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Five Simple Methods for Repairing Excel Files and Recovering Data


This article was contributed by IT specialist Michael Greengrass for Recovery Toolbox.

MS Excel is used by individuals and businesses to perform sophisticated calculations, create charts and illustrative images, and store vast amounts of data. While MS Excel has a lot of power, it may also be frustrating at times. When users are unable to access Excel data owing to corruption or other Excel issues, this occurs. Such difficulties, if not managed effectively, might result in a significant loss of data and records.

Nowadays there are multiple ways that allow you to recover data from Excel files, the most efficient of them using an Excel Repair tool, created specifically to repair damaged excel files fast and easily.

You will find a few manual ways to recover corrupted Excel files here.

1. Open and Repair Damaged Excel

File Recovery mode immediately appears when a corrupted Excel file is opened. If not, follow the steps below to manually repair Excel files:

  1. Click on File and select Open.

  2. Go to the location where the corrupt workbook is present and the corrupted worksheet.
  3. Expand the arrow next to Open. Here select Open and Repair.

  4. In order to repair the file, click Repair.

Note: If the Repair option fails, you can choose Extract Data to extract values and equations.

If the automatic or manual Repair fails, there are a few alternative recovery options available to help you recover your data and files. These techniques of recuperation are listed below:

2. Retrieve information from an open workbook

  1. You can opt to return to the last saved version of an Excel file if you run into problems when working with it. This is why:
  2. Click on File. Select Open.
  3. Double click on the name of the workbook (the one that is open in your Excel)
  4. Click Yes to reopen it.

The worksheet will now appear on the screen. Please keep in mind that the newly opened document will not contain the most recent changes.

3. Recover by selecting the manual computation option

Data can be recovered from Excel that are unable to be opened. You'll need to set the computation option in Excel to manual as follows:

  1. Begin by clicking on File. Select New. In New, select Blank workbook 

  2. From File, select Options

  3. From the Formulas category, under the section Calculation options, select  Now click on OK.

  4. Now, click File, and select Open to and open the corrupted or damaged Excel file.

4. Recover only the data

Another option is to use external references (to link Excel workbooks) to retrieve only the data from the worksheet (leaving formulas/calculated values).

  1. Click on File. Select Open.
  2. Navigate to the folder that contains the corrupted workbook.
  3. Now, right-click on the file name of the corrupted workbook and click on Copy. Hit Cancel.
  4. Click the File button. Then, select New.
  5. Under New, select Blank workbook. In the first cell (A1), type =!A1 and press Enter.

      • In the Update Values dialogue box, choose the corrupted workbook (if it appears). Then press
      • In the Select Sheet dialogue (if it occurs), select the relevant sheet. Then press
      • Select cell A1 once more, then go to Home and choose Copy.
      • Now pick an area equal to the data in the original spreadsheet (starting with cell A1).
      • Now go to Home and choose Paste.
      • Select Copy one more after clicking on Home (on the same selection of cells)
      • Click on Home, then Paste, and then the arrow below it. Values (under Paste Values) can be found here.

You delete the links to the erroneous workbook by pasting values, keeping only the data.

5. Using professional Excel recovery tools

If all of the manual ways fail and things still don't operate as they should with Excel files, a third-party tool can be quite useful. Recovery Toolbox for Excel is a third-party professional solution that fixes faulty MS Excel worksheets. This program recovers Excel files that have become unavailable due to a system crash, power outage, malware assault, media issues, or software crashes. Among the tool's features are:

  • Repairs corrupt all types of Excel files (Excel XLS And XLSX Files)
  • Supports Unicode character recovery
  • Uses Live Preview technology to view the recovered data
  • Owns friendly graphical user interface
  • Works with all formats and versions of Excel

How to Use Excel Recovery Toolbox on Windows

It's easy to use Recovery Toolbox for Excel. The installer must first be downloaded and installed before the software can be used. The first step is to choose the file that needs to be repaired. As long as the file has one of the aforementioned extensions and was created with a supported version of Excel, it will operate.

Recovery Toolbox for Excel will analyze a file several times when attempting to restore it. The initial step is to determine how much, if any, data can be recovered from the file. The program will then show you a sample of the data. This will tell you if you should continue with the recovery or if the file is too damaged to bother with.

Recovery Toolbox for Excel begins its second examination once you've confirmed that the file contains the data you wish to recover. This takes longer since the data from the damaged file is used to create a new document from scratch. When it's finished, the program will notify you, and you can exit it safely.

Why Should You Use Excel Recovery Toolbox?

Recovery Toolbox for Excel has the ability to repair larger Excel spreadsheets as one of its key capabilities. The larger the file, the more difficult it is to repair. You're probably working with at least one file if you use Excel for your business.

While Excel 2019 is stronger than ever at fixing damaged files, it is more effective with newer files. If you're using an older version of Excel, it's possible that the new version won't be able to repair your file. You might not want to upgrade your version only to see if Excel can fix your corrupted file.

Recovery Toolbox for Excel, on the other hand, is significantly less costly. For just $27, you can get a single license for the app and use it as often as you like.

Michael Greengrass is a junior IT specialist currently working for Recovery Toolbox. He has always been a huge enthusiast and was eager to learn the full potential of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other programs. He currently works with all things Microsoft, involved in developing efficient solutions aimed to improve user experience with the products, as well as delivering these solutions to the mass consumer.


Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.