Solutions to Repair Corrupt Excel File 2019

Is your Excel file corrupted? And you don’t have backup of your data? There is no need to worry. There are some simple solutions to repair Excel file 2019. But before heading towards the solutions, let’s discuss the possible reasons for Excel file corruption and how you can prevent losing your data.

Error Messages that Indicate Excel File Corruption

When an Excel file gets corrupted, different error messages appear. For example:

  • “Excel found unreadable content in <filename>. Do you want to recover the content of this workbook, click Yes.”
  • “Can’t find project and library.”
  • “The workbook cannot be opened or repaired by Microsoft Excel because it is corrupted.”
  • “Microsoft Excel has stopped working.”

Reasons Behind Excel File Corruption

The reasons for corruption in Excel file could be any of the following:

  • Improper system shutdown
  • Computer virus/malware attack/Hacker attack
  • Outdated anti-virus definition
  • Hardware failure
  • Unintentional deletion of files
  • Large Excel files
  • Bad sectors on storage media

How to Avoid Data Loss Due to Excel File Corruption?

Excel users should follow the below precautionary measures to prevent data loss due to Excel file corruption:

  1. Create an Automatic Backup Copy

When you create an Excel spreadsheet, it is advised to Save As your document, as follows:

  1. In Save As window, click Tools next to Save option.
  2. Select General Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. Then check the dialogue box Always create back up and click OK.

This will always create a backup of your Excel. If it’s deleted or corrupted at any time, it can be recovered.

  1. Create Recovery File at Different Time Periods

Steps are as follows:

  1. Go to File and then click Excel Options.
  2. Click Save and then select the Save Auto Recover information every checkbox
  3. Add the required minutes and location. Ensure that Disable AutoRecover for this workbook only box is unchecked.

Methods to Repair Corrupted Excel 2019 File

Try using these 5 methods to restore your Excel file and recover data:

Method 1: ‘Open and Repair’ Excel Files
Method 2: Recover Data from Open Workbook
Method 3: Set Calculation Option as Manual
Method 4: Recover Content by Using External Links
Method 5: Excel Repair Software

Method 1: ‘Open and Repair’ Excel Files

Excel automatically opens the corrupted file in Recovery Mode. If not, you can repair Excel file manually through the following steps:

  • Click on the File and select Open.
  • Go to the location where the corrupt workbook is stored. In the Open window, select the corrupt file.
  • Click Open and then select Open and Repair.
  • In the window that opens, click Repair.

If the Repair option doesn’t work, you can select Extract Data and try to extract the values and formulae safely from the corrupt file.

Method 2: Recover Data from Open Workbook

If you face issues while working in an Excel file, you can choose to return to the last saved version of the Excel file. For this:

  • Click File. Then select Open.
  • Double click on the name of the workbook (the one that is open in your Excel).
  • Click Yes to reopen it.
  • The workbook will now appear.

Please note that it will show the last saved version and changes made after that won’t be recovered.

Method 3: Set Calculation Option as Manual

You can also recover data from Excel workbooks that you’re unable to open. For this, you need to configure the calculation option as manual in Excel. You can do this through the following steps:

  • Click on File. Select New and open a Blank workbook.
  • From File, select Excel Options.
  • From the Formulas category, under the section Calculation options, select Manual. Now click OK.
  • Then click File, and select Open to open the corrupted or damaged Excel file.

Method 4: Recover Content by Using External Links

You can also recover specifically the content (leaving formulas/calculated values) from the workbook by using external references (to link Excel workbook). For this:

  • Click on File, Select Open.
  • Navigate to the folder that contains the corrupted workbook.
  • Now, right-click on the file name of the corrupted workbook and click Copy.
  • Click File button. Then, select New and create another blank workbook.
  • In the first cell (A1), type =!A1 and press Enter.
    • Select the corrupted workbook in the Update Values dialogue (if it appears). Then click OK.
    • Select the relevant sheet in the Select Sheet dialogue (if it appears). Then click OK.
  • Again, select the cell A1, go to Home and select Copy.
  • Now select (start from the cell A1) an area equal to that of the data in the original workbook.
  • Go to Home now and select Paste.
  • Again, go to Home, and Copy the data (the same selection of cells).
  • Go to Home, and then click on the arrow below Paste. Then click on Values.

By pasting values, you removed the links to the corrupted workbook and only the data is left behind.

Method 5: Excel Repair Software

If the above-mentioned methods do not help in repairing the corrupt Excel file, try an Excel repair software.

One of the most commonly used Excel repair tools is Stellar Repair for Excel. Its trial version is available for free download, which lets you scan and preview the repaired Excel files. Once you’ve ascertained the effectiveness of the software, you can save the file after activating the software.

Here’s the complete repairing process of the corrupt Excel file


This post shared reasons behind Excel file corruption and precautionary measures to prevent data loss. It also outlined different methods to repair corrupt Excel file 2019. There are several in-built utilities in Microsoft Excel to repair corrupt workbook and recover data from it. In case these methods didn’t work, you can use Stellar Repair for Excel – an easy-to-use DIY tool that can fix all Excel corruption errors and restore data with all original properties.