FIX: Excel File Error: Data May Have Been Lost

When attempting to access an Excel file prepared in an older version in a later version or exporting a spreadsheet, this error may occur. This error indicates that the Excel file has a problem. This article will cover solutions for this error.

Save the file with a Different Name

NOTE; This method is for those who are able to open their Excel files without losing any data.

Attempt to open your worksheet under a different name. Close the file after renaming it, then reopen it in Excel to see whether the issue persists.

Open file in the Previous Version

Open the MS Excel spreadsheet in the same version that you used to make it.

Go to the File tab and click on Info.

Select Version History.

Choose a version to open it in a separate window.

Use the ‘Open and Repair’ Utility

Click on the File and select Open.

Browse the location and folder where the Excel file is stored in the window that displays.

Select the Excel file you wish to open and fix from the ‘Open’ window.

Select Open and Repair from the drop-down button beside Open.

Click Repair to recover as much data as you can.

NOTE: If fixing the file fails to recover the data, repeat steps 1 to 4 and then choose the Extract Data option to restore the spreadsheet’s formulae and values.


Commerce major. My training enabled me to fully use the various Microsoft Applications while also allowing to work around problems. I spent my high school years working as a campus writer and researcher, as I get older, I want to broaden my horizons and live life to the fullest.

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