In this post, you will learn about the various signs that indicate your excel file is corrupt and possible solutions to recover it.
MS Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis. Its immense computational power allows professionals to crank up chunks of data into meaningful data points that can be used for decision making. Just like any digital file, Excel spreadsheets are susceptible to corruption.
What it means for an MS Excel file to be corrupt
When a file gets corrupt, its data doesn’t behave as it should. For instance, formulas do not work properly or do not work at all. Other times the file won’t open and becomes inaccessible. While this data can be salvaged using select recovery tools like DataNumen Excel Repair, other times it is impossible and you are likely to lose it. The following are common signs that your Excel file is corrupt.
- ‘Unable to open file’ error messages
When you try to open your file and it fails to respond, there is a chance it is corrupt. Sometimes you may get the error message ‘Unable to read file’. Another error you are likely to come across is ‘Excel Cannot Open the File ‘(Filename)’.Xlsx’. Unfortunately, when you encounter these errors, it is unlikely that the file will run on the same computer.
- The file opens but error messages keep on popping up
Sometimes your Excel file opens but fails to work as expected. For instance, some key functions such as saving data and auto-recovery may fail to work. This means that if you keep on working on the spreadsheet, the changes you make will not update.
- Excel crashing repeatedly
Another problem associated with corrupt MS Excel files is an unexpected crashing. In this case, the file may become unresponsive and close. You may get an error saying that ‘Excel has stopped working’. While some of your work may be recovered, especially if you have set your workbook to save a backup every time you save the file, this problem can hinder you from working on the file.
Do all error messages mean that excel files are corrupt?
Not at all! Sometimes errors occur due to other factors such as errors in computer file registry, damage on storage drives, software compatibility issues, or damages to the MS Excel program. Therefore, before you start treating your file as corrupt, take some time and verify that it is indeed corrupt.
One way you can achieve this is to try to open the file on another computer that is working properly. If the file opens, then it means that it is not corrupt. However, if it fails to open then you can proceed with the recovery procedures. Other times your files may fail to run due to errors in the storage. If the file is in a removable drive, copy it to another device and try to run it. Therefore, do a thorough investigation before concluding that your file is corrupt. As you do this, make sure that you have a backup copy of your file just in case the original gets spoilt.
When you encounter these problems, you can opt to use manual processes such as opening the file in safe mode or the inbuilt open and repair feature. While these manual processes may fix the problem, they don’t always work. To be on the safe side, try to use software recovery tools such as DataNumen Excel Repair that increase your chances of getting most of your data, including formulas and file formatting.