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Home > English site > Articles > Corrupt Files
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Opening Corrupt Excel files

Sometimes one gets unlucky and a file is corrupted. This may result in the file not opening at all or in error messages during opening.

Here are some options to try and open a corrupt file or retrieve information out of it.

  1. Set calculation to manual( Open Excel, Choose File, Options from the menu, click the Formulas tab and choose Manual. Hit OK. Now try to open the file.
  2. Open the file, but disable macros (assuming you've set macro security to medium: File. Options, Trust Center, Trust Center settings, Macros tab)
  3. As soon as you've clicked the disable macros button, press control-pageup or control-pagedown, thus changing sheets. Sometimes the corruption is inside a chart on a specific sheet, changing the sheet to another may prevent a crash, enabling you to copy the other sheets.

If that does not work, try creating a link to the file in an empty cell in a fresh workbook. Type this formula (adapt path, filename and sheetname):

='c:\my documents\[MyFileName.xls]Sheet1'!A1

and copy right and down. This at may get you the worksheets values.

if you don't know the sheet names, omit it by entering this:


and press enter. If Excel is able to extract them, it will prompt you for a sheet name.

Sometimes the Excel viewer, Word or even Internet explorer enables you to open the file and copy information out of it.

If the file is not protected, maybe you can open it with OpenOffice (

Also, Excel can sometimes repair XL files with trouble. Simply choose File, open, select the problem file and instead of simply hitting the "Open" button, click to the right of it on its tiny down arrow to expose more options (see screenshot below)

Finally, sometimes a corrupt file that still can be opened, can be cured by copying all of its worksheets to a new workbook.



All comments about this page:

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-3-2006 11:53:19)

Dear Reader,

I invite you to write a comment on this page. It will help me to improve its quality!


Jan Karel Pieterse


Comment by: Jon Howard (12-4-2006 03:32:17)

Some very interesting hints there, unfortunatley not solved my problem. I have a file that is way too big too open, the creating a workbook linked to it retrieved the values but not the formulas.


Comment by: Ivan Da Bologna Italy (2-6-2006 09:41:18)

all your site, at all pages is a treasure of tips and ideas.

simply ... great!

Ivan da Bologna


Comment by: Rosco (7-6-2006 02:59:44)

When you have a file which has become unusually big, try opening the file in Open Office, I had a file which was 20mb & causing problems. I.e not saving or opening extremely slowly, & everytime you clicked on a cell you had to wait 20 seconds to get functionality back. Then I converted to OpenOffice, saved the file as a Excel 97/2000 file then the size had changed to just under 4mb. When I reopened it in Excel it was fast, no problems, except for a mysterious macro, so I copied these sheets into a new workbook & now everything is fine.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7-6-2006 04:40:36)

Hi Rosco,

Thanks for letting us know!


Jan Karel


Comment by: Mark Rothfuss (17-7-2006 11:17:29)

You don't have to close and reopen the file. Simply save the file as HTML then resave as xls.
1. Open the file
2. Save-as filetype Webpage
3. Save-as normal Excel workbook.
I'm always wary about what may not get saved in the translation.

I would also recommend doing these steps as a preventative step for workbooks under heavy development or even minor work (ie moving sheets between workbooks or adding/removing several external data sources).

OpenOffice has saved me before as you mention. However, external data source definitions were lost when I had to rely on this.


Comment by: allie (10-10-2006 12:59:09)

how would you uncorrupt a corrupted folder that has multiple files inside?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10-10-2006 23:28:30)

Hi Allie,

Hmm. Are you saying you cannot access the entire folder? If so, this sounds like either a file system problem or a hardware fault.

You might consider asking around on one of the windows newsgroups of Microsoft:

<a href="">;cat=en_US_91a15a1e-b269-4291-b6b4-dc2d504ce9ef&amp;lang=en&amp;cr=US</a>


Jan Karel


Comment by: Anant Basant (20-2-2007 05:55:27)

Thanks Jan for this tip on corrupt files. It saved me at least 8 hours of my life today 20-Feb-2007.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (20-2-2007 06:37:53)

Hi Anant,

You're welcome.
And thanks for sharing this with us!


Comment by: Yogesh (24-6-2007 19:30:15)

Thank you very much, It helped me to get my data back from a corrupted excel file. Keep going....


Comment by: dot (6-7-2007 08:36:28)

I have a corrupt file that I want to get rid of. How do I do that?????


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (1-8-2007 22:00:55)

Hi Dot,

Just delete the file using Windows Explorer.


Comment by: Bill (14-8-2007 15:44:03)

Hi folks,

I just jumped through many of these hoops with an Excel 2007 file that got corrupted. I just could not open the beast using any method.

Finally, I tried opening it using MS Explorer. (ver 6.0.29 SP 2) Worked like a charm! I was able to save it in an Excel format and re-open it in Excel.

FYI, y'all. You probably want to try the above methods first.


