Two Ways to Recover Corrupted Excel Files Effectively

How to recover corrupted Excel files in Windows? Use the built-in feature or Windows File Recovery to repair it. You can also learn how to recover lost Excel files and get data loss prevention tips.


By Penny / Updated on November 25, 2022

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Is it possible for me to recover corrupted Excel files?

Microsoft Excel works as a convenient tool for many staffs. It caters to the substantial need for records management and data calculations. 


My excel file contains about 50 pages with formulas and references. There’re many tables with formatting. One day, it failed to open. What’s worse, the Office has executed the error and will be closed after restarting offers to restore the file. But it didn’t work. Is there any way to recover corrupted excel files? Thanks.      

- A user from

When it comes to corrupted Excel files, unsupported Excel file versions, bad sectors of the hard drive, the largest size of the Excel files, and unexpected power failure are among possible causes.


If it happens to be your case, are you wondering is it possible to recover corrupted Excel files? How to repair corrupted Excel files?

How to repair corrupted Excel files in Windows?

Luckily, the boom of technology makes it possible for you to recover corrupted Excel files. You can take advantage of Microsoft's features or seek help from top-rated data recovery software for Windows to fix corrupted Excel files.

Fix 1. Recover corrupted excel files manually via built-in features 

How do you check if an Excel file is corrupted? If you fail to open your Excel files, which implies they're corrupted. At this point, you need to use the built-in feature to recover corrupted Excel files manually.

Step 1. Open your Microsoft Excel program, then go to Open Other Workbooks > Computer/This PC > Browse.


Step 2. Locate the folder that includes your corrupted excel files, and select the corrupted excel file you want to repair.

Step 3. Click the icon▼next to the Open button, then select the "Open and Repair" option. 


Step 4. To recover data as much as possible, click the "Repair" button. Please remember to "Close" the window. You can also select “Extract Data” to extract values and formulas from your Excel files. 

Fix 2. Recover corrupted Excel files with Windows File Recovery

Data corruption in computer systems can be classified into two types: detected and undetected. If the system parts can detect and correct the errors, detected data corruption could be temporary. 

In this scenario, these corrupted Excel files belong to the detected data corruption because free Windows File Recovery can detect corrupted files and automatically starts file recovery mode to fix it.

Besides, this command-line software also can recover deleted/lost Word, Excel, PPT, ZIP, PDF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, and other files from HDD, USB, memory cards.   

Windows File Recovery is only compatible with Windows 10 and later.
You'll be asked to resemble the basic command format winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches] based on your selected mode and switches because it’s a command-line tool without a GUI (graphical user interface).
Ensure the source drive (which saves your desired corupted Excel files before data recovery) is different from the destination drive (which saves the recovered Excel files after data recovery).  
Two  basic (Extensive & Regular) and two advanced (Segment & Signature)modes can support four (NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS) file systems.

Let’s start with how to select the mode and switches you need.

Step 1. Press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer, then click This PC > right-click on the source drive  > Properties.


Step 2. Choose a recommended mode after figuring out the file system of your source drive and data loss scenarios.

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Step 3. Choose some switches you want from the following form.



Supported          modes


Recover specific extension groups, comma-separated



Saves a log file of the recovery operation in a different location than the default location on the recovery drive (for example, D:\logfile).



Overrides user prompts, which is useful in a script file.



Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment


Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers files without primary data streams.

NTFS Segment


To keep your results manageable and focus on user files, some file types are filtered by default, but this switch removes that filter. 

NTFS Segment


Specifies which file types are filtered.

NTFS Segment

Step 4. Click “Get” to download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. After installation, “Open” it on your Windows 10/11 computers.


Step 5. Assume you want to recover deleted Excel files from the C drive and save them in the E drive.

▶the basic command line: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

▶the adjusted command line: winfr C: E:  /segment /n *. xlsx 


Step 6. Press “y” to start the data recovery process on Windows 10/11. If you want to stop the recovery process, press the “Ctrl + C” keys.

Further reading: How to recover lost Excel files?

Since you've learned how to repair corrupted Excel files via the above content, this part is ready to help you recover deleted/lost Excel files. Generally speaking, you can restore your files from backups or seek help from professional data recovery software.

Nevertheless, if you haven’t developed a good habit of creating backups with Windows features, not to mention using any backup software for Windows.

At the moment, there’s no better way than utilizing a highly-praised data recovery tool like MyRecover.

Recover the deleted/lost Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, photos, videos, audio, folders, and other 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, SD cards, and other storage devices.
 Judge the recovered files based on their original paths, filenames, and format.
 During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, enter filenames in the search bar to locate your desired files or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers.   
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

How to recover deleted files by date? Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers to show how it works!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your Windows PC and select the partition that contains your desired Excel files before data loss. Then click the “Start Scan” button.


Step 2. You can search your files or wait to see all the deleted and other missing files.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and click “Recover x files” to get your lost Excel files back. After the recovery process, you can save these recovered files in a new path.


Related suggestions

This tutorial guides you to recover corrupted Excel files via two feasible methods. 

In the final analysis, regular backups are the best data loss prevention measure. There’re some practical tips for your preference.

  • Enable AutoSave and AutoRecover in your Microsoft Office.
  • Open your Excel program, then click File > Options > Advanced > Save. Then tick Always create a backup copy > Save.
  • Make good use of Windows features like Previous Versions for files/folders backup.
  • Use free backup software for Windows, AOMEI Backupper to back up files, folders, partitions, disks, or the system. 
Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.