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How to Repair a Damaged Excel File

Excel worksheets can get corrupt or damaged at any point of time. Just imagine working on important financial figures and power goes off. And when power comes back, you cannot access your worksheet or the excel file fails to open. Now what to do?

There are times when MS Office application automatically recovers the unexpected closed document with the help of Auto recover option and your data is saved from being lost and inaccessible. But what happens when you cannot access your data, can you still get it back. The answer is "Yes". Why not?

The fast paced technology has developed such recovery tools to recover and restore the lost data. If you lose your data, you can still get it back by performing some basic steps or at last if their remains no hope, you can select a third party utility - an excel file repair software. This article aims to discuss those methods and points which prove helpful in the cases when you lose your important data.

How Data Becomes Corrupt or Inaccessible:

Before discussing the preventions first we should look at some of the causes due to which the excel file gets corrupt. The causes are:

  • Virus Attacks
  • Unexpected or improper system shutdown
  • Power Outages
  • Media Errors
  • Error messages like:
    "Excel unable to read file..", "This file is not in a recognizable format", "????.xls file cannot be accessed. The file may be read-only", "Excel.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program; an error log is being created".

Methods to Recover Data from the Corrupt Excel Files:

  1. Saving the file in HTML format
  2. Use of Revert To Saved Document feature
  3. Open file in MS Word
  4. Open file in MS Excel Viewer
  5. Disable Macros
  6. Use of External Link Formulas in another Worksheet
  7. Use of Excel's built-in Detect and Repair feature
  8. Other Procedures

1. Saving the file in HTML format

If you are unable to access data or open the worksheet, then you can save the corrupt file in .html format and then reopen it. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the File menu > click the Save As option.
  2. Click the Save as type > list, select the Web Page (*.htm, *.html) option.
  3. Close the file
  4. Again open the file in MS Excel
  5. Click the File menu, and select the Save As option.
  6. Click the Save As type list and select the Microsoft Excel Workbook option. Change the name of the file, to create filtered copy without replacing the original worksheet file.

Note: Some features might get lost when the file is saved in HTML format.

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