How to Open Corrupt Excel Documents

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  1. Excel Documents
    1. Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 1
    2. Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 2
    3. Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 3
    4. Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 4
  2. Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 5
  3. ExcelFix
  4. Recovery Toolbox for Excel
  5. You may be interested:

Excel Documents

Although it is not very common, Microsoft Excel is a program -part of the office suite of Microsoft Office- that usually gives some problems when opening previously saved documents.

How to Open Corrupt Excel Documents

Therefore, it is convenient to know how to open damaged Excel documents through some methods such as those presented in this article, which will surely save you on more than one occasion.

When talking about Excel errors, we can point out that its main error is usually related to a message similar to the following: "Excel cannot open the file because it is damaged", and although it seems that everything is lost, if you have been fixing the file for some time, there are measures you can take to try to fix these problems.

Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 1

To try to open a corrupted Excel document, you can use a tool included in the program itself. This is a way to repair damaged documents.

To do this, start Excel and then go to the Menu, then click the File option and select Open. When the File Explorer appears, select the document you want to open and go to the bottom of the document, next to the Tools tab, select the Open and Repair option instead of just Open.

With this alternative, Excel will present you with a series of options for repairing the document or extracting its contents.

However, we must clarify that this method does not guarantee a repair of the document in its entirety, so you can try another of the following methods.

Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 2

In case you have not been able to repair and open the file, you can try to repair the document through the calculation function also included from this program.

To do this, open a blank Excel document and go to the File menu, then click on Excel Options and go to the Formulas option and then in the Calculation Options select the Manual option.

The reason for making a change in the calculation of the document, is because thanks to the recalculation sometimes Excel is able to open damaged documents.

Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 3

Occasionally, a problem may occur while the Excel document is open. Therefore, if you notice that the program prevents you from saving changes or performing other actions, it is possible that corrupt data is causing the problems.

In this type of situation, you have to decide whether to lose the last update of the document or to lose practically everything.

Therefore, it is recommended that you do not save the document and copy all the data to a new document.

Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 4

If you have not been successful with the possible solutions above, you can use some of the tools that Microsoft includes in its Office package especially to repair damaged files.

To use these tools and try to open a corrupted document, go to the Start menu, then go to All Programs and select the Microsoft Office group. At this point, access Microsoft Office Tools and then Office Diagnostics.

Opening a corrupted Excel document: method 5

In case the problem still persists in your corrupted Excel document, there is a possibility to use some third party tools to try to recover the files.

This group of programs are especially useful if you use Excel regularly in your work.

However, we can say that the tools that work best in this type of situation are generally paid, although their effectiveness is remarkable and there are trial versions that allow you to use their features for a certain time for free and with limitations.


ExcelFix is one of the best tools on the market for trying to open damaged Excel documents.

With this program you can retrieve graphs, images, comments, merged cells, groups, schemes and other important data within a document.

It also works with Office 2013 and earlier, so it's unlikely your problem won't be solved.

In the same way, from the web of the tool they assure the confidentiality of your files, because they will never leave the computer.

However, if the program does not present the expected results, you can also ask for your money back.

And if you're one of those people who care about viruses and spyware, ExcelFix is electronically signed to guarantee its origin.

However, in order to use ExcelFix you will have to purchase a license, since in its free version it only allows you to view part of the recovered document. Still, it is a highly viable alternative to trying to recover damaged Excel documents.

It should be noted that in addition to ExcelFix, the company has tools that can be useful for resolving conflicts with other types of files such as: Access, Word, Outlook, among others.

Recovery Toolbox for Excel

This is another alternative in programs to repair damaged Excel documents. Recovery Toolbox for Excel allows you to repair .xls, . xlt, .xlsx, . xlsm, . xltm, . xltx, . xlam files to retrieve information contained in spreadsheets.

In addition, the tool has an automatic wizard that guides you through the entire recovery process, so you don't need much knowledge to use it.

In this case, Recovery Tooldbox for Excel tries to retrieve as much information as possible and then save it to a new file. You can restore the contents of your files, including tables, layouts, font styles and more.

It is enough to indicate the corrupt documents for the program to try to repair them. However, as it is a paid tool, the free version only allows some limited options.

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