Wondershare Repairit
File Repair

Perfectly repair Excel files with different issues in minutes.

  • Fix all Excel file issues like blank Excel, Excel not opening, unreadable Excel, Excel running slow, etc.
  • Repair corrupted Excel files with a very high success rate in 3 simple steps.
  • Support Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Office 365.
  • Perfectly compatible with different Windows & Mac system.
file repair

How to Repair Excel File Unreadable Errors?

Microsoft Excel is widely regarded as the best spreadsheet software in the world. There is ample evidence that backs up this suggestion as well. Excel is used for both personal and commercial purposes. The excellent features that it offers make it an ideal tool for data organization and manipulation. From sales reports to payroll to budgeting, MS Excel is used for the creation of several important documents for small businesses. Thus, when an excel file generates an error and does not open as it is supposed to, it becomes a cause of concern. The displaying of the excel file unreadable error is a case in point. Not only Excel files, but this error may also happen on other types of files and there is a solution to recover the corrupt or unreadable files.

Part 1: What is the Excel File Unreadable Error?

The Excel File Unreadable Error is a common error that surfaces when an excel file is opened by a user. The error message that appears on the screen looks like this:

"Excel found unreadable content in '[filename].xls'. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click, yes!"

Viewing such an error can sound alarm bells in the minds of the user. Issuance of this error message indicates that the file has developed some kind of issue and some of its content has become unreadable for the software. In the error message, Excel offers you to recover the data of the file too, if you think that the source of the file is trustworthy. It asks you to press yes if you do trust the source of the file. If you do press yes, Excel will look to recover the content of the file, which might result in full recovery of the data or loss of all of the data contained in the file.

Some of the possible reasons that can cause the Excel File Unreadable Error to include:

  • Corruption of some parts of the Excel file.

  • Corruption of the entire excel file.

Part 2: Repair Corrupt Excel File with Excel Repair Software

You can repair corrupted excel files by making use of excel repair software. These are tools that are designed for recovering the data of the corrupted excel files and restoring them to their original state. There are several such Excel repair tools available on the internet but the only one that is effective and reliable among them is Wondershare Repairit.

The Wondershare Repairit - File Repair is an excellent Excel repair tool that allows you to not only repair corrupted excel files but also fix the error messages that are caused by these corrupted excel files. The reason why it is considered so reliable and effective is that it has several amazing features that are not present in any other Excel file repair tool.

  • Repair damaged files with all levels of corruption, including Excel unreadable errors, not opening and wrong layout errors, unrecognizable format, etc.

  • Support to repair all formats of Excel, PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Zip, and Adobe files.

  • 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 Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Office 365.

Step-By-Step Guide for Repairing Corrupted Excel Files

Step 1: Upload corrupted files on the Wondershare Repairit

  • The first step is to launch Wondershare Repairit on your system and choose "File Repair" section.

  • Click on the “Add” button, and choose the unreadable excel file.

add file in wondershare repairit
  • The application will filter out any incompatible format in the upload step. After you choose the files, the tool starts uploading them and the selected files will show on the interface.

  • If you have uploaded the wrong file by mistake, just remove it by tapping the Trash icon.

Step 2: Start the file repairing process

  • Click on the “Repair” option at the bottom to start repairing the unreadable excel file.

  • The tool will start scanning the unreadable excel files and troubleshooting the problems.

  • Status of file repairing will show on the screen, that is, being scanned, waiting to be repaired, or completed.

start repair in wondershare repairit
  • A prompt will then display the number of files that have been repaired.

  • Also, if the unreadable excel file is badly corrupted and cannot get repaired, the tool will lead you to connect with the expert to fix the issue.

Step 3: Preview and save repaired files

  • The third step is to click the “Preview” button and check the content of repaired excel files before exporting.

  • Then save the file to your computer by clicking on the “Save” button. Click the “Save All” button from the bottom panel for multiple files repairing.

preview file in wondershare repairit
  • You can also choose the location to save your repaired files.

save file in wondershare repairit

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Part 3: Fixes for Excel File Unreadable Error

The following are some fixes for Excel File Unreadable Error that you can use for the quick resolution of this error message:

Step 1 Converting your ‘.xls’ file to ‘read-only’. Make use of the following steps to convert your excel workbook into a ‘Read-Only’ file.

  • Select ‘save as’ or ‘save’ for formerly saved workbook and new workbook respectively after clicking on the ‘Office’ button.

  • Then, click on the ‘General Options’ button after clicking on the ‘Tools’ button.

  • Lastly, in the General Options dialog box, make the workbook read-only by clicking the check-box located in front of the ‘read-only’ option.

Step 2 Copy the entire contents of the corrupted Excel file into a blank and new ‘.xls’ workbook. Now, attempt to re-open this file after saving it first.

Step 3 It is observed numerous times that the Excel File Unreadable Error message can be easily resolved by installing the components of ‘Visual Basic’ of MS Office 2010. Make use of the following steps to accomplish this:

Click on the ‘Start menu. Now, click on the ‘Control Panel’. In the window that appears, click on ‘Programs’. Choose ‘Microsoft Office 2010’ from the list. Now, click on ‘Change’. In the window that appears, click on Add or Remove Programs. Click on the ‘plus’ sign present at the end of the list, located in front of the ‘Office Shared Features’ option. Now, click on ‘Visual Basic for Applications. After doing all this, select the ‘Run’ command from ‘My Computer’ after right-clicking on it and then hitting ‘Continue’.

After the process has been completed, do remember to restart your computer.


The following tips can be used for fixing an excel file unreadable error messages if all other methods for repairing the corrupted excel file have been tried.

  • Save the corrupted excel file with a different file name and try re-opening it.

  • Save the corrupted excel file on a different PC under a different file name and then try re-opening it on your PC after sending it back to yourself.