Learn 4 ways to recover a Microsoft Excel file

Learn 4 ways to recover a Microsoft Excel file

The loss of corrupted files is a common Microsoft Excel problem. Fortunately, there are several ways to recover them and here we teach you the most effective ones

Did you ever go through a situation where you lost hours of work when a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet was it corrupted? Would it be possible to recover your “valuable data” that has just become inaccessible? Lucky for you, here we explain 4 ways to deal with a corrupted Excel file.

Native Microsoft Excel function

In previous versions of the program, the recovery functionality was not fully implemented. Today, this function works for about 10 to 20% of damaged files. I only need to follow a few steps to use it:

  1. Open the menu Archive
  2. Select the command Open
  3. Choose the damaged file from the drive
  4. Scroll through the screen and click the arrow to the right of the button Open
  5. Choose the command Open and Repair from the next menu
excel open and repair corrupted file

Everything is simple and does not require so much skill. For many users, this function is more than sufficient to restore a damaged Excel file. If recovery fails, the OpenOffice can help you.


From the Office 2007, the files Microsoft Office (current Microsoft 365) share the same format with the free app support OpenOffice. This means that you can download and install the complete package from the OpenOffice website to try to use it to recover the file, using the program Calc. It is worth remembering that, for a file to be recovered by OpenOffice, it must have the extensive XLSX than the standard for Excel 2007 and its later versions.

Using an online service

If the above options do not work, you will need programs specially developed for restoring corrupted files. Luckily, there are several such services with online access. The most convenient and accessible Recovery Toolbox for Excel.

recovery toolbox for excel, file repair instructionsTo recover with Recovery Toolbox, just attach the file, insert your email address and fill in a captcha

Just do the Upload of your file and wait for the analysis. According to the statistics collected by the developers of the tool, a guaranteed 40% success rate for recovering damaged files. The biggest benefit of the service that works on most operating systems (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android) and on all types of devices (computer, tablet and smartphone, for example).

Recovering with tools on your computer

If you have multiple files corrupted or do not want to share them online for security reasons, we recommend downloading the program itself Recovery Toolbox, also available on the tool's website.

The program was developed and distributed almost 20 years ago, in several languages, and is able to recover all kinds Excel files from all versions, including the “almost prehistoric” Excel 97.

recovery toolbox for excel, file repair instructions

If it works similarly to the online tool, just open the file through the program, which will be promptly analyzed and recovered. An important detail: the tool only works on computers with an operating system Windows.

Tip to not lose Excel files

The latest versions of Microsoft Office, including Microsoft 365, have an automatic file saving function. If this function is enabled while working on your Excel, the program always keeps an updated version of the document and prevents you from losing your work in the event of a computer crash, or an eventual power failure.