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Recover From Microsoft Excel Workbook Corruption


Microsoft Excel workbook files do not open correctly. You may receive the following error message:

Cannot find the file or one of its components. Make sure the path and filenames are correct and that all required libraries are available.

Possible Causes

The workbook files are corrupted.


These are several methods to recovering corrupted Excel files.

Backup the copy before attempting the recovery

  • Click Start, select Programs, select Microsoft Office, select Microsoft Office Tools, and then select Microsoft Office Application Recovery
  • In the Application list, click Microsoft Excel, and then click Recover Application

Use the "Open and Repair" Command

This method is the primary method of file recovery in Excel 2002 and later versions. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Start Excel
  • Under File menu, select Open
  • In the Open dialog box, select the file that you want to open.

    Click the arrow on the Open button, select Open and Repair

  • When you are prompted, click Repair to recover your most recent changes
  • Finally save your recovered workbook

Open the File in Word or WordPad

This method does not recover any module sheets, dialog sheets, chart sheets, macro sheets, or any embedded charts and only the results of those formulas that are currently in the cells. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open Microsoft Word or WordPad
  • On the File menu, click Open
  • Under Files Of Types, select All Documents or All Files
  • Browse and select the corrupted excel file

More Information

This article only applies to:

Microsoft Excel 2002

Microsoft Excel 2003