Excel 2010/2013: Repairing a bloated and corrupted Excel file

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When you have an older version of MS Excel, like MS Excel 2003, workbooks saved in this program has a file extension of XLS. When your file has the XLS extension and you are opening it in the latest version of MS Excel which is 2010 or 2013, the file will be opened and rendered in [Compatibility Mode].

repairing excel file

The reason for this is because some of the formatting markup or layout of MS Excel 2003 may not be compatible with MS Excel 2010 or 2013. As you are moving files from Excel 2003 to MS Excel 2010 opening files in [Compatibility Mode], there is a big risk of data corruption. The reason for this is because formatting markups and layout of older Excel are not compatible with the newer versions.

Here are the signs of corrupted Excel file:

  1. The file size is too big for the contents in the file. When you add some data and save the file, a huge amount os kilobytes are added in the file size.
  2. Moving around cells and selecting are draggy or slow
  3. The file takes a lot of time to load and open
  4. The file won't open at all

If your Excel file is corrupted, you can use MS Excel 2010 or higher to repair the corrupted file. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Open MS Excel 2010

Step 2: Click on File menu

Step 3: Click on Open

Step 4: In the Open dialog box, browse to the location of the corrupted file and select it to open it.

Step 5: But DO NOT click on the Open button yet. Instead, click on the small down-arrow in the Open button

Step 6: In the menu that appears, click on Open and Repair

Excel file repair

Step 7: In the prompt that shows up, click on Repair

Excel repair

Step 8: Give it some time and you shall get the file repaired. Save it as a new file.

Step 9: If the repaired file also appears corrupted after the repair, redo steps 1 through 7 and this time, select Extract Data.

Step 10: Then choose Recover Formulas

Step 11: Save the repaired file

MS Office Software: