the last saved version of the Excel file. Follow the below steps to revert to the previously saved version of the Excel file:

  • If you can access the corrupted Excel file, then open it.
  • Go to the File option, click Info, and choose Manage Workbook.
  • Click on the option labeled Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

    Recover Unsaved WorkBooks
    Recover Unsaved WorkBooks
  • Click on the available recent auto-saved Excel file version.
  • Click on Open.

Method 2: Set the Calculation Option in Excel as Manual

Sometimes, you cannot open the Excel file due to errors in formulas or functions. In such a case, you can change the Calculation Options in Excel from automatic to manual. Follow the below steps:

  • Open a blank Excel worksheet.
  • Click File > Options.
  • Go to the Formulas tab in the ribbon.
  • Click on the Calculations Options dropdown and then select Manual. Click

    Excel Calculation Options
    Calculation Options changed to Manual from Automatic
  • Now, click on File and select Open.
  • Select the corrupted workbook and then try to open it.

Method 3: Restore the Corrupted Excel File from Backup

If you have created a backup of your Excel file, you can use it to restore the corrupted file. Here are the steps to restore the file from the backup:

  • Locate the backup file of the corrupted Excel file, copy it, and save it in a different location.
  • Rename the file (unlike the name of the corrupted Excel file).
  • Open your Excel application and click File > Open.
  • Select the renamed backup file and double-click the file to open it.

Method 4: Repair Corrupt Excel File

When your file gets corrupted, or you encounter corruption errors, you can use Excel’s built-in Open and Repair utility. This tool helps you repair corrupt Excel files. Follow the below steps to run this utility:

  • Navigate to File and click Open, and select the file.
Excel Open File using Browse Option
Excel Open File using Browse Option
  • In the Open dialog box, click on the Excel file (that you want to repair).

    Select Corrupt Excel File
    Select Corrupt Excel File
  • Click on the arrow next to the Open
  • From the Open dropdown, select Open and Repair.

    Excel Open and Repair Options
    Click on Open and Repair after selecting the corrupt Excel file
  • A dialog box will pop up on the screen. Click on the RepairExcel Repair Dialog Box

The Open and Repair tool is not always practical, especially if your Excel file is severely corrupted, as it can fix only minor issues. If the Open and Repair tool fails, you can use a powerful third-party Excel repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Excel.

It can quickly repair corrupt Excel files (.xls, .xlsx, .xltm, .xltx, and .xlsm) and recover all the data, including pivot tables, formulas, etc., without changing the original formatting. It also provides a ‘Find’ option to search the Excel files for repair quickly. The tool supports MS Excel 2021, 2019, and older versions.


Corruption in Excel files may result in various errors. If you’re getting errors due to corrupt Excel files, follow the methods covered in this article to repair and recover the corrupted Excel files.

If none of the manual methods works, you can repair the Excel file and retrieve all its data using Stellar Repair for Excel. It is a reliable software that can also repair multiple Excel files. You can use this tool to fix all types of corruption errors, such as “Excel cannot open the file filename.xlsx”, “The file is corrupted and cannot be opened”, “Excel found unreadable content in name.xls”, etc.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here