Comment by: john (21-9-2007 05:02:58)

OK first, thanks for your kindness in sharing your experience without a price tag.My problems with corrupted files did'nt start until I downloaded free software from PC mag.etc.So now I must find a way to get my system restore back as it is now unoperable and I get a message back that the file is corrupt.This computer is driving me to drink!However it is a challenge to see who's smarter,me or this machine. OK be well, John


Comment by: nnaekezie uche fredrick (9-11-2007 14:32:01)

my computer refuse to open because of some file are corrupted what i my suppose to do now?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10-11-2007 08:14:09)

Hi Uche,

Try starting the computer in safe mode (hold F8 while it is starting up and select safe mode). Then run Windows Setup and have it repair itself.


Comment by: harry jordan (2-2-2008 20:33:23)

how do I find a corrupt file? How do you fix a corrupt file if you can;t find it?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-2-2008 22:14:12)

Hi Harry,

Hit the windows key ( the one somewhere to the left of your space bar) and the f key to open windows find and type the file name in the search box.
Make sure it looks in all folders.


Comment by: redbeard2008 (john) (6-2-2008 01:59:00)

hi all
i tried all the above methods
each one lost the vba project and macro's i have made several backups of the original file,
how can one tell if the file has gone corrupt
if i remove the form and its controls the file works ok (not perfect)but ok

i have left my email in case a memory is jogged along the way

anyway thank you all for your suggestions


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (6-2-2008 08:35:25)

Recent research has proven that sometimes .exd files in this folder may be causing havoc:

c:\documents and settings\[username]\Application data\Microsoft\forms


Comment by: Nilkanth (4-3-2008 07:59:02)

Dear Sir,

     The page is very knowledgeful. I reached to this page and I hope that I have a protected & too many formatted file (Pay Bill Excelfile)I cant open it. Please reply me on my above e-mail ID ( how can I open file. OR How can I send that file to you to solve my problem.


Comment by: Liana (27-6-2008 11:09:11)

I tried all of your recommended methods. I am using Excel 2000, and this one HUGE
file will not open. I keep getting the message "Excel has stopped working" Any
other suggestions?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (28-6-2008 02:54:12)

Hi Liana,

Did you try OpenOffice?


Comment by: DINESH (2-8-2008 05:43:28)



Comment by: Z (19-10-2008 22:21:51)

Oh my god, thank you thank you thank you so much! Saved my file, it really does


Comment by: Ron (8-11-2008 16:26:30)

This was of great help - didn't repair the file however all I wanted was the values and I got 'em - eureka! Must say I tried Open Office and it gave it a ripper try (didn't realise it was so versitile) but it didn't yield any values.


Comment by: sachin (27-11-2008 20:23:31)

When we run macro to compare hught say abt 30 MB data present across two different sheets of the same excel, "Excel cannot complete the task with available resource. Choose less data or close other applicaton" is displayed... Kindly let me know if there is a solution to avoid this. In fact once the popup comes the macro stops running.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (28-11-2008 07:50:54)

Hi Sachin,

Without seeing the macro code this question is very hard to answer.

Please send your code to the email address shown at the bottom of this web page and I'll see if there is anything obviously wrong with the code.


Comment by: Barrie Porter (12-3-2009 03:04:22)


I a using Windows XP / SP3 and Office 2007 fully patched.

We have a 2mb Excel spreadsheet with data and graphs and when we copy one sheet to a new work book and try to save it excel crashes.

Faulting application excel.exe, version 12.0.6331.5000, stamp 48fa2869, faulting module excel.exe, version 12.0.6331.5000, stamp 48fa2869, debug? 0, fault address 0x005857a3.

Any help would be be really appreciated.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (12-3-2009 03:34:07)

H Barry,

I suspect your best bet is to redo the offending sheet (or does it happen on any sheet you copy from that file?).
If you can't resolve the issue, you can consider sending the file to me. If I have some time I'll investigate.


Comment by: Barrie Porter (12-3-2009 03:50:41)


Thank you so much for the reply. We had tried everything and more to get it to work. We tried other sheets and they work.

But we are getting these errors on the same spreadsheet and they only happen at random times. Sorry to bother but is there anyway you could shed some light on these ones.

1. " Your changes could not be saved to "Book" because of a sharing violation

The file you are trying to open, '5CE9800' is a different format than the specified by the extension. Verify tht the file is not corrupted and is from a trusted source before opening.

Thanks so much again.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (12-3-2009 04:46:21)

Hi Barrie,

Both issues may be caused by your anti virus software. When Excel saves, it first saves to a temporary file (like the 5CE9800 you mention). Then it removes the old file and lastly renames the temporary file. If at that moment the virus software is scanning the file, Excel cannot do the rename and shows an error message.


Comment by: Barrie Porter (12-3-2009 04:51:41)

Thank you so much for all the help.

The spreadsheet is not crashing anymore. Manages to movie it into a new workbook.

Yes , i have told trend to skip xlsx and xlsm files.

Thanks again so much for the help and the fast response.

Thank you.


