How to Repair or Recover Text From a Corrupt Word 2007 (.docx) File

By Tricia Goss

A damaged file can cause a major headache.
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You try to access a Microsoft Word document only to be greeted by an error message warning that the file has been damaged or corrupted and will not open. Although you should have a backup of your important files on a server or cloud-based storage program, you might be able to repair the damaged file using Word's Open and Repair feature. If that does not work, you can try the "Recover Text From Any File" feature, which is likely to be successful, although you will need to reformat the text you recover.

Open and Repair the File

Step 1

Start Microsoft Word. Click the "Microsoft Office" button and then click "Open."

Step 2

Navigate to the damaged file. Click on the file to select it, and then click on the filename.

Step 3

Click the drop-down arrow on the "Open" button and choose "Open and Repair." If the process is successful, the repaired document will open in Word. If you still receive an error message or the file appears to be damaged, you can attempt to recover the text from the file.

Recover Text From a Corrupt Word File

Step 1

Start Word and click the "Microsoft Office" button.

Step 2

Click the "Word Options" link at the bottom of the menu. Select "Advanced" in the left pane of the Word Options window. Select the "Confirm File Format Conversion on Open" check box in the General section and click "OK." This enables the text recovery feature.

Step 3

Click the Microsoft Office button and click "Open." Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the File Name box. It may say "All Files" or "Word Documents." Choose "Recover Text from Any File(.)."

Step 4

Navigate to the damaged file. Click on the file to select it, and then click on the filename. Click the "Open" button. Delete any binary data that appears at the beginning and end of the document before editing or saving the recovered text file.