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Richard, Software Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 30133
Experience:  Over 15 year experience resolving Microsoft Office Issues
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I was working in an Excel file on Friday. Closed the file.

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I was working in an Excel file on Friday. Closed the file. Went back in an hour later and I am now getting "Excel cannot open the file because the file format or extension may be invalid. Verify that the file has not been corrupted and that the file extension matches the format of the file". When I go to the file location, it shows the size of the file as 0KB.

I am afraid that I have lost the entire file. Any suggestions?
Hello and welcome to Just Answer. I understand that you are receiving an error in Excel that might indicate your original Excel file has been corrupted. Could you tell me what version Excel you are using?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You have a couple of options, assuming the file is not actually corrupted:

If the AutoRecover option is turned on, you can automatically save versions of your file while you’re working on it. How you recover something depends on when you saved it.

If you’ve saved the file
Open the file you were working on.
Click File > Info.
Under Versions, click the file labeled (when I closed without saving).

In the yellow bar at the top of the file, click Restore to overwrite any previously saved versions.

If you haven’t saved the file
Click File > Info > Manage Versions > Recover Unsaved Workbooks in Excel.

Select the file, and then click Open.

In the yellow bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save the file.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Thank you for your question, my name is Richard.

A file of 0KB means there is no data in the file at all, so this file you will not be able to use.

Click Start, type in


Press enter.

Check there in the new window for any files that have a file name resembling the one you were working on.

Tell me if you see any please.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am in Windows XP. When I click start, there is not a text box to type into. Do you want me to type this into the Run dialog box?


Yes please, for Windows XP, use Start, Run

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Unfortunately, no - I do not see anything resembling the file in this area.

ok, I want to make sure 100% the file is corrupted or empty.

To do this, I need to look at the file. Can you upload it by doing my instructions below please.

- Click the following link:
- Upload the file to that website
- Once it is uploaded, the resulting page will display a "File ID" number.
- Please, give me that "File ID Number"

Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Done. File number(NNN) NNN-NNNN Just as an FYI, the file closed properly from what I remembered (it was an orderly close, not a system crash or lockup) - and then when I went back to open the file I received the error.

Are you sure thats the right number?

I get a file not found with it, and it looks 1 digit to long.

Can you upload and check please.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry. Try 242014

That worked.

But the file is completely empty, there is not even one character in it.

Not even data to tell about the file (which is why you get the error).

Your not going to be able to recover the file. The computer did not write any data to it, which can mean an issue with the data on your hard drive.

Whilst I cannot get the file back for you (this is not possible) I can tell you what you need to do to avoid this re-occuring in the future.

I would like you to do the below steps please, to remove any corruption both in the reigstry and on the hard drive, that can cause this problem.

Download CC Cleaner (free) from here

CC Cleaner

(Click Download Latest Version on the top right)

Run it and let it scan and repair your registry.

Once done, restart the computer


Click Start, Run, type in CMD and press enter

A black window will open.

Type in it

chkdsk /r

Press enter.

It will give a message "the type of the file system is NTFS cannot lock current drive.
chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts y/n" Say Y, press enter and restart the computer.

Once it has completed, your computer is then clear of any corruption, which will allow you to avoid this problem.

If you would like any additional information or assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.

And if you can take a second to rate my service, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Richard, Software Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 30133
Experience: Over 15 year experience resolving Microsoft Office Issues
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