Comment by: Barrie Porter (24-3-2009 05:17:38)


We are still getting these errors even in different spreadsheets.

ID: 1, Application Name: Microsoft Office Excel, Application Version: 12.0.6331.5000, Microsoft Office Version: 12.0.6215.1000. This session lasted 12798 seconds with 5520 seconds of active time. This session ended with a crash.

Faulting application excel.exe, version 12.0.6331.5000, stamp 48fa2869, faulting module excel.exe, version 12.0.6331.5000, stamp 48fa2869, debug? 0, fault address 0x003bf165.

Excel will be working fine the whole day then suddenly just crash.

I have stopped trend officescan from scanning xls and xlsm and we still end up having sharing violations.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (24-3-2009 10:54:21)

Hi Barrie,

Have you tried removing the Excel entry in the registry?
Another thing to try is to remove the user profile from the system.


Comment by: Barrie (25-3-2009 04:04:01)


Yes , I have removed the entry in the registry and it works for a while then crashes again. I have redone the laptop and installed excel 2007 with SP1. I have got another laptop to test on and will see if it works on that one.

I have not yet gone so far as to remove my account from active directory and then rebuild the laptop from scratch with the new account. That will be the last thing that i try.

I will let you know if i can find any solution to the problem.

Thanks for all the help again.

Funny thing : Under excel 2003 it works fine.


Comment by: Barrie (25-3-2009 13:35:20)


Found a solution to the issue.

It was Windows Search 4.

Removed it and the spreadsheet has not crashed and I have not had any sharing violations either.

Thanks again for all the help.

Great site !!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (25-3-2009 22:18:58)

Hi Barrie,

Great! Thanks for letting us know.


Comment by: Ganesh (26-6-2009 00:05:29)

ofiice 2003 excel crashes when closing.
I am use VBA macro for close-
Workbooks("Test_Excel.xls").Close (False)

excel get close but gives prompt to restart excel & also send crash information to microsoft.

I want to shedule Excel for automaticaly open & close.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (26-6-2009 04:03:46)

Hi Ganesh,

The code to close Excel itself is Application.Quit
The crash itself may be due to a corruption in your file, but could also be caused by your code. One thing that crashes Excel is if you have a userform which is using a class module e.g. for events or for resizing and you do not set the instance(s) variable(s) of the class to nothing when unloading the form.


Comment by: Ajeet Kumar singh (11-8-2009 00:38:09)

my excel file has corrupted so please help me


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7-9-2009 09:32:35)

Hi Ajeet,

Are you still seeking for help for your file?


Comment by: Chris (16-9-2009 22:02:58)

Just FYI, there's a free service at that will have a try at uncorrupting any files you send it. Might be worth a try before attempting yourself!


Comment by: jackie (3-11-2009 23:14:39)

i lost my file from windows excel. when am going to open it appears that the file is being corrupted. what would i do?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4-11-2009 06:56:46)

Hi Jackie,

Did you try the suggestions shown on this page?


Comment by: Alan (14-12-2009 03:54:30)


I have attempted all of the suggestions shown on this page but I am still unable to read the file. I don't have the cash to buy recovery software. Is there nothing else I can do?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (14-12-2009 06:17:40)

Hi Alan,

Have you tried OpenOffice as well?


Comment by: Alan (16-12-2009 00:26:17)

I have tried open office. I have also tried demo verisons of recovery software but I have not had any success yet.

There must be a way to get this right. All my other Excel files are working great, it's just this one very important file.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (16-12-2009 01:32:21)

Hi Alan,

You can send the file to me if you like and I'll have a quick look.


Comment by: Carl Nelson (27-12-2009 01:36:37)

Another way which works particularly for corrupt styles (usually a style with a control chareacter in it's name).
1. Save the workbook as a HTML file. (Save As | Web Page) then close the xls file.

2. Open the html file using the 'Open and Repair' option on the Open button.

3. Once open, save back as an xls file.

This will retain things such as filters, named ranges & vba and fix most corruption.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-12-2009 06:43:52)

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the addition.


Comment by: Richard Claywell (2-1-2010 13:34:41)

I am using 2007 Vista and have a Excel file that gives a corruption error hen saving. I tried the Microsoft repair feature when opening the file but loose almost ll of my formulas. Is there a way to idendify exctly what is causing a corruptef file? Also, if I need to purchase software to fix the problem, which program is the best at maintaning my data intact? I have about 500 tabs in the Excel file.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-1-2010 11:42:55)

Hi Richard,

Drop me a line and I'll see what I can do (email address at bottom of page).


Comment by: Andrew L Lotze (25-1-2010 10:14:35)

I also have Office 2007, running XP... I have a very small (1MB) macro enabled file. It takes approximately 35 seconds to load and be able to work with the file... I have no autorun macros, I have no external links... when using Filemon, I see lots of calls to append to xltcd.log, and plenty of references to .emf files...

Can't seem to find anything to help bring the opening of this file into normalcy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (25-1-2010 11:24:50)

Hi Andrew,

Does it load equally slow with macro's disabled?


