How to Recover and Repair Corrupted Excel Files in Windows 10

Tracy King updated on Jan 21, 2021 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

This page will provide you with two quick fixes and one complete solution to help you effectively recover corrupted Excel files and get all lost data back with simple clicks in Windows 10/8/7. Just follow to see how to do it with ease now.

Followthrough any method below to repair your corrupted Excel:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Restore from TMP File Find Excel temp file in C:\Users\AppData...> Locate the TMP file > Copy and change its extension...Full steps
Fix 2. Restore From Previous Version Create a new Excel with the same name and right-click it > "Properties" > "Previous Version"...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover Lost Excel Run EaseUS File Recovery Software > Scan Excel drive > Recover lost excel file...Full steps

Can I repair a corrupted Excel file in Windows 10

"Does anyone know how to repair a corrupted Excel file and restore all lost data in the file in Windows 10 PC? Yesterday, I was editing an important Excel file on my computer running Windows 10 when the Excel file suddenly crashed. Then I tried to open the Excel again, I got this error message 'There is a problem in this file, we couldn't open it'. Yes, the Excel file suddenly corrupted. Is there any method that can help me to get my data back? How?"

It's no longer a new problem for Excel users to met Excel file corruption error due to system, virus or other unknown reasons. So how to effectively restore corrupted Excel file and get lost data back become a new question. If you are having a similar problem, don't worry. Here we will provide two quick fixes and one complete solution to guide you effectively restore and repair the file to get all your precious data back. 

Quick Fix 1. Restore corrupted Excel file from TMP file

Since Microsoft has an AutoRecovery feature which allows you to automatically save Excel file as a temp file on Windows PC. So when your Excel, Word or PPT file suddenly corrupted or crashed, just relax and you can follow below tips to cope with the problem.

Step 1. Follow the temp file folder location on your PC and find the Excel temp files with TMP extension.

For Windows 8/10 users:

For Windows 7 users:

Step 2. Locate and find the temporary excel files begin with "$" or "~" and end with ".TMP".

Step 3. Copy these files and save to another safe spot by changing the extension from.TMP to .XLS/.XLSX.

Quick Fix 2. Restore corrupted Excel file from the previous version

Another quick way to restore corrupted Excel files is to restore these items from the previous version. Follow to see how to do it:

Step 1. Create a new Excel file with the same name of your lost Excel file or find your present Excel file.

Step 2. Right-click on the Excel file and select Properties.

Step 3. Go to Previous Versions, find and select the latest version or the right version before Excel crashes, deleted or saved, click Restore.

Complete Solution: Recover lost/corrupted Excel file in Windows 10 

If the former two quick fixes don't really help, relax and just follow below 3 steps to get your lost corrupted Excel back and repair it back to work again now:

Part 1. Restore lost corrupted Excel files with file recovery software

File recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard helps you to recover deleted, lost or formatted Excel file from storage devices or hard drive partition in Windows 10 with simple steps. Download and install this tool on your computer, then apply it to get lost Excel file back now:

Step 1. Specify a location.

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Software. Choose the drive X: or a specific folder on Desktop or somewhere else where you lost the excel files, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan for data.

During the scan, you'll see more and more data showing up very quickly in the "Deleted files" result. Wait for the scanning process finishes. To quickly find the Excel files from the scan results, click on the "Filter" on the top area and choose "Excel". Or, search .xls or .xlsx in the Search box. 

scan excel files

Step 3. Preview and recover.

You can double click on the Excel file to preview its integrity. Finally, select the desired Excel files and click "Recover".

preview and recover excel files

Part 2. Repair corrupted Excel files

If the restored Excel file can't be opened or fails to work, follow one of the two methods offered below to repair corrupted Excel file:

Method 1. Use Open and Repair tool to fix corrupted Excel file

Step 1. Open a blank Excel sheet, click File > Open.

Step 2. Click the location and folder that contains the corrupted Excel file.

Step 3. InOpen dialog, select the corrupted Excel file and click the arrow next to Open button > Click Open and Repair.

Repair corrupted Excel file by Open and Repair tool.

Step 4. Click Repair to recover as much of Excel data as possible.

If Repair can't recover your Excel data, click Extract Data to extract values and formulas from the Excel sheet.

Method 2. Recover corrupted Excel by saving as another format

If you can open the corrupted Excel file with no data, try to recover corrupted Excel by saving it as another format:

Step 1. Open corrupted Excel file and go to Save As.

Step 2. Select Web Page from the possible file formats.

Step 3. Make sure that the whole Excel file is selected and then click Save.

Step 4. Find the saved file and right-click on it, select Open with > Microsoft Office Excel.

Step 5. If the file can be opened normally, go to Save As and choose an Excel format .xls or .xlsx.

Step 6. Change the file name so to prevent confusing it with the corrupted file and click Save.

Part 3. Recover data from corrupted Excel file

Method 1. Recover data when the workbook is open in Excel

If you can open the corrupted Excel and want to save data and formula in the corrupted Excel file in advance, just follow the tips provided in this part.

Step 1. Open the corrupted Excel file and right-click on a sheet tab > Select All Sheets.

Step 2. Right-click an Excel sheet tab and click Move or Copy.

Step 3. Choose New Book and select Create a copy box > Click OK.

Method 2. Recover data when workbook can't be open in Excel

If you can't open the corrupted Excel sheet, you may follow below two options to get data out of Excel file:

Option 1. Set the calculation option in Excel to manual

To change the calculation settings from Automatic to Manual may help you to open the not working Excel file:

Step 1. Open Excel file and click File > New.

Step 2. Click Blank workbook under New.

Step 3. Click File > Options > Click Manual under Calculation options in Formulas category > OK.

Step 4. Find the corrupted Excel file and then double-click to open it, then you shall be able to see your saved data in the Excel now.

Option 2. Use external references to link to the corrupted Excel file

Step 1. Open Office Excel and click File > Open.

Step 2. Go to the folder where the corrupted Excel is and right-click the corrupted Excel, select Copy > Cancel.

Step 3. Click File > New > Blank workbook.

Step 4. Type: =File Name!A1 in cell A1 (Replace File Name with the name of corrupted Excel file.) and then hit Enter.

Step 5. Select corrupted Excel if the Update Values box appears and click OK.

Step 6. Select cell A1 and click Home > Copy > Select an area from cell 1 to all cells that contain data in the corrupted Excel sheet.

Step 7. Click Home > Paste.

Step 8. Repeat to copy all selected cell again by clicking Home > Copy.

Step 9. Then click Home > Paste and click Values under Paste Values.

Pasting values will remove the links to corrupted excel and leave you only with the data by then. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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