Corrupted Excel File

New Contributor

Is anyone here able to help me out with a corrupted Excel file? The original file is from Excel 2007. I went to open it up and the attached error appears. I've been in contact with two different Microsoft support technicians and they were not able to successfully. I installed Office 365 as well and the same problems occur. Any help is greatly appreciated.

8 Replies


If you attach the corrupt workbook, someone might have a go at it.


Maybe this information will help you.

Repair a corrupted workbook

When Microsoft Excel detects a corrupted workbook upon opening, it automatically starts File Recovery mode and attempts to repair the workbook. If File Recovery mode doesn’t start, try using this manual process to recover your workbook...see more in the Link.


I would be happy to know if I could help.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


Thank you for your suggestion. I myself have tried this along with one of the Microsoft support technicians. We were unsuccessful in recovery the data.
The only thing I can offer as food for thought is to save the korupte file as CSV and then insert it into a new sheet as external data. It's just a thought, don't know if it could work, maybe it's worth a try.

How do I do that? @NikolinoDE 


Save the the corrupted file as a text file.
Exambel if files Name is test.xls then rename it in test.csv or test.txt
After that open Excel and Import it in Excel.
Excel 2016: Go to Data -> From Text -> Choose File -> Klick Open/Import


Here some information about import a txt or csv file in Excel
Import or export text (.txt or .csv) files


Sorry that I took your time and couldn't give you a quick solution.


Wish you a nice day.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

Try following -

1. Update your office as well as Windows 10 to latest patches from Microsoft site. Microsoft keeping releasing Office and Windows 10 patches to correct known errors.

2. Repair the office installation -

3. Please look into C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel (replace user name with your user name, you can directly reach here by copy and pasting following without quotes in Explorer address bar - "%appdata%\Microsoft\Excel\") and see if is contains few files / folders. Move those files to some other location (i.e create a backup of those files / folders and delete all files / folders from here). Hence, make Excel folder blank.

Now open the file and see if the problem disappears or not.

Note - to find Excel path, you need to find XLSTART path. Excel folder contains XLSTART folder in itself (In case, your XLSTART path is not in Appdata)

1. Open Excel
2. ALT+F11
3. If Immediate Window is not visible, type CTRL+G. Same can be also be accessed through View > Immediate Window
4. Type "? application.StartupPath" without quotes and press enter
5. You will have your path below.

4. You may login to Windows with a new user profile and see if it helps.

5. Review following link -

6. Turn off Hey Cortana and reboot your computer (useful particularly if Excel performance is slow).

7. Sometimes, this is caused due to excel not being able to access the default printer. Close all office applications and change your default printer through Start > Devices and Printers to another printer. It may be some physical one or One Note or XPS or PDF or anything else. If this is the problem, then you will need to update your printer driver for default printer.
Also upgrade all your Printer Drivers to latest from the internet.

8. Many third party applications also cause the problem like Tuneup Utilities, Abby Finereader, Kaspersky Anti Virus etc. See if you have any of them installed. Close them one by one and see whether it helps.

9. Sometimes, add-ins can cause problems. To determine, if add-in is a problem start Excel in safe mode and see if problem has gone away. If yes, then start Excel normally and disable add-ins one by one and start Excel again every time you disable an add-in to determine the culprit add-in.

To start Excel in Safe Mode -

Hold CTRL key and click on Excel icon
In the Search Box above Windows icon, type "Excel /s" without quotes and enter.

10. Issues in Protected View

File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View > Uncheck all options
File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > File Block Settings > Uncheck all options

(For reference, You may review the following thread -

11. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15, look for EXCEL.EXE
Right Click on this, Properties, In Compatibility tab, check ""Run this Program as an Administrator""
Start the Excel. You might again get the error. Close Excel and uncheck "Run this Program as an Administrator" and start Excel again. You should not get the error anymore.
(If folder path is not correct, you will have to find EXCEL.EXE manually, like Program Files (x86) may be Program Files. Or you can even search for EXCEL.EXE in your C: drive

12. File > Options > Advanced - In General section (go very much down in Advanced), check "Ignore Other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)". Close and re-start the Excel. Uncheck "Ignore Other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)". Close and re-start Excel again. You should not get the error anymore. (Basically, DDE should remain unchecked)

13. You may try to disable the Hardware Graphic Acceleration and verify the result:

Open Excel.
Click on file, Options.
Go to the Advanced tab.
Under the Display section, check the box for 'Disable hardware graphics acceleration'.
Click ok and restart Excel.

14. If above don't solve your problem, re-installation of office may (and may not also) solve your problem. Remove MS Office completely by downloading Fixit tool and from and running it. Make sure that you have license keys ready before you attempt re-installation. If you don't have license keys, please do not attemp re-installation. You can also install MS Office by logging into if you have registered your copy.


Sometimes lack of admin privilege become the reason of this error:

Opening Excel with Admin privileges


  • Right-click on the Excel launcher and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control) click on Yes to grant administrative privileges.
  • Once Excel is opened with admin privileges, open the file that was previously throwing the ‘Excel found unreadable content’ error.