How to Repair Corrupted Excel File on Windows and Mac (5 Ways)

Connie Wisley
September 28, 2023 Preview 367 Preview 0
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If a corrupted Excel file is preventing you from accessing your data, here is how to repair it.

Excel format is one of the most common formats for organizing and calculating data in a sheet. In today’s fast-paced world, we all know some basic and advanced skills for creating a great spreadsheet, but sometimes when dealing with Excel files, file corruption becomes a recurring and annoying problem. In this post, we are going to look at 5 best and easy ways to repair an Excel file.

But first, let’s quickly look at how and why Excel file gets corrupted, so that you can pick the suitable solution for your case.

Why Does Excel File Need Repair?

Because it gets corrupted.

When an Excel file gets corrupted, you will receive the message “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened.”, the only way to get at it again is to repair it. But why does Excel file get corrupted?

Reasons of Excel corruption can be caused by various reasons, but the most prevalent one is that you did not save the files properly. Here is a list of the main reasons:

  • Transfer error
  • Sudden power off
  • Bad sector in the hard disk
  • Bugs, glitches and vulnerabilities of Microsoft Excel itself
  • Connectivity issues when working with online server to save and sync files
  • Incompatible add-ins
  • Malware or virus attack
  • File size is too large
  • Poor performance of computer but run too many apps when editing in Excel app

If you corrupted file is from a download, try to download the file again or ask the sender to send again to avoid any transfer error.


How to Repair Corrupted an Excel File?

In this part, we will share 5 methods to repair Excel files, even for users who doesn't know too much about file corruption. We will begin with the easiest way by using a professional data recovery software and end with an online solution to fix your corrupted Excel files.

1. Repair Excel File with Cisdem Data Recovery

To repair Excel files with ease and high recovery rate, you are recommended to use a dedicated data recovery program. Cisdem Data Recovery is the first choice on our list. It is an excellent piece of software for users that just start with data recovery programs, but this is not to say that it is not for advanced users.

It is designed to recover and repair files only, but has many tools to give users a perfect experience, such as fast scanning, quick file filtering, categorized folders, quick access to specific folders, accurate keyword search, file preview, customization recovery destination. And this program is all done with just a few clicks on the buttons. Pus, it repairs a lot of files, not limited to Excel files, you can also repair Word, Excel, MP4, MOV, JPEG and many media files. 

Cisdem Data Recovery supports file recovery and repair on both internal and external storage devices, including SD card, USB drive, memory card, digital camera, etc., no matter the files are videos, audio, photos, documents, emails, archives, or others.

How to Repair Excel Files with Cisdem Data Recovery?

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Windows or Mac.
    Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7 Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Choose PC Recovery, select the drive where you store the corrupted Excel files, then click Search for Lost Data to start the excel cisdem01
  3. Go to Type > Documents > XLSX or XSL, you can use the filter and search tool to quickly locate a corrupted Excel excel cisdem 02
  4. Double click on the corrupted Excel file to preview, if it is corrupted, Cisdem will repair the excel cisdem 03
  5. Select the corrupted Excel files and click Recover to repair them all to selected folder.


 2. Open and Repair Automatically

When an Excel file gets corrupted, MS Excel app will detect the error and automatically starts a recovery to repair it, if it fails to repair and you still cannot open the corrupted file, you should restart the built-in recovery to check if a manual repair works.

  1. Run Excel app on your device.
  2. Go to Open > Browse, locate the file that you want to and repair 01
  3. Select the file, then click on the down-arrow button besides Open, and choose Open and and repair 02
  4. Click Repair to start repairing your and repair 03
  5. (Optional) If you still fail to repair the file after the recovery process, you can use this feature but select Extract Data before everything in your file is gone.


3. Reopen and Revert to The Previous Version

In the case that you just finished editing the Excel file and it got corrupted after saving the file, you should reopen the file and browse its history to save the latest version before everything in the file is gone. But this method only works when you have enabled storing files in OneDrive or SharePoint in Microsoft 365, otherwise, you won’t be able to recover corrupted Excel files from backup.

  1. Open the Excel file in Microsoft 365.
  2. Click on the title of the Excel file, choose Version history.file history
  3. Select the latest version and click Restore to get a repaired Excel file.


4. Repair via Auto-Saved Version

Microsoft Excel also builds in an auto-save feature to recover unsaved files, if you cannot access to your file right after editing, you can repair it via getting back the latest version from auto save folder. This feature is turned ON by default, so it is much likely you can use this method to regain access to a corrupted file.

  1. Launch Microsoft Office Excel on your device.
  2. Go to File > Open, then click on Recover Unsaved Workbooks at the bottom of the via autosave01
  3. Locate and open the unsaved Excel file, edit or save it as you via autosave 02


5. Repair Online 

There are surprisingly few online tools for repairing Excel files. However, online.officerecovery is one online repair service for a lot of documents, including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, QuickBooks, Publishers, WPS and so on. But it is not a free repair utility, it offers free demo results to download, but for the full recovery of a file, you have to purchase this service. It also allows users unlock the Excel file when it is password protected. You can get a corrupted Excel repaired at online.officerecovery like this:

  1. Visit
  2. Click Choose file to upload the Excel file that you want to online 01
  3. Click Secure Upload and online 02
  4. Download the demo result by clicking on Get the repaired file, or purchase the full version to get a completely repair copy of your Excel online 03


There are a few ways to repair a corrupted Excel file, but one of the easiest way is using Cisdem Data Recovery that will do a great job, it scans and finds all Excel files that you never expect to regain access to, it recover unsaved Excel files, also repair corrupted files when you cannot open them. Alternatively, you could use built-in repair and auto recover features, these tools are essential for Excel editing, saving and sharing. 

Or do you have a solution that you think we should have included in this guide? If so, put it in the comments below, we will look at it and add to our guide if helpful.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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