What to do if a Microsoft Excel file no longer opens? Is it possible to recover valuable data that has become inaccessible?

If suddenly you can no longer open an Excel worksheet with important data, what is the probability of successfully recovering the necessary data and what needs to be done? Unfortunately it is a widespread problem of Microsoft Excel. There are some variations to solve the problem. To say with certainty if it is possible to recover the damaged Excel file, try all the variations.

Methods to recover a damaged Excel file:

  1. Use the recovery feature built into Microsoft Excel
  2. Open the file via OpenOffice
  3. Use an online service
  4. Recover the file with the help of third-party utilities

1. Using Microsoft Excel integrated Feature

In the most recent versions of Microsoft Excel the ability to recover files is implemented. In previous versions this functionality was not present or was implemented in an unsatisfactory way to deal with real files. Currently this feature helps to solve the problem in 10-20% of cases of damaged files. Just do some simple steps:

  1. Select the “File” menu item
  2. Select “Open”
  3. Select the damaged file on the disk
  4. Click the arrow next to the “Open” button in the lower right corner
  5. In the drop-down menu select “Open and restore”

The process is simple and does not require special knowledge. For many users this functionality is more than enough to properly recover damaged Excel files. If it is impossible to recover the file using this method, OpenOffice.or may help

2. Open the file using OpenOffice

Starting with Office 2007, Microsoft Office files share the same format with OpenOffice. As a result, you can download and install the program package from OpenOffice.org and try to recover the file with the help of the package.

Warning: the file to be recovered with the help of OpenOffice must have the XLSX extension, ie the file version must be Excel 2007 or later.

3. Use an online service

If after trying the variants 1 and 2 it is still impossible to restore the file, it is necessary to resort to special services or programs specially designed to recover data from damaged Excel files.

Some online services are available to recover damaged Microsoft Excel files. The most convenient (at a cost of only $ 5 per file) is available here: https://onlinefilerepair.com/en/excel-repair-online.html

Just upload the file and wait for the result. According to the statistics reported by the authors of the service data from damaged Excel files can be recovered in 40% of cases.

The service is convenient as it supports all operating systems (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and others) and all types of devices (PC, tablet, mobile phone and so on).

4. Recover the file with the help of third-party utilities

If you need to recover many Excel files or you can not transfer them to third parties for reasons of confidentiality, we recommend using the appropriate third-party utilities (not Microsoft).

For example, Recovery Toolbox for Excel: https://excel.recoverytoolbox.com/

The utility was created and distributed since the early 2000s, has a multilingual interface, allows you to recover all types of Excel files of all versions, including the very old version Excel 97.

Warning: the utility works only on computers with the Windows operating system.

Useful tips for using Microsoft Excel

When working with Microsoft Excel, we recommend enabling automatic saving. This allows to exclude cases in which a computer malfunction causes the loss of the results of some hours of work.


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