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The Ultimate Guide to Repair Corrupted Excel Spreadsheet

Amy Dennis
Amy Dennis Originally published May 28, 24, updated May 28, 24

Excel spreadsheets are essential for many businesses and personal projects, but they can be vulnerable to corruption, causing anything from minor glitches to complete data loss. Here, we will discuss the reasons why Excel spreadsheets become corrupted, various methods for Excel spreadsheet repair, and tricks to avoid Excel spreadsheet corruption.

In this article
    1. Method 1: Use Repairit Excel Repair Software
    2. Method 2: Disable “Protected View” to Repair Excel Spreadsheet
    3. Method 3: Check and Modify “Component Services” Settings
    4. Method 4: Disable “Add-Ins” to Repair Excel Spreadsheet
    5. Method 5: Use built-in “Open & Repair” Utility
    6. Method 6: Revert the Excel Sheet to the Last Saved Version

Part 1: Why Excel Spreadsheet Becomes Corrupted?

Understanding the causes behind Excel file corruption is essential for both preventing it and effectively addressing the issue when it strikes. Let's delve into the common reasons why Excel spreadsheet corruption occurs.

1. Software-related Issues: Excel spreadsheets can become corrupted due to issues with the software itself, such as bugs or compatibility problems with other programs.

2. Incorrect Saving Procedures: File corruption can occur if the spreadsheet is not saved properly, such as saving to a location with insufficient disk space or saving while the file is still open in another program,

3. Large and Complex Spreadsheet Editing: Opening and editing large spreadsheets with complex formulas or formatting can sometimes lead to corruption if the software encounters errors or becomes overwhelmed.

4. Viruses and Malware Infections: Viruses and malware can infect Excel files, which may result in you finding Excel spreadsheet corrupted. It is important to have up-to-date antivirus software to protect against such threats.

5. Human Errors and Accidental Data Loss: Human error, such as accidentally deleting important data, overwriting cells, or making incorrect changes to formulas, can also contribute to Excel file corruption.

6. Hardware Malfunctions and System Crashes: Hardware issues like a faulty hard drive or RAM can lead to Excel file corruption if data is not saved properly or if the system crashes while working on a spreadsheet. Regularly backing up files can help prevent data loss in such cases.

Part 2: How to Repair Corrupted Excel Spreadsheet

When an Excel spreadsheet becomes corrupted, it is crucial to address the issue promptly to minimize data loss and restore the file's functionality. There are 6 methods available for corrupted Excel sheet repair, each with its own set of procedures and considerations.

Method 1: Use Repairit Excel Repair Software

  • Repair damaged Excel files with all levels of corruption, including blank files, files not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, files layout changed, etc.

  • Repairs all kinds of data stored in damaged Excel files such as spreadsheet, tables, charts, formulas, comments, images, etc.

  • Support all formats of Excel files: XLSX/XLSM/XLTX/XLTM/XLS

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • No limit to the number and size of the repairable files.

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and macOS 10.10~macOS 13.

  • Except Excel, Repairit also supports all formats of PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ZIP, and Adobe files.

Losing valuable data from a corrupted Excel spreadsheet can be a nightmare. Luckily, specialized software exists to rescue your precious information. Enter Repairit Excel Repair Software, Repairit is a strong solution for severe file corruption, using advanced algorithms to thoroughly scan and recover data like formulas, charts, and formatting. Repairit also offers a preview feature, allowing you to review recovered data before saving, ensuring a successful Excel spreadsheet repair process.

Step 1: Go to the "Other Types Repair" section. Select the “File Repair” option, and click the “+Add” button to locate the corrupt Excel spreadsheet on your device.

adding the file

Step 2: Once the spreadsheet is loaded, simply click the “Repair” button. Repairit will then get to work, diligently analyzing and attempting to fix the damage within your Excel file.

repairing the file

Step 3: After Repairit finishes the repair, you will be notified. Click "Preview" to check the restored data. If satisfied, click "Save" to permanently store the recovered version of your Excel file.

saving the file
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Method 2: Disable "Protected View" to Repair Excel Spreadsheet

Disabling the "Protected View" feature in Excel can help resolve issues with opening or accessing a corrupted spreadsheet. This feature is designed to protect your computer from potentially harmful content, but it may sometimes interfere with opening legitimate files. By turning off Protected View, you can bypass certain security restrictions that may be preventing you from accessing the Excel file.

Step 1: Open Excel and go to the "File" menu. Click on "Options" and then select "Trust Center".

Step 2: Click on "Trust Center Settings" and then choose "Protected View".

choosing protected view

Step 3: Uncheck the options for "Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet" and "Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations".

unchecking the options

Step 4: Click "OK" to save the changes and restart Excel.

Method 3: Check and Modify "Component Services" Settings

Checking and modifying the Component Services settings on your computer can help address underlying issues that may be causing Excel files to become corrupted. Component Services is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that allows you to configure and manage COM components and applications. You can prevent potential conflicts that may lead to file corruption by ensuring that the default properties for Component Services are correctly set.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

run dialog box in windows

Step 2: Type "dcomcnfg" and press "OK" to open Component Services.

typing the command and clicking on ok

Step 3: Navigate to Component Services > Computers > My Computer. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.

