Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Recovering Macros from Corrupted Workbooks.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2019)
Devarajan ran into a situation where a workbook became corrupted, but he wanted to recover the macro module that was associated with the workbook. (The macros represented quite a bit of development time.) Devarajan wondered how the module could be recovered.
The answer depends, in large part, on how corrupted the workbook really is and where the corruption is located within the workbook. Much has been written about how to recover corrupted workbooks; the following resources will be of interest in this regard:
These pages refer specifically to recovering data, not to recovering the macros in a module associated with a workbook. One thing that you might try in order to get your macros is the following:
Another way to attempt recovery is to use OpenOffice, a free alternative to Microsoft Office. The spreadsheet program in OpenOffice will open Excel files, and it isn't as sensitive to some corruption issues.
If this still doesn't work, try using a low-level file manipulation tool that allow you to read files sector by sector from a disk, and then allow you to see the information in each sector. With most types of files this won't be very helpful. In fact, it wouldn't help you recover any data from an Excel workbook. Recovering macros is a different story, however. They are stored in the workbook in plain ASCII text, so you should be able to recognize the macro code and then copy it from the disk tool.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12712) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Recovering Macros from Corrupted Workbooks.
Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!
Knowing if a workbook is already open can be a prerequisite to your macro working correctly. Here's how to check it out.Discover More
Import information from a program external to Excel, and your numbers may be treated as text because of the way that the ...Discover More
When you need to stop a macro while it is running, you normally press Ctrl+Break. What are you to do if the keypress ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.