Five Easy Ways to Repair Excel Files and Recover the Lost Data

Marvin Simmons
Marvin Simmons | Updated On - 10 Dec 2021 |

Read time9 min

Individuals and business organizations use MS Excel to do complex calculations, prepare charts and illustrative graphics, and store large amounts of data. Though it has usability on various fronts, MS Excel can give headaches too. This is when users are not able to access Excel data properly due to corruption or other Excel errors. If not handled properly, such issues can cause a huge loss of data and records.

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Here, you will find a few manual methods by which damaged Excel files can be repaired.

  1. Open and Repair Excel files
    A corrupt Excel file opens in File Recovery mode automatically. If not, you can repair Excel files manually as below:

      1. Click on File and select Open.
      2. Go to the location where the corrupt workbook is present and the corrupted worksheet.
      3. Expand the arrow next to Open. Here select Open and Repair.
      4. In order to repair the file, click Repair.

    Note: If the Repair option doesn’t work, you can select Extract Data and extract values and formulae.

    If the automatic or manual Repair doesn’t work, then a few other recovery methods can help you overcome the loss of data and files. These recovery methods are listed below:

  2. Recover the data from an 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:

    1. Click on File. Select Open.
    2. Double click on the name of the workbook (the one that is open in your Excel)
    3. Click Yes to reopen it.

    The workbook will now appear. Please note that you will not have the latest modifications in the newly opened document.

  3. Recover by setting calculation option as manual
    You can recover data from Excel workbooks that cannot be opened. For this, you will need to configure the calculation option as manual in Excel as:

    1. Begin by clicking on File. Select New. In New, select Blank workbook
    2. From File, select Options.
    3. From the Formulas category, under the section Calculation options, select Manual. Now click on OK.
    4. Now, click File, and select Open to and open the corrupted or damaged Excel file.
  4. Recover only the data
    Another way is to recover only the data (leaving formulas/calculated values) from the workbook using external references (to link Excel workbook) as:

    1. Click on File. Select Open.
    2. Navigate to the folder that contains the corrupted workbook.
    3. Now, right-click on the file name of the corrupted workbook and click on Copy. Hit Cancel.
    4. Click the File button. Then, select New.
    5. Under New, select 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) sheet. Then click OK.
    1. Again, select the cell A1, click on Home and select Copy.
    2. Now select (start from the cell A1) an area equal to that of the data in the original workbook.
    3. Click on Home now and select Paste.
    4. Click on Home, and select Copy again (on the same selection of cells)
    5. Click on Home, and then on the arrow below Paste. Here click Values (under Paste Values).

    By pasting values, you remove the links to the corrupted workbook leaving only the data.

  5. Using professional Excel recovery tools
    If all the manual methods fail and still things do not work as normal with Excel files, then a third-party tool can be of great help. Kernel for Excel Repair Software is a professional third-party tool that repairs corrupt MS Excel worksheets. Excel files that have become inaccessible due to unexpected system shutdown, power failure, virus attacks, media errors, or software crashes are repaired by this tool. A few features of the tool include:

    Download Now
    • Repairs corrupt all types of Excel files (Excel XLS And XLSX Files)
    • Two repairing modes: Single-File and Multi-File
    • Supports Unicode character recovery
    • Uses Live Preview technology to view the recovered data
    • Owns friendly graphical user interface
    • Works with all formats and versions of Excel

Recover Excel Worksheet Data using Kernel for Excel Repair

Follow the steps below to recover data from corrupt or damaged Excel Worksheets:

  1. Download and Launch the Latest version of Kernel for Excel Repair
  2. download Kernel for Excel Repair

    Note: Tool’s main screen is marked to get a better understanding of where is what and what it does.
    Section (1) is the top menu bar where you can find options like selecting single or multiple files to repair and recover. In section (2) you can track the stage of operation. Also, you can jump into a specific step if you need to change something. In section (3) you can browse for the corrupt or damages Excel worksheet. In section (4) you can proceed towards the recovery.

  3. Browse for corrupt Excel file(s) and clickRepair
  4. Browse corrupt excel file
    Note: You can repair single or multiple files at one go.

  5. Once the scanning completes, you can see the worksheet contents of the original file in section (2). The tool would save all the file content in the same hierarchy as shown in section (3).
  6. scanning completes
    Once you’re done with content preview, you can move to the next step.

  7. Browse for a location to save the new Excel worksheet with the recovered data,
  8. Browse for a location

  9. Now, the tool will be saving the new Excel worksheet, and upon completion, you can open the folder with the help of the Active File Path,
  10. Active File Path

  11. Close the program.


The above-mentioned methods to repair the Excel worksheets may not ensure complete recovery of Excel data. If you want to get your complete data back, then you should use Kernel for Excel Repair software. It will check the file for the corruption and remove them from the sheets. It will recover the tables, formulae, and other objects. After recovery, you can save the Excel sheet to any location.

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