How To Get Rid Of "The File Is Corrupt And Cannot Be Opened" In Excel

Learn how to resolve the "The File Is Corrupt And Cannot Be Opened" error in Excel. Follow our step-by-step guide to recover your data.

Learn how to resolve the "The File Is Corrupt And Cannot Be Opened" error in Excel. Follow our step-by-step guide to recover your data.

Fix Corrupt Excel Files

If you’re struggling with a corrupt Excel file that won't open, we'll show you how to fix corrupt Excel files using easy and effective ways. Whether your file is damaged due to software malfunction or virus, we've got you covered.

With our methods, you can open your data and retrieve important detailsfrom corrupt Excel files. You can trust our solutions as they have been tested by experts in the field. We guarantee that by the end of this article, you'll have the tools and knowledge to tackle Excel file corruption like a pro.

So, let's get started and learn how to fix corrupt Excel files and unlock your data!

What does corrupt Excel file mean?

When a file becomes corrupted, something has gone wrong with how the computer has saved the information in the file. 

When a file is corrupted, it can't be used as it should. Sometimes, fixing the corrupted file and getting it working again is possible. Other times, the file is so damaged that it can't be fixed, and you'll have to use an earlier saved version.

To prevent files from becoming corrupted, it's a good idea to save copies of important files and to use antivirus software on your computer. Remember, even if a file becomes corrupted, there are ways to fix and get your information back.

Common causes of Excel file corruption

Common causes of Excel file corruption

Excel files can become corrupted for various reasons. Some common causes of Excel file corruption include:

  • Sudden power outages
  • System shutdowns
  • Virus or malware infections
  • Mishandling of the file
  • Bad sectors in the storage media
  • Hard drive corruption
  • Abruptly closing the file
  • And issues with the operating system

When any of these situations occur, it can result in damage to the Excel file and make it inaccessible or unusable. It's essential to take precautions such as saving the file frequently, using a reliable storage device, and having an antivirus program to prevent Excel file corruption. 

Regularly backing up your important files can also help ensure that you don't lose your data if a file becomes corrupted.

Ways How to Fix Corrupt Excel Files and Unlock Your Data

Here's how:

  1. First, open Excel and click on "File" and then "Open."
  2. Find the location where the corrupted file is saved and select it. 
  3. When the "Open" dialog box appears, choose the file that won't open.
  4. Click on the arrow next to the "Open" button, and select "Open and Repair." This will help fix the corrupted file. Excel will try to recover as much workbook data as possible so you don't lose any important information. 
  5. After it's done repairing the file, save it with a new name to avoid overwriting the original corrupted file.

If this doesn't work, you can try using a file recovery program or seek help from an IT professional. Remember, it's important to save copies of important files to avoid losing data in case of corruption or other issues.

Delete all Unwanted Temporary Excel Data

Sometimes temporary files in MS Excel can cause conflicts with your files.

Deelte all unwanted temporary excel data

To fix this issue, you can delete all the temporary Office data from your system. Here's how:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and go to the Windows drive (usually C: drive).
  2. Navigate to Users > [Your Username] > AppData > Local > Microsoft > Office.
  3. Look for files with the ".tmp" extension and delete them.
  4. Restart MS Excel and try opening your corrupted XLS file again.

Scan your Corrupt XLS File with an Antivirus

To fix a corrupted Excel file that may have been infected by a virus or malware, you can try scanning it with an antivirus program. 

  1. Select the Excel file and right-click on it. 
  2. Choose to scan it with a reliable antivirus application. 

If you don't have an antivirus program installed on your computer, you can still scan the file with Microsoft Defender, which is a security application built into Windows.

After the scanning process is complete, try opening the corrupted Excel file again by launching MS Excel. If the file is still corrupted, you may need to try other solutions or seek professional help to recover your data.

Remove Unwanted Add-ins from MS Excel

Unwanted add-ins in MS Excel can sometimes cause problems, such as file corruption. To fix this, you can remove any unreliable add-ins.

  1. Open MS Excel and click on "File" at the top left corner. 
  2. Select "Options". In the options window, click on "Add-ins". You will see a list of add-ins that are currently installed. 
  3. Choose the add-in that you want to remove and click "Actions" or "Manage Add-ins" to remove it.

Removing unwanted add-ins can help fix issues with your Excel file, so you can try to load it again after removing them.

How do I know if my Excel file is corrupted?

Excel corrupted files

If you see an error message that says "Unable to open file" or "Unable to read file," it's possible that the file is corrupted. Another error message you might see is "Excel Cannot Open the File '(Filename). Xlsx'."

When a file is corrupted, it means that there is something wrong with the way the computer saved the information in the file. 

If you suspect that your Excel file is corrupted, try opening it on another computer or making a copy of the file and opening that instead. If the file still won't open, it's likely that the file is indeed corrupted.

Other software options for repairing corrupted Excel files

There are software options available to help repair it. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Wondershare Repairit - File Repair
  2. Excel Repair Toolbox
  3. ExcelFix Excel file recovery
  4. Excel Repair Kit
  5. Recovery for Excel

These software programs use various techniques to repair Excel files, such as restoring data from the damaged file or rebuilding the file structure. They can help recover important data and make the file accessible again. 

However, it's important to note that not all corrupted Excel files can be repaired, and there is no guarantee that these software programs will work for every situation. It's always a good idea to make backups of important files and to try different options for repairing a corrupted file before giving up on it.

Seeking professional help for severe cases of Excel file corruption

If you have tried everything you can to fix your Excel file but still can't get your information back, you may want to ask for professional help. A professional data recovery service can recover your lost data from a corrupted Excel file, regardless of how severe the damage is.

 Experts who are good at recovering lost data from damaged or corrupted files use fancy tools and tricks to help you. They have specialized software and hardware that can read data from damaged hard drives and recover lost files. 

These experts also have years of experience and training in data recovery so that they can handle even the most complex cases of data loss.

But, it's important to note that professional data recovery services can be expensive. The cost will depend on the severity of the damage and the complexity of the recovery process. 

In some cases, the cost of data recovery may exceed the value of the lost data.

Before deciding to seek professional help, make sure to weigh the cost of the service against the value of the lost data. If your important information is lost and you can't get it back, it might be worth paying a professional data recovery service to help you.


In conclusion, Excel files can become corrupted due to various reasons such as virus/malware infection, sudden system shutdown, or mishandling of files. However, there are multiple ways to repair corrupt Excel files, including using the Open and Repair feature, removing unwanted add-ins, scanning the file with antivirus software, or seeking professional help. 

Deleting temporary files can also resolve the issue. By using these methods, users can successfully retrieve lost data from corrupted Excel files and prevent further loss of important information.

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