How to repair Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents on Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office includes hidden tool that can help you repair any compatible damaged documents in no time. Here's how to use it.

Microsoft Office apps pinned on the taskbar

When errors come up trying to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another document format, you can use Office’s built-in tool to repair it. Microsoft Office without a doubt is the most popular suite of productivity apps you can use on your PC, Mac, and even on your smartphone. However, there are so many features bundled in the suite that sometimes some useful features get buried away — and repairing damaged documents is one of them.

While you can repair documents in the latest version of the suite (Office 365 and Office 2016), the ability to repair documents has been around for years, including on Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010, and Office 2013.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to repair Microsoft Office documents when you experience problems, such as: errors opening or saving a document, your computer freezes while opening a document, or the file contains unreadable characters or repeated redoes and page breaks.

How to repair Microsoft Office documents

  1. Open the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or the app for the document you’re trying to repair.

  2. Click File.

  3. Click Open.

  4. Click Browse on the right side.

  5. Browse and select the document (e.g., .docx, .doc, .xlsx, .xls, .pptx. .ppt, etc.) with the problem.

  6. On the right, click the down arrow next to the Open button.

  7. Click Open and repair to fix any issues with your document.

    Open and repair option on Microsoft Office

After clicking the Open and repair button, Microsoft Office will try to repair your documents.

You’ll rarely come across errors when using a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other files, and that’s because Microsoft Office automatically tries to repair documents as they’re being opened. However, it will come the time when you’ll need to repair a file manually.

Are you still not using Microsoft Office or you’re stuck with an old version? Get the latest version of suite with an affordable Office 365 subscription.

Did the tool repaired your damaged Office document? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].