Microsoft Excel application is as popular as the Microsoft Word application. It has excellent data analysis capabilities, including charts and formulas, making it good at dealing with data that needs to be arranged, filtered and calculated.
You need to take care of your Excel files on your personal computer. You can turn the autosave setting, have a backup and regularly monitor the health of your personal computer.
Nobody wants to create an Excel workbook containing processed data for a second time when the first one gets corrupted.
What is Excel file corruption? How does an excel file get corrupted? With those questions in mind, below are the answers and explanations.
Corruption of Excel File
A corrupted excel file cannot be opened when you try to open it.
This could happen when you try to open an Excel file that is created in an older version in a newer version—for example, opening a file created in Excel 2013 in Excel 2016.
Moreover, the error can occur after reinstalling Microsoft Office.
Other than the error message, you can know that your Excel file is corrupted when the following happens.
- When the format changes from .xls or .xlsx to a strange format
- The file size is 0 byte
- File content is blank
- Stored data changes to weird characters
Reasons for Excel File Corruption
Excel files get corrupted due to different reasons.
Knowing the reasons can help identify the problem and possible solutions to repair the files.
Below are the reasons for Excel file corruption.
Malware infection of your computer’s hard drive can corrupt your Excel files. Other than the hard drive, your Excel documents may be infected by malware, damaging its vital parts.
Mishandling Your Files
Your Excel files can be corrupted when you mishandle your computer and files—for example, turning off your system when the file is under processing.
Your Excel files can be corrupted when you save the files in your computer’s damaged or corrupted partition.
Corrupted Excel Application
A corrupted Excel application can corrupt and damage your Excel files.
Your Excel files could be corrupted due to logical issues with its header and metadata.
Best Solutions to Restore a Corrupted Excel File
A corrupted Excel file can waste your time and lead to loss of data. It is almost impossible to keep calm after experiencing an Excel file corruption and losing your vital data.
You can minimize the damage that file corruption can do to your files by trying to repair and restore them.
Your Excel file could be corrupted because of a malware attack. Therefore, you need to run an extensive system scan using an antivirus program.
However, removing malware and viruses does not restore corrupted Excel files to normal. It aids in preventing your Excel files from getting corrupted in future.
Below are the methods you can use to repair and restore a corrupted Excel file.
1. Using the Microsoft Inbuilt Utility
You can use the open and repair utility to repair and restore your corrupted Excel files.
You can do this by clicking Open on the File tab. In the Open dialog box, choose the corrupted Excel file you want to repair.
Click the arrow next to the Open button, then click Open and Repair.
When an attempt to repair the Excel file is not successful, you can click Extract Data to extract formulas and values from the Excel file.
2. Changing the File Extension
There is a possibility that the file extension of your corrupted Excel file is not compatible with the Excel version on your computer.
You can change the corrupted file format by opening the Excel and clicking File.
Next, click on Export and choose Change File Type. Change the extension to any other file format supported by Excel, click Save As, and then open the file again.
3. Using an Excel Repair Tool
You can use Stellar Repair for Excel software to repair a corrupted Excel file.
The Stellar Repair Tool is a powerful tool that you can use to repair corrupted Excel files and recover all the data with the utmost integrity.
It helps in recovering datasets and visual representation of Excel data in the original form.
This Excel File Repair software repairs several files in a single process and preserves the properties of the Excel files. Moreover, it repairs the files and recovers charts, formulas and tables.
After installing Stellar Repair for Excel, launch it, go to its home screen, and click Repair Spreadsheet.
Next, Browse the corrupted Excel files. You can click the Find option if you do not know the location of your Excel file.
After selecting the file, click Repair and the software will begin the scanning and repairing process.
After the end of the scanning and repairing process, Preview of the items is visible on the right-pane. If the preview is satisfactory, click on Save File, and when prompted, choose the destination to save the recovered file and click OK.
When your Excel file is corrupted, you can use the aforementioned methods to repair and restore it.