Manual Methods to Repair Corrupt or Damaged Excel File

Whenever any kind of corruption prevails in your Excel file, it not only hampers its efficient working but also adds to your worries by damaging the data which in turn requires you to re-enter it. Taking back-ups at regular intervals proves to b a good precautionary step but in certain situation it also could not serve as saviour. Here in this article we are going to give you some useful methods which could be followed to repair your corrupted Excel work sheet or file.

Manual method for repairing corrupted workbook:

There is a built-in option available for repairing files in Excel. Go to ‘Open’ by clicking on the ‘File’ menu or ‘Microsoft Office button’ in Excel 2007 and higher versions respectively. It will open a dialogue box which will contain various files. Select the corrupted Excel file. Do not click on Open rather click on its drop-down menu. Select ‘Open and Repair’ option from there.

In case if the file is repaired for the first time through this method, another dialogue box will appear. Click Repair on it.

This is the simplest and easiest method in order to repair corrupted Excel file. In case, if the method does not work, follow these particular methods to recover the data from corrupted Excel file.

If you are unable to open the workbook in Excel, one of the following methods could be used:

  • Use a macro to extract the data from a corrupted workbook: A particular macro code is present which could be pasted in a different module sheet. Now in your workbook, add a new worksheet with CharData name. After this, select the chart from which the values are to be extracted. The chart selected could be any present in the workbook or on a separate chart sheet. Now run the macro. This will extract the chart values and will be available on Chart Data worksheet.
  • Use External references to link the corrupted workbook:  This method could be used to retrieve only the data from the corrupted workbook as it does not allow retrieving formulas or calculated values. Steps of this method are described here:
  1. Go to the ‘File’ or ‘Microsoft Office button’ and select ‘Open’ option under it.
  2. Select the corrupted file present in the look in box, right click on it and then select Copy. Now cancel the operation.
  3. Again under ‘File’ menu, select ‘New’ option and create a new workbook.
  4. Type XYZ!A1 in cell A1 of new workbook where XYZ is the file name of corrupted workbook.
  5. If any dialog box for Select Sheet and Update Values appear, click OK on it.
  6. Now select cell A1 and copy by using Copy option or by pressing Ctrl+C.
  7. Select the area corresponding to the range of cells present in corrupted workbook.
  8. Paste by using Paste option or by pressing Ctrl+V.
  9. With cells being selected, repeat the copy and while pasting select Paste Special and then select Values under it.
  10. Now click OK.

If you can access your corrupted workbook then follow these particular methods to recover Excel data:

  • Revert the workbook to last saved version: If the workbook gets corrupted while you were trying to edit it, then you can recover the original worksheet before saving your changes. For reverting the workbook to the last saved version go to the ‘File’ or ‘Microsoft Office button’ depending on the version and then click on the option of ‘Open’. Double click on the necessary file available in the look in window. Now click ‘Yes’ on the dialog box to reopen the file.

This will end up in opening the last saved version of Excel file and hence discards all the changes made after which could have resulted corruption.

  • Save the workbook in SYLK (Symbolic Link) format: This method helps in filtering out the corrupted elements and to remove printer corruption. Particular steps could be followed to save the workbook in SYLK format:
  1. Click on ‘File’ or ‘Microsoft Office button’ option and then go to ‘Save As’.
  2. A list will appear for ‘Save As’, click on SYLK and then select Save. This allows saving of only the active sheet in SYLK format.
  3. If any message appears, click ‘Yes’ on it and proceed.
  4. Now click on ‘Close’ under ‘File’ menu or by clicking on ‘Microsoft Office button’.
  5. If any message appears to save the changes click ‘Yes’ on it.
  6. Again go to ‘Open’ under ‘File’ menu option or ‘Microsoft Office button’.
  7. Make sure that in the ‘Type’ option either select ‘All files’ or ‘SYLK files’. Now select the saved SYLK files.
  8. Now again save the current worksheet with a new name in ‘Excel Workbook’ from ‘Save As’ menu box by making a copy of the worksheet saved in SYLK format without replacing it.

As this method allows only active worksheets to be saved, you need to perform the same steps for individual worksheets.