6 Ways to Repair Damaged and Corrupt Excel Files

Repair your broken files immediately

Files such as word, excel, pdf or powerpoint may encounter corrupted problems accidentally, such as powerpoint not opening, blank pdf or excel stuck at opening file 0%, etc. But don't worry, here will provide some solutions for you.

A while back, when I was working with an important Excel document, my file got corrupted, and I couldn’t access it correctly. Since I didn’t have a backup of my XLS document, I tried all kinds of feasible solutions to repair it.

Thankfully, with the help of some reliable tools, I would restore my lost data. Therefore, if you also want to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files, then you can get to know about all these tested solutions that I have implemented as well.

repair excel files

Part 1: What Causes the Corruption of Excel Documents?

If you want to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files, then you should first try to diagnose what could have caused this issue in the first place.

  • Mishandling of files: One of the major reasons for getting an Excel file corrupt is related to its mishandling (like shutting down your system when the file is still being processed).

  • Corrupt storage: Chances are that the partition or the external storage unit where your Excel file is saved could be damaged or corrupted

  • Malware attack: Your Excel documents might be infected by any malware or virus, damaging its vital components.

  • App-related issue: If your MS Excel app (or the MS Office Suite) is corrupted, then it can also end up damaging your XLS files.

  • Logical errors: Besides that, there could be an issue with your Excel file’s metadata, header, or any other component, causing numerous logical issues.

  • Other reasons: At times, even a third-party application, any unreliable plugin, a forceful conversion of the file, or any other reason can also cause these problems.

excel corruption error

Part 2: 6 Smart Ways to Repair Damaged and Corrupt Excel Files


After getting to know about all the major issues with Excel files, let’s learn how to fix them by applying these smart solutions:

Fix 1: Use MS Excel’s Native Repairing Feature

To make it easier for us to fix all kinds of minor issues with our Office documents, Microsoft has come up with an inbuilt repairing solution. Therefore, if your XLS or XLSX files are only mildly damaged, then you can simply repair them with this application’s native feature.

To repair damaged and corrupt Excel files, you can just launch the MS Excel application and go to its Menu > File > Open feature. You can now simply locate and select the corrupted Excel document saved on your system.

open and repair excel document

Now, instead of loading it in the standard way on Excel, you can click on the dropdown button adjacent to the Open feature. From here, you can select the “Open and Repair” feature instead and wait as MS Excel would automatically try to repair the selected file.

Fix 2: Delete all Unwanted Temporary Excel Data

At times, there can be an issue with the stored temporary files in MS Excel that can cause a conflict with your files. Though, this issue can easily be resolved by simply removing all the temporary Office data from your system.

To do that, you can just launch the Windows Explorer and go to its Windows drive (like the C: drive). Now, navigate to Users > [Username] > AppData > Local > Microsoft > Office.

delete ms office temp files

From here, you can manually search for files with the “tmp” extension and simply delete them from your system. After that, you can relaunch MS Excel and try loading your corrupt XLS file.

Fix 3: Repair Damaged and Corrupt Excel Files with Repairit File Repair

In case there is a more severe issue with your Excel files, then you can repair them using Wondershare Repairit – File Repair. It is a user-friendly application that can repair multiple Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files by following a simple clickthrough process.

You can repair your Excel files that are damaged under every possible scenario with Wondershare Repairit – File Repair. After completing its processing, the application would let you preview the results and export your Excel files to any preferred location.

Step 1: Load the Damaged Excel Files on Repairit – File Repair

To repair damaged and corrupt Excel files, you can just launch Wondershare Repairit on your system and go to its File Repair feature from its sidebar. You can now click on the “Add” button to simply locate and load any corrupt Excel file on the application.

repairit file repair load files

Step 2: Repair the Loaded Excel Documents on Repairit

Once your corrupt Excel files are loaded, you can check their details on the side (like their size and location) and click on the “Repair” button to start the process.

repairit file repair start process

After that, you can just sit back and wait for a while as the application would repair damaged and corrupt Excel files. You can check the progress of the Excel repairing process on the application.

