How to Repair Office 2016 Files?

May 8, 2019

If you frequently work with Microsoft Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx), and PowerPoint (.pptx) files, then issues like file inaccessibility or corruption won't be new to you.

Scenarios which may lead to Microsoft Office Files corruption

Listed below are some common scenarios leading to corrupt MS Office 2016 files:

Scenario 1 – Disruption during Data Migration

You decide to move Office files from your hard drive to some other removable media. Now when you try to access the data within the files post migration, you found that your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files are showing gibberish characters. The files may have turned corrupt due to reasons like power surge, sudden system shutdown, and internal mechanical failure.

Figure 1- Microsoft Word file showing garbage characters

Scenario 2 – Office files and registry entries become infected

When you open or use Microsoft Office application, the application crashes as soon as it opens. You assume that an add-in was causing the problem. You restart the Office application without add-ins loaded, but the application still crashes. This may be due to a virus that's infecting the Office files and registry values thus leading to corrupt or damaged Office file.

Scenario 3 – Inaccessible or Lost Data

Suppose all your Office files are stored on a USB device, and you unplugged the device while it was still open in Windows. Now, when you attempt to open a Word or an Excel file, all the data is gone. Unsafe removal of USB or any external storage device may corrupt the data inside your Office files or turn the file inaccessible.

How can you deal with Microsoft Office Files Corruption?

Here are a few solutions that can help you fix or repair Office 2016 Files Corruption:

Solution 1 – Use Microsoft in-built Repair Utility

Microsoft recommends using its in-built repair utility, called 'Open and Repair', to fix corrupt Office files. Follow these steps to understand how the utility can be used to repair the corrupt Word, Excel and PowerPoint files:

Step 1 – Launch the MS Office application whose file you want to repair:

  • To repair corrupt Word (.doc, .docx) files, launch MS Word
  • To repair corrupt Excel files (.xls, .xlsx) files, launch MS Excel
  • To repair corrupt PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) files, launch MS PowerPoint

Step 2 – Click File, and then click the Open tab

Step 3 – Click Navigate to the location or folder where the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file is stored.

Step 4 – Select the corrupt file you want to repair by single-clicking on it, and then find the Open button and click on the drop-down menu next to it

Step 5 – From the drop-down menu, click the Open and Repair option and follow the subsequent instructions to repair Office 2016 files.

Solution 2 – Repair Office 2016 Installation

Try repairing the Office installation to fix the MS Office files. The steps to repair your Office installation may vary depending on the operating system you are using.

For Windows 7

Step 1 – Open your PC's control panel

Step 2 – Click Programs

Step 3 – Click Programs and Features, and then click Uninstall a program option

Step 4 – Right-click on the Office application you want to repair, and then click Change

Step 5 – Under Change your installation of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016, choose Repair, and then click Continue.

For Windows 10

Step 1 – Right-click the Start button, and type in Apps & Features (For Windows 10)

NOTE: This step will work for Windows 10/8/8.1/7 and Vista

Step 2 – Click Programs from the window that pops-up, click on the MS Office product you want to repair, and then click on Modify

Note: Following the step will repair the entire Microsoft Office suite even if it contains only one application you want to repair such as an Excel or PowerPoint file. But, in case you've a standalone app installed, then try to locate that application by name.

Step 3 – Under Change your installation of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016, choose Repair, and then click Continue to initiate the repair process.

Step 4 – Once the repair process completes, you'll be prompted to restart your PC. Click Yes

Solution 3 – Use Stellar Toolkit for File Repair

Repair MS Office 2016 files by using Stellar Toolkit for File Repair. This software comprises four essential utilities that can help you repair corrupt MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Zip files.

The toolkit helps repair corrupt Office 2016 and other version documents and files while maintaining the original file format – which is less likely achievable with inbuilt methods. Follow these steps to repair MS Office 2016 documents by using the Stellar Toolkit for File Repair software:

Step 1 – Download and install Stellar Toolkit for File Repair

Step 2 – Launch the software

Step 3 – From the software's main interface, select the MS Office file you want to repair

Step 4 – From the window that pops-up, select the corrupted files to be repaired.

NOTE: if you don't know the exact location of corrupt office files or if they are large in number, you can locate the files by using the Find option included in the software

Step 5 – After selecting the corrupt files, click the Scan button to initiate the repairing process

Step 6 – Once the scanning process is complete, all the recoverable information is displayed in the software's left-hand panel. Click on any item to preview it before recovery

Step 7 – To save the repaired data, click the Save button, and enter a destination of your choice

Step 8 – Click OK


This post outlined possible scenarios and their causes that may lead to corruption in MS Office 2016 files. It also emphasized how the inbuilt methods such as Open and Repair, and Repair Office Installation help to resolve the corruption issues. But these are not competent enough to resolve all the errors.

With Stellar Toolkit for File Repair, you can resolve all sort of corruption issues and recover Office 2016 file-data in its original format of related MS Office application.