When an Excel file is corrupted, then you can try several methods to recover it:
1. First of all, you can try to repair the file manually in Excel, as follows:
(1) On the File menu, click Open.
(2) In the Open dialog box, select the file you want to open, and click the arrow next to the Open button.
(3) Click Open and Repair, and then choose which method you want to use to recover your workbook.
You may find more information about this at:
(for Excel 2010)
2. If method 1 fails, there are still several methods to recover your Excel file manually with Excel, including writing a small VBA macro, as below
3. Third, there are also free tools from third-parties that can open and read Microsoft Excel files, for example,
3.1 OpenOffice at Apache OpenOffice - Official Site - The Free and Open Productivity Suite
. This is a very famous open source project that is designed to support Office file formats, including Excel files. The software can run under Windows.
3.2 KingSoft Spreadsheets at Free Excel Alternative software download - highly compatible with Excel
. This is a free Windows tool that can open Excel files.
Sometimes when Excel fails to open your file, these tools may be able to open it successfully. If that is the case, then after the Excel file is opened, you can just save it as a new file which will be error-free.
4. For xlsx files, they are actually a group of files compressed in Zip file format. Therefore, sometimes, if the corruption is only caused by the Zip file, then you can use Zip repair tools such as WinRAR at WinRAR archiver, a powerful tool to process RAR and ZIP files
to repair the file, as follows:
4.1 Assuming the corrupt Excel file is a.xlsx, then you need to rename it to a.zip
4.2 Start WinRAR, go to "Tools > Repair Archive" to repair a.zip and generated a fixed file a_fixed.zip.
4.3 Rename a_fixed.zip back to a_fixed.xlsx
4.4 Using Excel to open a_fixed.xlsx.
There may still be some warnings when opening the fixed file in Excel, just let ignore it and Excel will try to open and repair the fixed file. If the file can be opened successfully, then you can just save the contents into another error-free file.
5. If all above methods do not work, then you may try third-party tools such as DataNumen Excel Repair at
It provides a free demo version so that you can try to see if the data you want can be recovered or not.