How to Recover Corrupted or Damaged Excel File on Mac?

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2023-03-23 14:59:17 to Office Recovery

Damaged and Corrupted excel files are a real pain if you need to access the data urgently. The article ahead will shed light upon recovering your excel files real quick. Explicitly focusing on Mac devices, the excel file recovery methods will be really very useful for you in the long run. Let us jump on the multiple ways of recovering the excel data files.

MS Excel is a general and top-rated spreadsheet application. It is produced by the American computer software company Microsoft. The spread utility is equally helpful and available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and iOS. Excel spreadsheet programs empowers you to design, plan, format, calculate, and organize data using formulae. You can make as much variant and complex data such as tables, hyperlinks, texts, unique code, macros, numerical, and much more in an MS Excel file. MS Excel is clearly essential for individuals who want to keep the record. Microsoft Excel comes with a complete package of MS Office suite with other utilities like MS Office Word, MS Office Outlook, MS Office PowerPoint, MS Office Publisher, etc.

recover corrupted excel file on mac

Part 1: Why Excel Files Get Corrupted on Mac?

When you try to open an Excel file, it gives you error messages, or the data stored in the file becomes inaccessible. It means that the file has become corrupted or damaged. The MS Excel Software is very sensitive and vulnerable. There are numerous reasons why the software malfunctions and the file produced through it could get damaged.

  • Abrupt System Shutdown: If you mistakenly shut down your Mac device or the power failure caused the shutdown, chances are high that the opened excel file will get corrupt.
  • Virus attacks: The most common reason.
  • Hard disk failure: Mac device hard disk failure can also make excel files corrupt.

Part 2: How to Repair Corrupted Excel on Mac

There are several ways to repair a corrupted Excel file on Mac. You can simply pick the best of the Excel repair Mac sets to recover corrupted data files in no time and reaccess the valuable data or files.

Fix 1: Use Excel and Repair Tool

There is a built-in feature to auto repair corrupted Excel files in MS Office.

  • Step 1: Launch Microsoft Excel and select the open option from the File menu.
  • Step 2: Select the Excel workbook and click on the Open & Repair option from the dropdown list.
  • Step 3: There will be a popup window; select the Repair button to repair.
  • recover corrupted excel on Mac

Fix 2: Save It as a Web Page(.htm) on Mac

If the excel file is not opening in a readable format on opening, then you have to save it as an excel file into HTML pages format. Following is the short procedure of saving excel files in HTML pages format.

  • Step 1: Open the corrupt Excel file.
  • Step 2: Click on Save As from the file menu. Choose the Web Page(.htm) from the Save as, Type and click on the Save button.
  • Step 3: Right-click on the saved Excel file and then open it with Microsoft Excel.
repair corrupted excel by saving it as webpage

Fix 3: Save the Excel file as XML Spreadsheet

This is the most appropriate and quick method of fixing an Excel file on the Mac device. Opening the corrupted file with an XML spreadsheet is the best alternative among all the ways.

  • Step 1: Open the corrupt Excel file and click on the save as option from the file menu.
  • Step 2: Select the XML Spreadsheet file type from Save as Type menu and click on the Save button.
  • Step 3: Once the file is saved, right-click on the saved file and open it with Microsoft Excel.
  • Step 4: The Excel file will automatically repair with this option.
repair corrupted excel by saving it as spreadsheet

Fix 4: Recover with Time Machine

Time Machine is a potent united backup tool. It is built on all Apple and Mac devices. If you have already made a backup file, you can use the Time Machine when your file is corrupt.

If your excel file is deleted or corrupted and not accessible in your system trash bin, the Time Machine is one of the best ways to find and repair data files.

  • Step 1: Enter Time Machine from the menu bar.
  • Step 2: Locate your backup file and its location on the Time Machine drive.
  • Step 3: Once you locate the file, look for the latest version of the backup and see if the version is the last one before your file got corrupted.
  • Step 4: To preview the file, double-click on it and confirm which file you want to repair or recover.
  • Step 5: Once you select the file and click on Restore, this will repair the corrupted file.
recover corrupted excel on Mac with Time Machine

Part 3: Retrieve/Recover Corrupted Excel on Mac with 4DDiG

4DDIG Mac Data Recovery is a pattern to explain how to recover corrupt and damaged Excel files on Mac and Mac-based drives. Tenorshare 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery is a specialist yet simple recovery tool compatible with all Mac devices and Microsoft versions. It could recover almost any file that includes photos, videos, documents and others, on your Mac hard drive or external disks.

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  • Step 1: Select a Location
  • Install 4DDiG-Mac on your device and then open the recovery tool and select a location like your hard drive to start Mac data recovery. Then click the Scan button to start looking up all corrupt/damaged files.

    select location

    Note: Disable SIP first to access Mac files. In case you want to recover data from the macOS High Sierra and later system.

    4ddig mac disable sip
  • Step 2: Scan and Preview
  • The software will take a little time to scan all corrupt and damaged Excel files. Once the scanning is done, the software will generate results in the form of a list; click on the specific file to preview more details.

    preview restored corrupted files
  • Step 3: Recover Mac Files
  • Finally, click the Recover button and select a location to save the files. If you want to prevent your files from permanent data loss, keep them in a place other than the partition where the files got corrupted.

    save recovered files

Part 4: Tips to Prevent MS Excel Files on Mac from corruption

Mac users and users of other devices should take necessary safety precautions to prevent the excel file from corruption. The recovery tools are very effective, but why we should lose precious data in the first place.

Proactive Stratagems to Prevent Excel File Corruption

Following are some pointers you need to follow for the best of your Mac device and Excel data.

  • Once you identify that the file is giving you an error message while opening, you should not attempt to open it repeatedly, hoping that it will fix on its own.
  • Do not press any button once the workbook becomes unresponsive while working on the excel workbook.
  • Make sure you have all the compatible, related and up to date versions of MS Office. The variance of versions may cause an excel file to go corrupt.
  • The standard error messages you may see as an indication of corrupt excel files are: a)Excel found unreadable content in; b)Found a problem with some content in; c)Excel cannot open the file;d)Can't find a project or library; d)Microsoft Excel is restarting.

Tips to avoid corruption in the Excel file on Mac device:

  • While editing the excel files, ensure that the version is up to date and compatible with evading data corruption.
  • Do not keep the application open abandoned; you need to close it soon after finishing your work.
  • Make your Mac device safe by installing the best antivirus software to discover the attack of undesired virus and malware.
  • Limit the number of users when giving access to the excel file for editing at the same time to avoid unforeseen corruption
  • Shutting down your Mac device properly is mandatory.
  • Download and install the most reliable repair tool to excel in your system to recover the lost data instantly.
  • Enter limited data in the excel sheet to avoid file corruption.
  • If you have to handle excessive data, then split it into smaller ones for sounder excel sheet administration.


It is unavoidable to ensure Excel data security without any corruption. You have to deal with the corrupted file and efficiently follow the data recovery measures. This article supplied enough knowledge of protecting the excel data and avoiding the file being corrupted intermittently. It is also critical that you take several corresponding steps to avoid corruption issues. You would have gotten a clear idea about which tools and mechanisms are best in the market and easily applicable like 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery software for restoration and recovery along with fixing the Excel data files on Mac devices specifically.

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