How to Repair a Corrupt XLSX File

by Craig Witt

Developed by Microsoft and included in its Office suite of productivity products, Excel is one of the world's most widely used spreadsheet applications, as of October 2010. With the release of Excel 2007, the program began saving spreadsheets in the XML-based XLSX format by default. If the content of an XLSX file becomes corrupted, Excel generally starts an automatic recovery process that attempts to repair the data. Should this fail to happen, initiate the process yourself with just a few clicks.

Navigate to the folder containing the XLSX file you want to repair.

Right-click the file and select "Copy" and then right-click on a blank space within the folder and select "Paste." This action generates a backup copy of the corrupted file.

Open Microsoft Excel 2007 or later.

Click the "Office" button in the top left corner of the window and select "Open."

Navigate to the folder containing the copy of the XLSX file you generated previously and select it by single-clicking its icon.

Click the arrow located to the right of the "Open" button and select "Open and Repair."

Select "Repair." If you previously attempted this method and the process failed, try to extract only the values and formulas by selecting "Extract Data" instead. Regardless of the method you choose, your data will appear on the screen within a few seconds if the process completes successfully.


  • close Depending on the severity of the corruption, Excel's automatic and manual recovery processes may not be able to repair or extract corrupted data.

About the Author

Craig Witt has written professionally since 2005 in the public and private sectors as a journalist, marketing copywriter and public relations professional. He most often writes consumer software and hardware how-to articles for eHow. Witt has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Washington.

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