Comment by: Jai Mangal Mishra (5-2-2010 20:28:05)

file or directory/MSO Catche/Ghost 2,bmp is corrupt and readable. please tell how to delete.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (6-2-2010 06:17:56)

Hi Jai,

There are utilities which enable you to remove locked files. Do a Google search for "delete locked file" or "unlock file".


Comment by: Betty (22-3-2010 13:59:51)

I am using windows 2007 and it say I have several corrupts files. I cant even open the volume because it says it corrupt. I tried installing norton but it wont even let me finish doing that. It doesnt say it has a virus it just says corrupt files. It wont even let me restore it. It keeps saying run a chk disk the c drive I ran it and it still wont let me restore.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (23-3-2010 02:27:16)

Hi Betty,

Although this page is about corrupt Excel files and not about a Windows problem I will try to give you proper advice.
I strongly suspect there is aproblem with either your Windows installation, or a technical problem with your hard drive. I'd suggest to get expert help on this, maybe you still have some warranty you can use?


Comment by: matt (26-4-2010 23:06:57)

My workbook gave an error when opening. The ThisWorkbook module became corrupt through years of changes. VBAcodecleaner does not work on this module, as stated by the developer Rob Bovey. I opened the workbook with macros disabled, and got access to everything. I copied everything over to a new workbook. I copied the code in Thisworkbook to a text file, saved it, then copied the code into the new Thisworkbook module. This procedure is not too much trouble really. Be sure to MOVE not COPY over the worksheets to stop all the Forms button and Forms textbox macros from pointing to the old file!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (26-4-2010 23:50:06)

Hi Matt,

Thank you for sharing. Of course moving the worksheets is a good tip, except if their code modules need a cleanup too, in that case you're out of luck and have to start re-creating them one at the time and copying their content. Their VBA code must then be copied like you described.


Comment by: yashpal kandari (3-5-2010 23:12:25)

exel can not open file, file name.xlsx becouse the file format or file extion not valid veryfi the file hasbeen not crupted and that file extion match is the format of the file


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4-5-2010 00:34:06)

Hi Yaspal,

This sounds as if you have saved a file to xlsx but without changing the file format itself. WHat type of file was the file before you saved it (xls, xlsm, xlsb)? Try changing the extension to that format and then re-open the file.


Comment by: Danny Teh (29-6-2010 18:25:25)

Hi Jan,

I encounter a few error when I tried to open my workbook.
The error message are as following:
a) File error: Data may be lost
b) Unable to read file

Error a:
- Tried opening in a excel 2003 SP2 platform, it works fine w/o error but error start to appear when I try opening it from 2003 SP3 excel onwards till excel 2007.

Error b:
- Assuming that there are 3 users sharing this workbook, only one of the user encounter such error.

Appreciate your advice on how to solve this issue & their workaround if possible.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (29-6-2010 21:16:18)

Hi Danny,

First of all, I'd like to recommend you NOT to use the sharing feature in Excel, it was badly programmed and is the root cause of many errors similar to the ones you report here.
I would take a different approach and NOT share the file, but have people wait for the file to become available for writing.
If simultaneous editing is needed, I would advise to look for a different solution, like a database application.
If you insist on sharing, I'd remove the sharing and try the steps outlined above (especially the html route in 2003) to get rid of any possible corruptions and then share the file again once done.


Comment by: Steve S (8-7-2010 22:42:35)

I have a few Excel files that are stating "this file is corrupt and cannot be opened". I have followed several "tips" online for trouble shooting the error, such as trying to open excel in safe mode, changing the file type to a different format, etc, and nothing works. It has only occurred to a handful of files, and not all. I am not sure what else to try, as I need these files for work, and now cannot access them.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9-7-2010 01:02:43)

Hi Steve,

Have you tried opening the files in OpenOffice?


Comment by: riel natividad (21-10-2010 08:59:36)

I am using version 2007, i am saving my files in my desktop. When I open my file, it was corrupted. Numbers changed to date. It was a formating error. Can you give me an insight about this, any idea why this is happening?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-10-2010 02:19:42)

Hi riel,

I'm sorry, I do not know why the problem has ocurred.
Does your worksheet contain a lot of formatting? Maybe also a lot of conditional formats?


Comment by: riel (22-10-2010 02:26:14)

The file is quite large, it contains multiple tabs, pictures,numbers etc. I contains a lot of formatting to, is there a glitch in version 2007 of excel, i have several friends who's file are beimg curropted to. Files are being corrupted after multiple edits etc. Can you advice why this is happening? Is this a limitation of 2007 excel version?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (23-10-2010 02:17:16)

Hi riel,

Excel 2007 can be a bit unstable with files with a lot of formatting, pictures and objects on worksheets.
One thing that sometimes helps is copying all worksheets to a new workbook. Another thing to consider is using styles to do the formatting:


Comment by: riel (25-10-2010 20:38:46)

Thanks for the answer.. Can you advice why is it unstable?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (26-10-2010 00:56:17)

Hi Riel,

I wish I knew! All I can say is that so far I've not been impressed by Excel 2007's stability with files with a lot of formatting.


