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How to Recover Corrupted Excel File?

November 28th, 2008

When you an try to open a Microsoft Office Excel file, you get an error message that sounds like:

The file you are trying to open, 'XXX.xls', is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Verify that the file is not corrupted and is from a trusted source before opening the file. Do you want to open the file?

Most of the time, when you get that message, your Excel file is corrupted. Here's a way to get data from your corrupted file.

  1. In office 2007, click on the round office button, then 'Open' (in older versions, go to File > Open).
  2. Select the problematic Excel file. Then, click on the small triangle on the right of the 'Open' button.
  3. Click on 'Select and Repair...'.
  4. Then, 'Extract Data'.
  5. Try both 'Convert to Values' and 'Recover Formulas' ('Convert to Values' works for me).

The small menu at Open button if you can't find it:
Open Button in Excel

Of course, you are going to lose some formatting or data, but at least you still have something.

Hope this helps.

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One Response

Alex says:

In this state advise try-repair Excel files,this tool helped me many times and as far as i know it is free,program may try to open the necessary *.xls, *,xlt, *.xlsx, xlsm, *.xltm, *.xltx, *.xlam file and see an error message on the screen instead of it: Microsoft Excel unable to read file, This file is not in a recognizable format, etc,recover after attack viruses, problems with media (a hard drive failure, a corrupted CD or DVD, etc.), errors in transferring the file via the LAN or the Internet, etc,extract information from corrupted Microsoft Excel files,can filter files of the *.xls, *,xlt, *.xlsx, xlsm, *.xltm, *.xltx, *.xlam formats,will display a dialog box with the question whether this worksheet should actually be scanned,allows you to view the entire information in a convenient form and to make sure that the tool reproduced it correctly,exporting information recovered from the corrupted worksheet into Microsoft Excel.