The dreaded error message that says that your Excel workbook is corrupted can be intimidating. But fear not! There are a few things you can do to recover your work, or at least extract some of it and save yourself some time. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to recover and repair Excel file that has been corrupted.


Open and Repair to Repair Excel File

Excel has a built-in repair and recovery tool that can save as much data as possible from corrupted or damaged files. To use this feature, begin by opening an Excel workbook. A new instance without a workbook or an empty workbook will also do.

  1. From the Ribbon, click File > Open
  2. Locate the corrupted file folder in the Open dialog
  3. Select the file
  4. Click the arrow next to the Open button
  5. Click Open and Repair…
  6. Here, you have 2 options: Repair and Extract Data



The Repair option will recover as much as possible from your workbook. Note that you might lose some formatting and formula in corrupted areas after the repair process.

Extract Data

If Repair doesn't work, try the Extract Data option to extract the values or formulas from the workbook. After pressing the Extract Data button, another dialog will appear with two options:

  • Convert to Values
  • Recover Formulas

While Recover Formulas will attempt to recover all workbook formulas, Convert to Values option will convert formulas into values. Recover Formulas option makes more sense as it will reduce the amount of work required afterwards, but note that  Convert to Values has a higher chance of success.