Comment by: (14-12-2010 04:22:11)

Im using windows 2007 excel database, when i enter info eg: name, surname, email,company name and contacts then save, when i search for the same informaton which was inserted in the same row maybe the email adress appeares under a different company. What could be the problem because the is no way i can insert an email and contact name under a different company more than once.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (14-12-2010 09:30:21)


I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you manually entering data into cells in Excel? Are you using formulas to look up information?


Comment by: Bambang Setyo (21-12-2010 15:01:41)

Hallo.......I save some files and folders in a flashdisc. Yesterday I opened them and It said 'Your file is corrupt and unreadable'. I can't open, edit, cut, copy or delete those file. It also said that my disc is write protected! What is the problem? What should I do to open those?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-12-2010 01:50:18)

Hi Bambang,

I'm afraid your chance on recovering these files is small. Try if you can copy the files from the flashdisc to your harddisc and possibly open them from there. If not, then I sure hope you have backup copies of those files.

I always advise not to edit files in Microsoft Office which are located on removable media. It is much more reliable to first copy such files from your removable media to a local hard drive (or a network folder), edit them there and once done, copy them back again.


Comment by: Bambang (22-12-2010 02:02:26)

Thx a lot for your answer. It is true that I was editing Ms Excel on my flashdisc not on local drive. And till now I can't do everything to my files, including copy and or back up them.....Getting confused......


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-12-2010 08:04:52)

Hi Bambang,

So the files are completely unusable (you cannot copy them, open them, etcetera)?
Making backups is something you would have done before the files got damaged, once they are damaged there is not much we can do.
Have you tried the options listed on this page?


Comment by: in_awe (26-1-2011 12:17:47)

I had the same corrupted file error message with my Excel2007 XLSX file. I tried all of the above suggestions without success. I then remembered that I had a Word2007 mail merge document open that linked to that XLSX file as the data source file. When I closed the Word document the Excel file opened up immediately with no errors or corruption.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-1-2011 02:33:32)

Hi In_awe,

Thanks for letting me know, you never know if someone else hits the same situation!


Comment by: sanjay singh (14-3-2011 22:26:42)

Many of my excel sheet is not opening ,Error saying that file is either corrupted or encrypted,I cannot get access and even cannot change the file format ,Im using XP,microsoft office 2003 and 2007,pls send me solution so that i can recover my files


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (14-3-2011 23:38:31)

Hi Sanjay,

I would start by opening Excel 2003 and doing a Help, Detect and repair. Then open Office 2007 setup (from control panel, add/remove programs) and do a repair.

If that fails, I wouldn't know where to look!


Comment by: Sandeep (27-4-2011 01:55:07)

Dear Sir....

My name is sandeep ...i am T.L from IT service Pvt Ltd..i have a 1 problem bcoz not opened 2007 excel file a massage "excel cannot open the file 'file name.xlsx'because the file format or file extention is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file."

so plz this my very important data...plz give me a solution my email id ...

Thanking you


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-4-2011 02:23:32)

Hi Sandeep,

Maybe you accidentally saved the file using a wrong file extension.
If -for example- you save the file as a
"Excel macro enabled workbook (*.xlsm)", but you choose a different extension, for example .xls, then Excel 2007 will give such an error message. The extension of the file must match the type of the file.

Try renaming the file to TheName.xls, TheName.xlsx, TheName.xlsm, TheName.xlsb respectively, each time trying to open the file with Excel. If all of that fails, it looks like your file is corrupt.


Comment by: George (1-5-2011 09:13:52)


Great thread here with a lot of useful info!

I've got a .xls file i've been using for a couple years first in 2007 now in 2010. recently it has started to crash when saving in compatibility mode.

It will save fine in .xlsm and .xlsx but just not .xls

The problem seems to have arisen once i started printing multiple sheets. i had thought it was solved when i deleted all the graphs (it saved) but now has started crashing again.

It is quite a large workbook.

do you think it could be corrupt? i have never received any messages saying it is corrupt however i just cannot figure out this issue.



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (1-5-2011 21:51:05)

Hi George,

Unfortunately Excel will not tell you whether or not a file is corrupt, other than by exhibiting unwanted behaviour such as crashes or (parts of) the file not loading properly. It may detect a problem once a problematic file is loaded and offer to repair, but results are unpredictable and often not very good.
You could try troubleshooting where the problem is:
Just delete each worksheet in turn and save-as to temporary file. If the crash does not happen, the problem may have been in the deleted sheet. Then try removing items from the deleted sheet until it saves.


Comment by: George (2-5-2011 01:20:06)

Hi Jan,

Thanks for the quick reply!

