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Article ID: 820741 - Last Review: July 12, 2013 - Revision: 13.1


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Summary

There are several methods that you can use to recover information from damaged or corrupted Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, or Microsoft Office Excel 2003 files. This article discusses these methods and includes references to other Microsoft Knowledge Base articles that discuss these methods in more detail.

Methods for Recovering Data in Corrupted Excel Files

You can use the following methods to troubleshoot problems with opening or using Excel files:
  • Use a recovered copy of the document.
  • Use the Open and Repair command.
  • Save the file in HTML format.
  • Save the file in XML Spreadsheet format.
  • If a chart is linked to the corrupted file, use a macro to extract the data.
Note Detailed steps for each method is listed in "More Information" Section.

More information

Use a recovered copy of the document

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If Excel stops responding while you are working in your workbook, use the Microsoft Office Application Recovery program to recover Excel and your workbook. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
  2. In the Application list, click Microsoft Excel, and then click Recover Application.

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    Office Application Recovery


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    Note If you click End Application, recent changes to your workbook are lost.
  3. Open Excel.

    The files listed in the Document Recovery task pane include your recovered workbook.
  4. To open or save your workbook, click the arrow on the right side of the workbook in the task pane.
For more information about Excel AutoRecover functions, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289273  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289273/ ) Description of the AutoRecover functions in Excel 2002 and in Excel 2003
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Use the "Open and Repair" command

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This method is the primary method of file recovery in Excel 2003 and later versions. If you want to try to recover the most recent changes in a damaged Excel file, follow these steps:
  1. Start Excel.
  2. On the File menu, click Open.
  3. In the Open dialog box, select the file that you want to open.

    Click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.
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  4. When you are prompted, click Repair to try to recover your most recent changes.

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    Note If Excel cannot repair your workbook, click Extract Data instead of Repair.
    1. If your workbook contains formulas, Excel prompts you to select either Convert to Values or Recover Formulas.
    2. If you receive the following error message, click Yes.
      The document file name caused a serious error the last time it was opened. Would you like to continue opening it?
      For more information about this error message, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      286017  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/286017/ ) You receive an "The document 'Filename' caused a serious error the last time it was opened .Would you like to continue opening it?" error message when you open a file in Excel or in Word
  5. Save your recovered workbook.
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Save the file in HTML format

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If you can open the corrupted Excel 2003 file, you can filter it if you save it in HTML format, close the file, and then reopen it. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the File menu, click Save as Web Page.
  2. Under Save, click Entire Workbook, and then click Save.
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  3. Close the file.
  4. Open the file again in Excel.
  5. On the File menu, click Save As.
  6. In the Save as type list, click Microsoft Excel Workbook.
  7. Change the name of the file to create a new filtered copy without replacing the original.
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Note Some features may be lost when you save in HTML format.
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Note The above steps (save as HTML) only work in Excel 2003.


For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
300637  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300637/ ) Some workbook features not retained when saving as a Web page in Excel
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Save the file in XML spreadsheet format

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If you can open the corrupted Excel file, you can filter it if you save it in XML Spreadsheet format, close the file, and then reopen it. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the File menu, click Save As.
  2. In the Save as type list, click XML Spreadsheet.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Close the file.
  5. Open the file again in Excel.
  6. On the File menu, click Save As.
  7. In the Save as type list, click Microsoft Excel Workbook.
  8. Change the name of the file to create a new filtered copy without replacing the original.
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Note Some features may be lost when you save in XML Spreadsheet format.
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Note The above steps (save as XML) only work in Excel 2003.
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Copy worksheets to a new workbook

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If you can open the corrupted Excel file, you can move the sheets to new workbook. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Right-click a sheet tab, and then click Select All Sheets.
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2. Right-click a sheet tab, and then click Move or Copy.
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3. Choose New Book , and then select the Create a Copy check box.
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4. Click OK.
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Use a macro to extract the data in a chart

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In Excel versions 5.0 and later, data may be retrieved from a chart, even when the data is in an external worksheet or workbook. This can be useful in situations where the chart was created from or linked to another file that is unavailable or is damaged in some way.

When the source data to a chart is lost, you can still retrieve the data from the chart itself by using a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
300643  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300643/ ) Macro to extract data from a chart
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Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
Keywords: 
kbxml kbcorrupt kbhowto kbcip KB820741
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