Step 3: Preview the Results and Export your Excel Files

After the repairing process has been completed, Wondershare Repairit will let you know. You can now just click on the “Preview” button to check its data repairing results.

repairit file repair process completed

Here, on the native interface of Repairit, you can check if the loaded Excel document has been repaired by getting its preview.

That’s it! If you are satisfied with the results, then you can just click on the “Save” button adjacent to the file’s details. This will let you export your repaired Excel files from Repairit to any secure location on your system.

repairit file repair export

Fix 4: Scan your Corrupt XLS File with an Antivirus

As I have listed above, your Excel file can get corrupt after being infected by any virus or malware. Therefore, you can repair damaged and corrupt Excel files by simply scanning them with a security application.

To implement this fix, you can just select the Excel file, right-click, and choose to scan it with any reliable antivirus application. Even if you don’t have any anti-malware tool installed, you can still scan the file with Microsoft Defender, which is the inbuilt security application in Windows.

scan excel with defender

Once the scan has been completed, you can launch MS Excel and try loading the corrupt file.

Fix 5: Remove Unwanted Add-ins from MS Excel

It has been observed that the presence of any unreliable add-in in MS Office can also cause all kinds of unwanted issues with it. The best way to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files due to any app-related issue is by removing these add-ins.

To troubleshoot the issue, you can just launch MS Excel and go to its Menu > File > Options. As the dedicated window for Excel Options is launched, go to the Add-ins section from the sidebar.

ms excel addins

From here, you can select any add-in that you want to remove and click on the “Actions” feature from the bottom panel to get rid of it. You can also go to the “Manage Add-ins” option here to directly uninstall any add-in on Excel.

Fix 6: Run the MS Office Diagnostics on Windows

This is another smart technique that you can implement to fix these occurring issues with a corrupt Excel application instead. Apart from being a corrupt document, chances are that your installed MS Office Suite can also be corrupted.

Therefore, to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files, you can just launch Control Panel and go to its Programs & Features options. From here, you can just find and select the MS Office application and click on the “Manage” or “Change” button.

change ms office app

This will display all kinds of operations that you can perform on MS Office. You can just click on the “Repair” feature and commence the process to fix the installed MS Office Suite.

repair ms office suite

From the provided options, you can choose to perform a “Quick Repair” on the MS Office Suite. Now, you can just follow a simple click-through process to fix any issue with MS Office.

quick repair ms office


After completing the process, you can restart MS Excel on your system and check if it correctly loads the XLS file or not.

Part 3: Tips to Avoid Problems with Excel Documents

As you can see, it is quite easy to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files with the right tools. Though, if you want to avoid facing such scenarios altogether, then you can consider following these tips:

  • Proper File Handling

Make sure that you always follow proper techniques while handling your Excel files. For instance, you should avoid shutting down or restarting your system when an Excel document is being processed.

  • Scan your Excel Files

Apart from that, consider installing a reliable anti-malware tool on your system and scan your Excel documents or their storage units regularly.

  • Avoid Public Connections

You should also avoid connecting your computers to a public network or your USB drives to a public computer as they can easily harm your files.

  • Install Trusted Add-ins Only

If you are installing any plugin or add-in to your MS Excel application, then make sure it is from a trusted publisher.

  • Avoid Forceful Actions

Lastly, avoid any forceful conversion of your Excel documents, and don’t take unwanted actions that can cause logical issues with your XLS files.

  • Maintain a Backup

Most importantly, always consider taking a backup of your important Excel documents so that you can easily recover them (in case of data corruption).

Summing It Up!

This brings us to the end of this extensive guide on how to repair damaged and corrupt Excel files in different ways. As you can see, I have come up with all kinds of native and third-party solutions that you can easily follow to repair corrupt, damaged, and inaccessible Excel documents on your system.

Besides that, you can also follow the above-listed suggestions to avoid these Excel-related issues in the coming days and keep your data safe.

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