I had tried your solution initially and had thought it was the pie graphs on some particular sheets.

however i'm now thinking that it is a little more sneaky that that and my thinking follows a post you made elsewhere about excel crashing:

"A convoluted way to crash Excel (2007/2010) is by having a userform which is tied to a collection of instances of a class module. Make sure you forget to set all instances of the class to nothing when closing the userform. Closing Excel then causes a crash."

from over here:

See i have a userform that executes a LOT of code when a button click occurs - however i realised there was no Unload Me code at the end of it. this may cause the issue. Could you please elaborate on what you meant in that comment and how to solve it?

Your help is very very much appreciated.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (2-5-2011 03:49:08)

Hi George,

I doubt whether the Unload me will help, but it does not hurt to try.
The thing I refer to in the contextures post is when you have this combination:
1. A userform (or an instance of a "parent" class, makes no difference)
2. A child class module
3. -in the userforms (or parent class) code module-: A collection of class instances of the child class
4. You reference the userform (or parent class) instance from each child class instance, thus creating circular class references
5. The child class has no code to set the references to the userform or parent class to nothing when the child class is terminated.


Comment by: George (2-5-2011 08:46:19)

Thanks again for the quick reply and detailed break down of what you mean.

Your help is very very much appreciated.

I'm a little confused by all the vba terminology. However i don't think that is my issue because i am not using 'class' modules - just regular modules.

What i have done to remedy the crash issue is to revert back to a previous save and move all the sheets over to a new workbook and import all the old vba code.

hopefully i have not moved the problem with it. i'll be running tests for a few hours and hopefully i won't run into more crashes (fingers crossed).

Thanks again!


Comment by: bhairavi (5-7-2011 04:33:53)

Hi ! I can't open excel file straight by clicking on it .the message comes as Make sure you typed the right name.What should I do?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (5-7-2011 04:41:09)

Hi bhairavi,

Have a look at:


Comment by: Jack (10-8-2011 15:40:32)

I have put password on my Excel file and the file was working properly for almost two years. Today, when i entered password, it didnt opened and said "the workbook cannot be opened or repaired by microsoft excel" so the file is corrupted. Yesterday, it was working but today no. What should i do to fix the problem ? any help will be appreciated.


Comment by: Louis (12-8-2011 13:36:11)

While working on an excel file located on the network drive my system crashed. After recovering from the crash when I try to open the file, it takes a very long time to open. Other people can access the file quickly. It is not listed on my disabled list in excel and I emptied my temp folder but that didnt help. I use excel 2003 on an XP machine.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-8-2011 02:17:04)

Hi Louis,

What happens if you recalculate the file after opening and save it?
Does the file have links to other files, which may not be available?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-8-2011 02:19:56)

Hi Jack,

Have you perhaps got a backup copy of the file?


Comment by: Louis (22-8-2011 06:34:02)

Thanks Jan for your reply. My file is a 9MB file of just data. No macros, no formulas, just thousands of rows of data on several tabs. I didn't have a problem opening up this file before but now it takes a long time after a recent crash while using the file. It is located on a network drive and nobody else seems to have a problem opening the file up quickly (5 seconds). It takes a minute for the file to load on my laptop. Whats strange is that I can open up other excel files on the same network drive quickly.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (23-8-2011 05:56:21)

Hi Louis,

I've recently read that converting the file to xlsb format may greatly enhance performance when opening from a network share.


Comment by: Rifki Balfas (26-9-2011 07:25:12)

Jan, I'm using Excel 2010 and facing problem when I'm opening certain Excel 2003 file, its always got error (not responding) few minutes after I'm opened the file. That certain file suppose had a macro command in it. Thanks before.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-9-2011 08:26:33)

Hi Rifki,

If you disable macro's in the file, can you then work without a problem?


Comment by: Alex (31-10-2011 00:15:58)

Thanks for this page, Jan.
Just helped out my colleague to recover a corrupted xlsx file by opening it in OpenOffice.
Stay cool.


Comment by: Djapex (16-12-2011 14:48:49)

I just want to thanks on advice to try open corrupt excel file with Open&#1054;ffice. It works :-)


Comment by: shohag (26-12-2011 01:16:55)

When i click on opened excel file then automatically select option is enabled. At that time no other option is working. How can i solve it? please reply...


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (29-12-2011 07:11:51)

Hi Shohag,

I am sorry, I don't understand your problem, could you try to explain a bit more?


Comment by: arslan (29-12-2011 23:59:26)

when im open my excel 2007 file problem shown that could not be found.check the spelling of the file name and verify that the file location is correct.

if you are trying to open the file from your list of most recently used files,make sure that the file has not been renamed,moved or deleted.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (30-12-2011 12:28:51)

Hi Arslan,

Have a look at this page:


Comment by: JEEVA (14-1-2012 00:48:20)



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (15-1-2012 11:13:35)


What Excel version are you using?


Comment by: SHIKHA BHUYAN (13-3-2012 20:10:05)

sir,one of ppt file is showing an error while opening it...."The office open XML file...can't be opened coz there are problems with the contents

The file is corrupt n cnt b opnd"

Bt it opening in other it a problem in any of my softwares??


