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Manual Guide — Repair XLSX File With simple steps

XLSX file format gets corrupted due to improper system shut down, use of virus infected storage device for saving, corrupted system files and other reasons. In this article we will explore about simple methods used to restore XLSX file.

what is XLSX file ?

XLSX is Office Open XML based file format developed by Microsoft. It is used by Microsoft Excel for representing spreadsheets. It was incorporated with Microsoft Office 2007 and later versions. This format is also known as Spreadsheet. It is a zipped file format that uses lossless data compression algorithm which in turn reduce the file size without degrading the quality.

OS support :

Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

MIME type


Programs used to open XLSX file

  • OpenOffice Calc
  • Excel Viewer 2007
  • Kingsoft Spreadsheets
  • Google Sheets
  • Zoho Docs
  • LibreOffice application
  • ONLYOFFICE Personal
  • Ssuite Office

Causes Of corruption

  • Improper shut down of system
  • Virus attack
  • Bad sector on hard-drive
  • Large size of spreadsheets
  • Closing the spreadsheet file in use
  • Hardware and software malfunctioning
  • System Errors
  • File is incompatible with the version of Excel used to open the file

Common Errors :

  • "Excel cannot open the file 'filename.xlsx' because the file format for the file extension is not valid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file."
  • "Excel can not open the file abc.xlsx because the file format or file extension is not valid."
  • "The file is corrupt and can not be opened."
  • "File error: Data may have been lost."
  • "Excel found unreadable content in filename.xlsx."
  • "Unable to read file"
  • "Excel found unreadable content in 'filename.xlsx'. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes. (Yes) (No)"
  • Cannot access read only documents.

Read how to Recover excel file and resolve all the errors.

Repair Solutions :

Solution : Repair XLSX file – Open & Repair option

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Excel.

Step 2 : Click the File tab > Open Or press Ctrl+O.

Step 3: In Open dialog box, click on your Excel file and then click on the small arrow next to the Open button.

Step 4: click on Open and Repair option and user get a message asking if you want to recover as shown :

Solution # 2 Save File To Different Format to repair corrupt xlsx file

Click on File >> Save As. Choose SYLK (Symbolic Link) from the Save as type list and click Save.

User can use file formats given in drop down as given below :

Solution # 3 : Delete Temp Folder to Repair XLSX file

Delete the contents of Temp folder :

  • Go to location C:\Windows\Temp directory
  • Restart tour computer.

Solution # 4 Use other spreadsheet software to open XLSX

Use spreadsheet program such as Excel Viewer, Kingsoft Spreadsheets, Google Sheets and others.

Solution # 5 Use Excel Auto-Save File feature to repair XLSX file:

Step 1 : Enable Excel Auto-Save Feature

  • Open Microsoft Excel program

  • Click "Options"
  • Select the "Save" tab from the left menu to view all settings related to the Save.

  • Enter the "AutoRecover file location".
  • Click OK button.

Solution # 6 : Repair xlsx file by Using Later Excel Versions

Excel file was created in Excel XP, Excel 2003, etc, or below versions try opening it in a later versions like Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 or newer versions.

Solution # 7 : Automatically save a backup copy of a workbook

  • Click the Microsoft Office Button >>Save As
  • Click the arrow next to Tools, then click General Options.

  • Select the "Always create backup" check box.

Solution # 8 Use a macro to extract data from a corrupted workbook

To use a macro, do the following:

1. Enter the following macro code in a module sheet:
Sub GetChartValues94()
Dim NumberOfRows As Integer
Dim X As Object
Counter = 2
Calculate the number of rows of data.
NumberOfRows = UBound(ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Values)
Worksheets("ChartData").Cells(1, 1) = "X Values"
' Write x-axis values to worksheet.
With Worksheets("ChartData")
.Range(.Cells(2, 1), _
.Cells(NumberOfRows + 1, 1)) = _
End With
' Loop through all series in the chart and write their values to
' the worksheet.
For Each X In ActiveChart.SeriesCollection
Worksheets("ChartData").Cells(1, Counter) = X.Name
With Worksheets("ChartData")
.Range(.Cells(2, Counter), _
.Cells(NumberOfRows + 1, Counter)) = _
End With
Counter = Counter + 1
End Sub

2. Insert a new worksheet into your workbook and rename it ChartD. Select the chart from which user want to extract the data values.

3. Run the GetChartValues94 macro.

The data from the chart will be placed on the ChartD worksheet and rebuild corrupt excel file


In this article we will discuss about XLSX file, cause of corruption and how to repair XLSX file using macro, Open and Repair option Excel and other methods. If above solutions fail then use a third party tool to fix xlsx file.