How to Recover Corrupted Macro Enabled Excel File: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Recover Corrupted Macro Enabled Excel File? When working with Excel files, it is not uncommon to encounter a corrupted macro enabled Excel file. This can be frustrating, especially if the file contains important data or macros that are crucial to a project. However, there are various ways to recover corrupted macro enabled Excel files that can help you retrieve the lost data and get back to work.

One way to recover a corrupted macro enabled Excel file is to use the Open and Repair tool in Excel. This tool automatically detects and attempts to repair any issues with the file. Another way is to use external references to link to the corrupted file and retrieve the data. Additionally, you can recover VBA modules from a corrupt Excel workbook by opening the VBA editor and exporting the modules.

It is important to note that prevention is key in avoiding corrupted macro enabled Excel files. Regularly saving and backing up files, using antivirus software, and avoiding sudden power outages or system crashes can help prevent corruption. However, if corruption does occur, there are various methods available to recover the file and retrieve the lost data.


Identifying the Cause of Corruption

When encountering a corrupted macro-enabled Excel file, it is essential to identify the cause of the problem to prevent it from happening again. There could be several reasons why an Excel file becomes corrupted, and understanding these reasons is crucial to finding a solution.


Virus or Malware Attack

One of the most common causes of Excel file corruption is a virus or malware attack. These malicious programs can damage or corrupt files, making them unreadable or unusable. In some cases, the virus or malware may delete the file entirely. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to have proper antivirus software installed on the computer and to keep it updated regularly.


Sudden Power Failure

Another common cause of Excel file corruption is a sudden power failure. When a computer shuts down unexpectedly, it can cause data loss or file corruption. This issue can be prevented by using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or saving the file frequently to avoid losing data.


Software or Hardware Issues

Software or hardware issues can also cause Excel file corruption. For example, if the computer crashes while the Excel file is open, it can cause the file to become corrupted. Similarly, if the hard drive is damaged or failing, it can lead to data loss or corruption. To prevent these issues, it is essential to keep software and hardware up to date and to perform regular maintenance on the computer.

By identifying the cause of Excel file corruption, users can take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. Whether it is a virus or malware attack, sudden power failure, or software or hardware issues, taking preventative measures can save time and prevent data loss.


Preventive Measures

Preventing corruption of macro-enabled Excel files is crucial in avoiding the hassle of data loss and recovery. Here are some measures that can be taken to prevent corruption:


Regular Backups

Regular backups of macro enabled Excel files can save a lot of time and effort in case of corruption. It is recommended to create a backup of the file after every significant change. This can be done manually or by using backup software that automates the process. Keeping backups on an external hard drive or cloud storage is also recommended.


Using Antivirus Software

Viruses and malware are one of the main causes of corruption in macro enabled Excel files. Using reliable antivirus software can help prevent the spread of these threats and keep the files safe. It is important to keep the antivirus software updated to ensure maximum protection.


Avoiding Sudden Power Loss

Power loss or sudden shutdown of the system can cause corruption in macro enabled Excel files. It is recommended to use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to prevent sudden power loss. Saving the file regularly during work is also recommended. In case of power loss, the auto-recovery feature of Excel can help recover the unsaved changes.


Methods to Recover Corrupted Macro Enabled Excel File

When an Excel file becomes corrupted, it can be a frustrating experience, especially if it contains important data. Fortunately, there are several methods to recover a corrupted macro enabled Excel file.


Using Open and Repair Feature

The first method to recover a corrupted macro enabled Excel file is to use the Open and Repair feature in Excel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Excel and click on File.
  2. Select Open and browse to the location of the corrupted file.
  3. Select the file and click on the arrow next to the Open button.
  4. Select Open and Repair.
  5. Excel will attempt to repair the file. If successful, the repaired file will open. If not, try the next method.


Using Excel in Safe Mode

If the Open and Repair feature fails to recover the corrupted macro enabled Excel file, try opening Excel in Safe Mode. Safe Mode disables any add-ins or customizations that may be causing issues with Excel. To open Excel in Safe Mode, follow these steps:

  1. Close Excel if it is open.
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl key and click on the Excel icon to open it.
  3. When prompted to start Excel in Safe Mode, click Yes.
  4. Open the corrupted file and see if it opens correctly.
  5. If the file opens correctly, save it under a different name to create a new, uncorrupted version.


Using Third-Party Recovery Tools

If the above methods fail to recover the corrupted macro enabled Excel file, consider using third-party recovery tools. These tools are designed specifically to recover corrupted Excel files and may be able to recover data that Excel’s built-in recovery features cannot. Some popular third-party recovery tools include EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, DiskInternals Excel Recovery, and Recovery Toolbox for Excel.

It is important to note that while third-party recovery tools can be effective, they may not always be successful in recovering all data from a corrupted file. Additionally, some recovery tools may come with a cost, so be sure to research and compare options before making a purchase.



Recovering a corrupted macro enabled Excel file can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it is possible to salvage your data. The five methods discussed in this article, including using the Open and Repair tool, exporting VBA modules, and restoring macros, can be effective in recovering your workbook.

It is important to note that prevention is always better than cure. Regularly backing up your files and keeping your software up to date can help prevent corruption in the first place. Additionally, being cautious when downloading or opening files from unknown sources can also help avoid potential issues.

When attempting to recover a corrupted workbook, it is important to take your time and carefully follow the steps outlined in this article. If one method does not work, do not give up hope. Try another method or consult with a professional for further assistance.

Remember, with patience and persistence, you can recover your data and get back to work in no time.

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