10 Simple Manual Techniques to Repair Damaged Excel Files

Microsoft Excel is an essential component of the Microsoft Office suite as it is capable of performing a wide range of tasks on electronic spreadsheets. Illustrative visuals can help with a variety of complex calculations. When working on an Excel sheet, data may get corrupted due to various reasons including program failure, hardware failure, user error, etc. Hence, under such circumstances, Excel repair is done using the manual procedures listed below.

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Method 1: By using the open and repair embedded function incorporated into the program. Follow the instructions below to recover corrupt Excel file(s).

Step 1: To start, create a blank Excel sheet

Step 2: Go to “Open”.

To note: Select Open from the Office menu in Excel 2007.

Step 3: Select the file you want to repair and open it by selecting “Open and Repair…” from the Open drop-down menu.

Note: Select “Extract data” if the Excel file does not open.

Step 4: To confirm your choice, click on the “Yes” button.

Note: To continue, click Accept if the “File caused major difficulty the last time you opened” notification appears.

Method 2: Use the Microsoft Office program:

Step 1: Select “All Programs” from the “Start” menu.

Step 2: Select Microsoft Office from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Choose “Microsoft Office Tools -> Microsoft Office Application Recovery” from the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Select “Microsoft Office Excel” in a new dialog called “Microsoft Office Application Recovery”.

Step 5: Next, select “Recover App”; the process will take a few minutes. Then, when prompted, click “Send Report” to Microsoft. After that, close the Excel sheet and reopen it to review the data that has been corrected.

Method 3:

Note: If the corruption occurs while accessing the Excel sheet and the file is not saved, try this solution.

Step 1: Open the Excel sheet and select “Open” from the “File” menu.

Step 2: Locate and choose the file you want to repair.

Step 3: To reopen the file, click “Yes”.

Method 4: Changing the calculation method to manual is a good idea.

Step 1: Begin by creating a new Excel sheet.

Step 2: Select “Options” from the “Tools” menu and then “Calculation”.

Note: To access formulas in Excel 2007, go to “Office -> Excel” and select “Formulas”.

Step 3: Select “Manual” in the “Calculation” section.

Step 4: Click “OK” and try to open the corrupt Excel file again.

Method 5: SYLK (symbolic link) format is used. This is the most efficient way to find and select defective files.

Step 1: Navigate to the Excel sheet and open it. “Save As” is an option in the “File” menu, select it

Note: To save a file in Excel 2007, choose the Office button, and then Save As.

Step 2: Select “SYLK (Symbolic Link) (*.slk)” from the “Save As” type drop-down menu.

Step 3: Give the active sheet a new name and then click the “Save” button.

Note: If there is only one sheet, you can skip this step.

Step 4: If you have multiple sheets, Excel will ask you if you want to continue. Then press “OK”.

Step 5: You will get a notification saying: “If Excel warns you that the spreadsheet may contain features that are not compatible with SYLK format”. Then press the “Yes” button.

Step 6: Select “File -> Exit” from the “File” menu.

Step 7: You will receive a notification that says: “If you receive a message asking you to save the changes you have made, click Yes.”

Step 8: Open the Excel sheet again and select “File -> Open”.

Step 9: Locate the “Filename.slk” file that you saved earlier. Select it now and click “Open”.

Step 10: To view .slk files, select All Files or SYLK Files from the Files of Type list.

Step 11: Select “File -> Save As” once again. From the “Save As” drop-down menu, choose Excel Workbook.

Step 12: In the “File” name box, enter a new name to create a copy of the Excel sheet. Save the file.

Method 6: Extracting data from a corrupted file with Macro(s).

Step 1: To get started, copy and paste the following macro code into a module sheet:

Under GetChartValues()

Dim NumberOfRows As Integer

Dim X as an object

Counter = 2

‘Calculate the number of rows of data.

NumberOfRows = UBound(ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Values)

Spreadsheets (“ChartData”). Cells (1, 1) = “X values”

‘Write x-axis values ​​to spreadsheet.

With spreadsheets (“ChartData”)

.Range(.Cells(2, 1), _

.Cells(NumberOfRows + 1, 1)) = _


Finish with

“Go through all the series in the chart and save their values ​​in the “spreadsheet”.


For each X in ActiveChart.SeriesCollection

Spreadsheets (“ChartData”). Cells(1, counter) = X.Name

With spreadsheets (“ChartData”)

.Range(.Cells(2, Counter), _

.Cells(NumberOfRows + 1, Counter)) = _


Finish with

Counter = Counter + 1


End caption

Step 2: Create a new worksheet and rename it ChartData using the context menu.

Step 3: Finally, choose the graph you want to extract.

Note: The chart can be embedded in a spreadsheet or printed on its own sheet.

Step 4: Run the GetChartValues macro in step four. Chart data is entered into the ChartData worksheet.

Other important manual methods:

Method 7: Open the spreadsheet file in WordPad, Word or OpenOffice Calc to see if it can be repaired. WordPad will convert everything to text and therefore VBA procedures will be picked up (macros).

Note: Install the Microsoft Office Excel converter before using this approach. Formulas are not repaired using this procedure.

Method 8: The file cannot be opened in this location due to a network, server, or other error. In this case, move your files to another folder, drive or location.

Method 9: Delete the files from C:WindowsTemp directory Temp Directory, and restart your PC to recheck the file.

Method 10: Download Recovery Toolkit for Excelwhich will allow you to open the file and copy and paste the cells into a new Excel sheet.

To ease the process of restoring corrupted MS Excel file, you can use a third-party solution that can complete the task in a short time. Download free demo version of MS Excel repair application from https://excel.recoverytoolbox.com/ to see how this tool works and how it can recover all corrupt Excel files.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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