4 Ways to extract data from corrupt Excel file

Imagine the frustration of an employee if an Excel workbook he took hours to complete became corrupted for some reason threatening to erase all the data saved in it. Not just that, a corrupted Excel workbook can wreak havoc for the organization too since it poses a risk of permanently deleting critical business information like work records or employee trackers.

Unless a backup of all important Excel files exists, recovering data lost due to damage / corruption to them is next to impossible. However, we’ve conducted some research and found out some pretty neat hacks to help you extract data from corrupt excel files without much hassle.

Primary reasons triggering Excel file corruption

As we always point out, to solve a problem for good, getting to its root is imperative. Here are the main reasons that cause Excel file corruption. Knowing these reasons can help you keep Excel corruption at bay for a considerably long time.

  • Abrupt system shutdown when you’re editing an Excel sheet
  • Bugs / Defects in your Excel application or installation
  • Hardware failure like bad sectors on the hard drive where Excel sheets are saved
  • Virus Infection / Malware Attack
  • Excessive data storage within a single Excel file
  • Faulty Excel Macros and CSE Formulas

Depending upon the extent of damage, there can be several ways to perform corrupt Excel file repair.

How to repair corrupt Excel files?

There are a couple of manual methods that can help you repair corrupt Excel files.

  1. If the damaged Excel sheet can be opened, immediately save its copy; thereafter:
    • Open it with a later version of Excel and save it as a new workbook.
    • If this doesn’t work, open it in Excel’s latest version and save the workbook in HTML or HTM format.
    • Once this is done, reopen the HTML file and save again in XLS format.
    • Lastly, open the file and try saving it in SLK format (symbolic link)

Note: It is important to note that saving an Excel workbook in HTML format causes loss of features like custom views, scenarios, unused styles or number formats, natural language formulas, data consolidation settings, custom function categories, etc. In SLK format only the active worksheet is saved so if using this method, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each worksheet.

  1. Use Excel’s inbuilt Repair function as follows:
    • Launch Microsoft Excel and go to Office button -> Open
    • In the Open dialog box, select the damaged Excel file
    • On the bottom-right corner of the Open dialog box, you will find a drop-down next to Open Click on it and select Open and Repair
    • This will launch the inbuilt Repair module of Excel and you’ll see a dialog box asking you to select an option from Repair or Extract Data
    • Click on Repair to initiate the repair process.
    • If this doesn’t work, repeat steps 1-4, and when Excel asks you to select an option, select Extract Data from corrupt excel file. Thereafter, follow the instruction Excel shows and you should be able to retrieve your data, but you may end up losing some formulas.
  2. If you cannot open the Excel, download Spreadsheet viewer from Microsoft website and open the file using this program. Thereafter copy all data into a new Excel.

Note: This method will cause much of your formatting, formulas, and more to be lost.

  1. You can download Open Office from its official website OpenOffice.org and try opening the Excel in it. The two programs are very similar so all data should automatically align in the correct place and with the correct formatting.

Note: With this method, VBA code cannot be recovered due to incompatibility between OpenOffice.org and Excel.

Full-proof method for corrupt Excel file repair

If you find the above methods confusing, or you wish to perform Excel file repair without having to face any data and formula loss, or you cannot achieve the desired results with any of these methods, stop wasting any more time with methods that will only frustrate you more. Instead, download the sure-shot solution for dealing with severe Excel corruption –Stellar Repair for Excel and relax!

free download

Stellar Repair for Excel is the best choice for repairing corrupt or damaged Excel (.XLS/.XLSX) files and restoring everything to a new blank Excel file. This competent software can skillfully repair single as well as multiple XLS/XLSX files while preserving worksheet properties and cell formatting. If you have this product by your side, you don’t need to worry about Excel corruption errors ever again.

To Conclude

Instead of giving up on corrupted Excel sheets, try repairing them with the simple tricks we’ve described. And if they don’t work, keep calm and turn to Stellar Repair for Excel.

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