AAARGHH!!!! There is nothing as frustrating as receiving that “Excel cannot open the file…. file has been corrupted.” message. This happens to me occasionally, especially on those files that I edit often, across different devices and when the files have lots of formatting and formulas in. It’s nice that #OneDrive and #SharePoint keeps versions of the files, but if you can’t open the file, it’s an issue. Let’s see how we can work around this to save that file.


Let’s first create some awareness. I have way to many awesome men in my life that I want to be around when I grow old.

More about Movember:


Sign up to raise funds and awareness for all the dads, brothers, sons and friends in your life. Together we can make a difference for men’s health – in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Click here to learn more or register (ZA link, should reroute to your region).

File versions:

OneDrive and SharePoint Online has till recently kept 500 versions of your files (will change soon to 100, read more here). This means that every edit you make, can be “rolled back”.

Here’s an example of an error message I received today, which inspired this post of course:

No matter what I did, I couldn’t open that file from any of my devices.

There are different ways to get to the versions, when the file is not corrupt yet, it’s as easy as opening it, and going to the drop-down at the top of the document. Here you can select to view previous versions and then save and older copy as the new copy:

When you simply cannot open the document, best is to go to the web. For OneDrive Files, go to, open OneDrive and locate the file. For libraries synced from Teams, go to the Team, click on any of the Files Tabs, click on open in SharePoint and locate the document in the document library. (You can also go to, go to SharePoint, locate the site, go to the library, locate the document.)

Below you’ll see I’ve “found” my document, however even when I open it from the web, it still gives the corrupt message. Click on the ellipses next to the document and go to Version History:

Find an older version of the document that you think still worked and open it by clicking on the hyperlinked modified date. You can now save it as the new version. I have however learnt with Excel to rather copy and paste the content into a new Excel Workbook, then save this as the new document. You might lose the last changes, but at least you haven’t lost everything.

Voila 🙂

Image credits:  I found this banner image on Gratisography: Moustache & Eyebrows Free Photo —By Ryan McGuire

I’ll be speaking at The European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference in Copenhagen, 26 – 29th of November. #ESPC18 @EuropeanSP Also honored to be a community reporter at the event. Hoping to see you there!

“You can also find me contributing to REgarding 365. I’m a member of a group of enthusiasts, sharing their stories, thoughts and opinions about Microsoft 365. Catch us at | @regarding365 on Twitter and regarding365 on YouTube

Disclaimer:  I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines.

New Initiative:

Every couple of months I’m going to travel to a new country, rent a motorcycle, and travel to as many communities as possible, for 15.2 days. Purpose would be to create awareness around Digital Literacy and give users an overview of Office 365 Apps and Services and how it can transform their lives. I’ll do video and written blogs to capture and share my journey and experiences.

Feedback would be crucial, and I’ll be using Microsoft Forms & Flow to gather valuable feedback for myself and Microsoft. I will be inviting other community members to join me on my journey when I’m in their respective areas.

Of course it wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship to help support this cause. Reach out if you’re interested on getting involved in any way, here’s a link to a Microsoft Form that can be completed: