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Sometimes a file can be damaged in such a way that Word, Excel, or PowerPoint can't open it normally. But all is not lost. The Open and Repair command might be able to recover your file.
Click File > Open > Browse and then go to the location or folder where the document (Word), workbook (Excel), or presentation (PowerPoint) is stored. Don't try to open the file from the Recent section as this won't go into the Open dialog box.See AlsoHow to Repair Corrupt Windows Files With Windows Built-In ToolsSystem File Checker finds corrupt files after installing KB2821895
If you're using Office 2013 select the location, such as OneDrive or the local Computer, then select Browse.(Video) Word Quick Tip: Recover a Corrupted File
If you're using Office 2010 you don't need to click Browse.
Click the file you want, and then click the arrow next to Open, and click Open and Repair.
Preventing file corruption in the future
Problems with file corruption typically happen when the file is stored on a USB device that is disconnected while the device is open in Windows. You can prevent damaging files by using the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the Windows taskbar. If you don't see the icon, click the up-arrow in the notification area to show hidden icons.
In the event of a crash or loss of power, you can recover a previous version of your file if you turned on the Autorecover feature in Office.
If you're running Microsoft 365 storing your files on OneDrive and using AutoSave can help to protect your changes.
Application specific troubleshooting steps
For more information about repairing damaged Office files in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, go to the following articles:
For Excel: Repairing a corrupted Excel workbook
For PowerPoint: How to troubleshoot damaged PowerPoint presentations(Video) How to Repair Corrupted or Damaged PDF File?
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How do I fix a corrupt Word document that won't open? ›
- Rename the Document Extension. The process of word document corruption begins with renaming the document extension. ...
- Open with Notepad and change the content of the document. ...
- Compress the File and Pause the Progress.
Step 1: Repair document
In Word, select File on the Ribbon, and then select Open. In the Open dialog box, click once to highlight your Word document. Select the arrow on the Open button, and then select Open and Repair.
A corrupted file is always unusable and inoperable. When facing this issue, you can first try to repair them or try to run a virus detection program. However, if they do not work, you can try a third-party file recovery tool - Recoverit Data Recovery program to help recover corrupted files in Windows.What causes a Word file to become corrupt? ›
Causes of Document Corruption
If Word crashes while you're typing, you will lose your work since the last time you saved, but your saved file will still function. If the program happens to crash or freeze right in the middle of saving your file, however, it can corrupt the file by leaving it partially written.
File corruption usually happens when there is an issue during the 'save' process. If your computer crashes the file being saved will likely be corrupted. Another cause might be damaged sections of your hard drive or storage media that might have viruses and malware.Can corrupted files be opened? ›
Sometimes a file can be damaged in such a way that Word, Excel, or PowerPoint can't open it normally. But all is not lost. The Open and Repair command might be able to recover your file.How do I open a corrupt PDF file? ›
If the PDF still doesn't work after updating Acrobat Reader, go to Help > Repair installation. Restore previous version. Another method to repairing a damaged PDF is restoring it to a previous version. Head to the location where the PDF is saved, right click on the file and select Restore previous versions.How do I uncorrupt a file in Windows? ›
Right-click the Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator". Step 2. Type: sfc /scannow and hit "Enter". This command aims to find and repair corrupt Windows system files.How do I recover a corrupted Word document 2022? ›
- In Microsoft Word, click the File option and then click Open.
- In the Open dialog box, select your Word document, then click the arrow on the Open button.
- Then click the Open and Repair option.
These can be found via File, Open and clicking the Recover Unsaved Documents button found at the very bottom of the Recent File List. Open Word and select File, Options. In the Options dialog box select Save from the left hand menu. Note the AutoRecover files location.
How can I open a corrupt Word document online? ›
- Select a text file by clicking the Select file button.
- Enter your email address.
- Click Next.
- Wait for file recovery to be completed.
- Download the recovered Word file.
The files have been corrupted or damaged before recovery. The files have been encrypted due to virus or malware infection. New data has overwritten the files. The storage device has some problems, such as bad sectors, physical damage, etc.What happens if a file system is corrupted? ›
One symptom of a corrupt file system is that the system cannot locate, read, or write data located in the particular file system. To fix a damaged file system, you must diagnose the problem and then repair it.Does formatting a drive fix corruption? ›
Yes, you can fix a corrupted hard drive by formatting it with a new file system. Logical hard drive corruption is often caused by a damaged or corrupted file system. Formatting the partition will correct this.Does corrupted file mean virus? ›
Have you encountered one or more corrupted files on your computer? If so, your computer may be infected with malware. File corruption is a common symptom of a malware infection. Whether it's a virus, trojan, ransomware or any other malware, it may corrupt some of your computer's files.How do you stop a file from corrupting? ›
- Use the same software at all locations. Transferring files between different applications or different versions of an application can damage files. ...
- Back up all files. ...
- Use secure transfer protocols. ...
- Put equipment on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). ...
- Use application file recovery features.
Signs that your MS Word document is corrupt
A computer becomes unresponsive when you open the document. Document formatting and layout keeps on changing. Unreadable characters appearing all over the document. The document cannot load and gives you an 'Unspecified error' message.
In the Start menu search bar, search for command prompt and select Run as administrator. Then, type chkdsk x: /f /r and press Enter. Remember to replace x with your drive letter. Windows will now scan the drive and look for any bad sectors, directory errors, lost clusters, and recover data if necessary.How do I view corrupted files? ›
Right-click CMD.exe and select Run as Administrator. On the User Account Control (UAC) prompt, click Yes. In the command prompt window, type SFC /scannow and press Enter . System file checker utility checks the integrity of Windows system files and repairs them if required.How do I access corrupted files on Windows 10? ›
- Create a bootable disk. Prepare an empty USB. ...
- Boot from the bootable USB. Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. ...
- Recover data from a hard drive that won't boot.
How do I recover a PDF that won't open? ›
- Right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac OS) the link to the PDF file.
- Choose the appropriate save or download option for your browser: ...
- Make sure Adobe Acrobat Document is selected for the file type, and save the file. ...
- Locate the saved PDF, and double-click the file to open it.
Unsupported file type: This is the most common reason you cannot open PDF. Occasionally some files may erroneously have the default application set to Adobe Reader. This problem is usually an inadvertent human error. Outdated Acrobat or Adobe Reader: An outdated Adobe Reader or Acrobat program will throw this error.How do I open a PDF that Cannot be repaired? ›
- Run Adobe PDF Acrobat and click on the Edit menu in the toolbar.
- In the Edit menu, select Preferences.
- Now, under Enhanced Security clear the Enable Enhanced Security option. ...
- Finally, click on OK to finish the process.
- Use the SFC tool.
- Use the DISM tool.
- Run a SFC scan from Safe Mode.
- Perform a SFC scan before Windows 10 starts.
- Replace the files manually.
- Use the System Restore feature.
- Reset corrupted Windows 10.
- Click the Search button on your Windows computer. Type CMD, then right-click command prompt and choose Run as Administrator.
- Type SFC /scannow and hit enter.
- Wait for this process to complete.
Any problems caused by third-party software, system file corruption, system settings changes, or malware should be fixed by resetting your PC. Windows reset will put the software back into the same condition as it was when you started it for the very first time (such as when you purchased the PC).Why can't I open my Word document? ›
There is a chance that the Word file is damaged which is preventing it from opening in its usual way. But the 'Open and Repair' command in Word might be able to repair and recover the Word file. This feature can also Solved – A File Error has occurred in MS Word. Open the Word application and click on the 'File' menu.Why is my Word document not opening? ›
Follow these steps to fix the issue: Open Windows File Explorer, navigate to the folder that contains the file, then right-click the file. Select Open With. Select Microsoft Word from the list of options.Can you retrieve documents from a crashed computer? ›
With data recovery software such as Disk Drill, you can retrieve all lost files and a significant portion of formatted data from your crashed hard drive.Where are temporary Word files stored? ›
The temporary file that is created when Word performs an automatic save is stored in the Temp folder, unless there is not a valid Temp folder. In this case, Word saves the temporary file in the same folder where it saves the document.
How do I convert PDF to Word without corruption? ›
Step 1 Download and install Adobe Acrobat on your computer from the official website of Adobe. Step 2 Open a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat that you want to convert into Word without changing the format. Step 3 From the menu click on File and Export. Step 4 Now choose "Microsoft Word Document" as the text format.How do I open a corrupted Open Office file? ›
Open a blank file in OpenOffice. Go to the "Insert -> File" menu and insert your corrupted file. (For spreadsheet, Calc or ODS documents, instead use the "Insert -> Sheet from File" menu option.) Browse to that location and see if your file is there.How to recover corrupted files using command prompt? ›
- In the Search box, type CMD. Right-click the Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator".
- Type E: /f /r /x, hit the Enter. You can replace E with your drive letter (Where you store your Excel files).
- Start Word in Safe Mode. Loading the application without templates and add-ins allows you to see if the program works as it should or if it is corrupted.
- Disable add-ins. ...
- Repair the document. ...
- Repair Word. ...
- Uninstall and reinstall Word.
Step 1: Open MS Word and click on the "Files" menu. Step 2: Go to the "Open" option and then click on the "Browse" tab. Step 3: Scroll and select the corrupted file you have identified. Step 4: Next, click on the drop-down tab and select the "Open and Repair" option.How do I uncorrupt a file in Windows 10? ›
- Locate the corrupt file or folder.
- Simply right-click it and select Restore previous versions.
- Select the previous version and click Restore.
Open Windows File Explorer, navigate to the folder that contains the file, then right-click the file. Select Open With. Select Microsoft Word from the list of options.Why can't I open a DOCX file with Word? ›
Low disk space on your system. A corrupt DOC or DOCX file is being loaded. You don't have permission to open the document. The file is blocked or protected.How do I reset my Word document format? ›
Select the text that you want to return to its default formatting. In Word: On the Edit menu, click Clear and then select Clear Formatting.How do I clean a virus from a file? ›
- Step 1: Download and install a virus scanner. ...
- Step 2: Disconnect from internet. ...
- Step 3: Reboot your computer into safe mode. ...
- Step 4: Delete any temporary files. ...
- Step 5: Run a virus scan. ...
- Step 6: Delete or quarantine the virus.
How do you fix this file is infected with a virus? ›
Disconnect your computer from the internet. Scan it using anti-malware software. (Optional) Reinstall your operating system and format your drives. Restore lost files from a backup or using data recovery software.Can a virus come in a Word document? ›
A macro virus is a type of computer virus that could be stored in macros within a Microsoft 365 file (such as a document, presentation, workbook, or template), or within any ActiveX control, COM add-in, or Microsoft 365 add-in.