Step 4: Go to the Default Properties tab and ensure that the following settings are correct:

- Default Authentication Level: Connect

- Default Impersonation Level: Identify

checking the settings in the default properties tab

Step 5: Click OK to save the changes.

Method 4: Disable “Add-Ins” to Repair Excel Spreadsheet

Disabling add-ins in Excel can help troubleshoot issues with corrupted spreadsheets that may be caused by incompatible or malfunctioning add-ins. Add-ins are third-party extensions that provide additional features and functionality to Excel, but they can sometimes conflict with the application and lead to file corruption.

Step 1: Launch Excel and navigate to the "File" menu. Click on “Options” and then select “Add-Ins”.

Step 2: In the Manage box, select “COM Add-ins” and click “Go”.

selecting com add ins and clicking on go

Step 3: Uncheck all the add-ins listed and click “OK”.

clicking on ok

Step 4: Restart Excel to apply the changes.

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Method 5: Use built-in “Open & Repair” Utility

Excel includes a built-in "Open & Repair" utility that can help automatically fix certain issues in corrupted Excel files. This tool is designed to detect and repair problems with the file structure or content that may be preventing the spreadsheet from opening correctly.

By using the Open & Repair feature, Excel will attempt to recover as much data as possible from the corrupted file and create a repaired version for you to access.

Step 1: Launch Excel and access the "File" menu. Click on “Open” and select the corrupted Excel file.

Step 2: In the Open dialog box, click on the arrow next to the Open button and select “Open and Repair”.

selecting open and repair

Step 3: Choose “Repair” to attempt to fix the file.

choosing repair

Step 4: Save the repaired file with a new name.

Method 6: Revert the Excel Sheet to the Last Saved Version

Reverting to the last saved version of an Excel sheet can restore it to a stable state before corruption. Excel's automatic saves let you recover unsaved changes and potentially restore most or all of your data.

Step 1: Open Excel and select the "File”.

clicking on the file menu in excel

Step 2: Click on “Open” and select the corrupted Excel file.

Step 3: Go to the “File” menu again and select “Info”.

Step 4: Click on “Manage Workbook” and then “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”.

clicking manage workbook and then recover unsaved workbooks

Step 5: Look for the last saved version of the file and open it. Save the file with a new name to prevent overwriting the original corrupted file.

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Part 3: Tricks to Avoid Excel Spreadsheet from Corruption

Prevention is often the best approach to dealing with Excel spreadsheet corruption. You can reduce the risk of Excel spreadsheet corrupted and maintain the integrity of their Excel data by implementing the following tricks.

1. Proper File Handling: To avoid Excel Spreadsheet corruption, save your files regularly and keep backups of important spreadsheets to prevent data loss.

2. Scan your Excel Files: To prevent Excel file corruption, regularly scan for viruses or malware using a reliable antivirus program. Keeping your system clean reduces the risk of harmful threats.

3. Avoid Public Connections: Avoid using public Wi-Fi when working on Excel spreadsheets, as it can be unsecure and increase the risk of file corruption. Use a private, secure network to protect your data.

4. Install Trusted Add-ins Only: Install only trusted add-ins to avoid Excel file corruption. Unverified add-ins can cause errors and instability. Verify the credibility of any add-in before installing it.

5. Avoid Forceful Actions: Avoid forcefully closing Excel or shutting down your computer without saving. These actions can corrupt your spreadsheets and cause data loss. Always save your files and close Excel properly.

Bottom Line

Excel spreadsheet corruption can be a significant challenge for you, potentially leading to data loss and operational disruptions. You can mitigate the risks associated with file corruption and maintain the integrity of their Excel data by understanding the reasons for Excel file corruption, familiarizing yourself with various methods to repair spreadsheet, and implementing preventive tricks.

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  • Q: How to recover a corrupt Excel spreadsheet for free?
    To recover a corrupt Excel spreadsheet for free, you can try using Excel's built-in Open and Repair feature, disabling add-ins, reverting to the last saved version, or modifying Component Services settings. These methods can help repair the corrupted file without requiring any additional software or cost.
  • Q: Can I use the Open and Repair option to repair damaged Excel spreadsheet?
    Yes, you can use the Open and Repair option in Excel to attempt to repair a damaged spreadsheet. This feature is designed to automatically fix certain issues with corrupted Excel files, such as file structure or content problems.
  • Q: What should I do if the recovered Excel spreadsheet gets corrupted?
    If the recovered Excel spreadsheet gets corrupted, you can try reapplying the recovery steps. However, in this regard, it is best to use a reliable Excel file recovery tool to repair your Excel spreadsheet effectively.
Amy Dennis
Amy Dennis May 28, 24
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Amy Dennis
Written by Amy Dennis
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