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (15-3-2012 02:47:25)

I'm afraid the file has become corrupt and that is why Powerpoint refuses to open it. You can try to use the OPen and repair option if Powerpoint has that available (click the dropdown arrow next to the Open button in the File, Open dialog).


Comment by: Kiran (2-4-2012 03:50:48)

I have written a code in VBA , there are forms as well. Actually i have done this for generating reports in excel by extracting data from SQL database. This was working properly on PC with Excel 2003. After that some softwares were installed on PC. Now on with the macros enabled and running the report , an error occurs which shows Invalid procedure call or argument and then it enters the Excel VBA code. Here on clicking the report form it gives an error- "System error &H80070057 (-2147024809). The parameter is incorrect." If the macros are disabled with notification and if then i click on an object on the form it gives an error-" Automation error. Unspecified error."

The thing is that this report is working without any problem on another PC with Excel 2003. Can i get a solution to this problem?

Thanking in advance.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (2-4-2012 07:57:38)


Look in Tools, References, perhaps one is marked "Missing". Usual suspect : Calendar control (unavailable to Office 2010).


Comment by: Sharath Pillai (19-5-2012 04:44:35)

Dear Sir,

As i have a file .xlsx which has a lots of Data & now it is not opening because a error is showing (the Excel file is not opened because of file extension is not valid & verify that the file has not been corrupted.

Please help me as this sheet contains valuable data.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (20-5-2012 23:17:13)

Hi Sharath,

If none of the options listed in this article work, I expect you are out of luck.
How many worksheets with data did your file have?

If you add .zip behind the filename, can you open the file from explorer and inspect its contents?

If so, there may be a way to salvage some of the content.


Comment by: PK (11-7-2012 02:10:35)

That's brilliant. Thank you!


Comment by: Sharad Marathe (20-8-2012 11:36:54)

Dear Sir,

Excel cannot open the 'Purchase & Sales Nov[1].11xls' because the file format or the extension in not valid verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches for format of the file

please help.

Thanks & Regards


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (20-8-2012 15:34:40)

Hi Sharad,

Find the file in question and remove the square brackets [] from its name. Perhaps that helps?


Comment by: kay (10-9-2012 20:47:14)

I have downloaded Java but cannot open the file, I keep getting a message that says the file is corrupted, any suggestions?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (11-9-2012 09:56:58)

Hi Kay,

I'm sorry, my website is about Excel and Microsft Office, not about Java. I suggest to find a forum on Java.


Comment by: (22-10-2012 19:19:54)


I have been online for about 3 hours googling sites after sites searching for tools and ways to recover the data from my excel file. I have about 2 years of data and about 20 over tabs.

I did all the above and some others and the error still shows, unable to read, file is corrupted.

I m not ready to give and I really need the data on the excel sheet. It was created on MS-xls 2003 and have been working on it on MS-xls 2007. I need help! :(


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-10-2012 20:15:39)


Send the file to me, I'll have a look.


Comment by: Tom Boutmans (23-10-2012 16:37:22)


We have a file that is corrupt and can not open.
I tried everithing on this website and numburous other websites. could anyone point me in the good direction and help me ?



Comment by: Jan Karel PIeterse (23-10-2012 18:51:59)

Hi Tom,

Send the file to me, I'll have a look.


Comment by: Paul D Pruitt (28-11-2012 02:27:16)

I have an advice page that tries to be an exhaustive list if steps you can try to do to recovery Excel files. It includes links to freeware:

I also accept files for manual recovery, The fee is $22 up front, but I will refund $17 if I can't recover to your satisfaction ($5 is for my assessment effort).


Comment by: Marsha Warren (8-12-2012 20:08:45)

I have a brand new Toshiba, maybe 3 month old, working fine then all of a sudden every time I try to open an excel file from either an outside source or one that I have created myself is says the file is corrupt. and cannot open. What has happened and how do I fix it? Please Help. My last computer done the exact same thing so my boss bought me this one. This has all of my work on it and school.



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10-12-2012 08:36:07)

Hi Marsha,

Two things come to mind.

1. You've recently had an update of Office (Excel) that causes this behavior.

You could try to open Windows Control Panel, choose Add/remove programs and check the list of recent updates. Uninstall the latest one pertaining to microsoft Office or Excel.

2. Your Office installation needs to be repaired. This too can be done from Control Panel, Add/remove programs. Find the entry of Office and click the appropriate button.


Comment by: Jyoti Prakash (19-12-2012 06:33:30)

Hello Marsha,

Download Open Office, it is free to download and try to open your file from there. I have seen that open office opens even badly corrupt files.



Comment by: Paul D Pruitt (6-1-2013 02:28:42)

My freeware S2 Services Excel Recovery,, allows you to carry out these recommended steps with simple pushes of buttons. It also offers other repair choices.


Comment by: oraci (9-1-2013 22:53:40)

We have a file in a pendrive that is corrupt and can not open.
I tried everithing, no results. could anyone point me in the good direction and help me ?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10-1-2013 08:38:55)

Hi oraci,

Perhaps Paul D Pruitt can help you? (see his links above)


Comment by: Jay (16-1-2013 15:53:50)

For months I have been sending a worksheet back and forth from office to home via email.

I have recently moved offices and received a new PC. The files are all stored on a shared drive.

I am using Excel 2003 without the ability to update (Amin Only).

Since I started using the new PC, when I attempt to open the file at home I am getting an error telling me that the file is corrupted and cannot be opened.

The file seems fine at work.

I have tried all of the repair options.

I even sent a new file from home to work, saved it at work, and sent it back home without changing the file. I was able to open the file at work but when I sent it back home it gave me the same message.

It seems that any Excel file I send from work to home is giving me this message.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (17-1-2013 07:34:11)

Hi Jay,

Try if disabling protected view helps: File, Options, Trust Centre, Trust Centre Settings, Protected View


Comment by: Jay (18-1-2013 14:54:36)

Thanks Jan!

It worked! So ends the 2 weeks of having to transfer the new data from the home file to the work file.

I really appreciate it!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-1-2013 16:32:12)

Hi Jay,

Great that I was able to help you!

Thanks for letting me know.


Comment by: Tracy Wood (25-2-2013 12:23:00)

I have been having a similar problem where excel files sent between myself and colleagues have been coming back as corrupt. After reading your reply to Jay I have now managed to open the documents. Many, many thanks, very helpful.


Comment by: Joseph (27-2-2013 10:57:20)


During i open and startup of excel 2010 it shows like this error

"if you are trying to open the file from your list of most recently used files,make sure that the file has not been renamed,moved, or deleted."


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (28-2-2013 11:46:42)

Hi Joseph,

This sounds like the file in question is unavailable (or possibly renamed)?


Comment by: Trevor (8-3-2013 22:42:12)

Tks Jan Karel, it worked for me too, will save me a lot of time in the future, Trevor


Comment by: Ryane (19-7-2013 21:57:11)

Hi, I tried your advice but it didn't work for me. I have an excel file that I have been using for years. All of sudden when I open it, I am getting an error message that reads: "File Error" Data may be lost". Then all the cells that contained text are now filled with "#VALUE!". How do I get the text back??

I want to add, it is not doing this on other excel files.

Thanks so much for your help.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-8-2013 21:11:48)

Hi Ryane,

In that case I'm afrais your file may have been corrupted beyond retrieval of the data. Right-click the file in windows explorer and select properties. Is there a Prvious versions tab available?


Comment by: (21-1-2015 22:41:06)

Hi Jan

I have this nasty issue with Excel 2010 and I don't know if you have experienced it: I have a macro-enabled workbook with lots of activex controls in sheets and userforms. The original workbook (O) runs on Excel 2010 32 bit and 64 bit and Excel 2013 32 bit. All machines are Windows 7. When I open O with Excel 2010 64 bit and save as O2010-64bit, I cannot run O2010-64bit on Excel 2010 32 bit eventhough I have not changed anything. I get the error 32809 when I open the workbook. 02010-64bit runs fine on Excel 2013 32 bit. It is as if Excel saves the file identifying which Excel it came from. I say this because when I open O on Excel 2010 32 bit and save as 02010-32bit without change, O2010-32bit still runs on Excel 2010 32/64 bit and Excel 2013 32 bit. Any clue to what is going on?




Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-1-2015 07:00:00)

Hi Emmanuel,

Are these Office versions on different machines? If so, not all of those machines probably have installed the security update relating to ActiveX controls:


Comment by: Ravi Krishna P (19-2-2015 12:17:06)

Dear Sir

The data (Numerical Numbers) I mentioned in MS Excel sheet contains 50 rows in A and B column. I wanted to club them in single column. For that I converted the sheet in csv and after that I made it to text tab De limited. But when I imported the data from text source to excel. It shows 60 rows. In fact file is not corrupted. But why data is not shown in fifty rows. what is this unnecessary data of 10 rows. Text shows exact data. But if it is imported or pasted in excel sheet it shows more than 50 rows. please give me the solution to reflect exact data in excel columns


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (19-2-2015 13:20:12)

Hi Ravi,

Try deleting the rows (delete entire rows!) below your actual data and saving the file.


Comment by: Gurbachan (29-7-2016 12:10:37)

Hi Jan,

I had raised my query earlier, but don't know if it reached you. Need help with resolving the error "This workbook cannot be opened or repaired by Microsoft excel because it is corrupt" which I receive after running the macro.

Will share the coding on


Comment by: Jimmy Johnson (18-4-2019)

Yo guys if you're getting this error in Excel, this is the fix:
Locate and then select the following registry subkey:

On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

Type ForceVBALoadFromSource, and then press Enter.

In the Details pane, right-click ForceVBALoadFromSource, and then click Modify.

In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-4-2019 00:00:01)

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for the heads up. I searched for this and found this KB article which explains what that registry key does:


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