Excel File Remediation Tool

Many companies have been using spreadsheets for decades. Sometimes spreadsheet models may go back as much as 20 years, when the first steps were taken to build them, sometimes using Lotus 123 or other spreadsheet applications.

More often than not, these (often business critical) models have been extended considerably over the years:

  • Sheets have been inserted, or copied over from other workbooks
  • Formatting has been changed hundreds of times to thousands of cells
  • Defined names (named ranges) have been inserted. Knowingly or inadvertently (e.g. by copying worksheets)
  • Corrupt defined names have remained from merge from other spreadsheet file formats to Excel
  • User defined functions in VBA
  • .........

My customer (who had already been in contact with Microsoft premium support about these issues without getting resolutions) asked me whether it would be possible to build a wizard-like tool to salvage this kind of files. Even better: to remove possible corruptions entirely, without damaging the integrity of the spreadsheet model, without removing formatting and also making sure any VBA code is retained.


Buy The Excel File Remediation Tool now!

A single user license costs € 80 (about $ 90) excluding VAT.


Use the link below to download the tool. Please read this article if the tool does not appear to work: Excel add-ins fail to load

Download The Excel File Remediation Utility (Free demo!!!) V2.0 (Build 139, Updated April 2, 2024, downloaded: 5.181 times)

The tool will work without a license code but with (only slightly) limited functionality. After purchasing a license, you can simply enter the license code into the tool's settings dialog. The limitations will be removed instantly.

Money back guarantee

If you are in any way dissatisfied with The Excel File Remediation Utility , contact me within 30 days after your purchase and I'll issue a refund.

User interface

The menu of the tool is shown below.

Menu of remediation tool, Support version

These screenshots show the steps of the wizard.

First Step: file selection.

First Step: file selection (Support).

 Next step: what actions must be performed:

Next step: what actions must be performed (Support):

Last step: What statistics must be gathered:

Last step: What statistics must be gathered (Support):

Buy The Excel File Remediation Tool now!

Since remediation may be a lengthy process, the tools shows its progress. Note that the progress indicator has a stop button, with which the process may be exited.

Remediation progress (Support)

My customer has repeatedly confirmed this tool has proven to be an invaluable time-saver, which has enabled them to salvage business critical files, they otherwise had to consider as being lost.

Buy The Excel File Remediation Tool now!



All comments about this page:

Comment by: Andrew (3-12-2009 09:04:05) deeplink to this comment

I'm very interested in your remediation tool. I am currently using fastexcel to clean rubbish out of the sheets but it is very time consuming, the automated features of your remediation tool look interesting. In fastexcel I use the clean workbook feature and the name manager on idividual files, can you improve on this?
I also use another piece of software that checks for VBA issues between the old version (2002) we were using and 2007, I'm not very happy with this so will be interested if you have anything to help there as well.
I need a safe utility which can ideally work on bulk files as I am fixing files for a few hundred people during the migration.
The name manager is a great tool but I'm having a problem when there are too many names, if I have a sheet with 1400 names then it locks up even though it works fine when I delete 3/4 first. Is there a clever way to use it to cope with the problem?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-12-2009 10:35:51) deeplink to this comment

Hi Andrew,

Your email bounced, could you please get in touch using the email link below?

Comment by: Joseph (8-12-2009 17:01:00) deeplink to this comment

How do I purchase the Excel File Remediation Tool? I don't see a BUY button.

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9-12-2009 01:48:33) deeplink to this comment

Hi Joseph,

There is no buy button (yet). I've sent you an email.

Comment by: Sherwin Chase (9-4-2010 05:51:03) deeplink to this comment

I use and appreciate the functionality of your NameManager and the licensed version of RefTreeAnalyzer products. I am interested in getting more information on pricing and availability of your Excel File Remediation tool. Is it likely that the release of Office 2010 will have a significant effect on the functionality of the tool?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9-4-2010 06:07:47) deeplink to this comment

Hi Sherwin,

I expect it will work just fine in Excel 2010.
The tool comes in two versions:

- A limited functionality version, which I call the "User" version.

- A fully functional version, which I call the "Support" version.

Send me an email using the address at the bottom of this page if you want more information.

Comment by: Luoyong (17-4-2010 11:27:36) deeplink to this comment

Dear Jan:
after a long time work with my VBA project, I save the file and shut down my computer. when I turn it on and begin to continue work with My VBA project. I can't open the file normally, the excel told information" lost Visual Basic project", then the auto-recover function works automatically, but all the VBA code was disappear.
could you give one hand! how can I find my lost VBA Project.
thank you!

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (17-4-2010 11:42:11) deeplink to this comment


Depends on the file format you used.Is it an xlsm file?

Comment by: Tom Huntford (17-12-2010 14:12:07) deeplink to this comment

This may be just what I need. I have a business-critical Excel 2010 file that is getting slower and slower, even though the size stays at 5 meg. I tried saving it back to xls format, thinking maybe the complex conditional formatting ranges in 2010 were the culprit. I got a list of stuff in the "Significant loss of functionality" screen. One of the items is "formulas in this workbook are linked to other workbooks that are closed" - Location: "Defined Names". I had already removed all links and connections visible through the Data menu, so this was surprising. I looked through all named ranges and there are no cells with formulas referring to remote files. A colleague tried to open the file on a computer not connected to the network and it wouldn't open. We think there may be some kind of named range that we cannot find by normal means. Does this sound like something your product can help with?

Tom Huntford
MRP Administrator
Freeman Marine Equipment Inc.

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (19-12-2010 12:14:42) deeplink to this comment

Hi Tom,

Maybe downloading my Name manager helps you find the problem link?


Comment by: Chad (27-2-2011 11:40:50) deeplink to this comment

I have a workbook that somehow ended up with 6,900 defined names. I use about 40 of them. I tried name manager to delete external, error and hidden names but it has been thinking for the last 30 mins. Will remediation manager be a better tool for me?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-2-2011 23:35:54) deeplink to this comment

Hi Chad,

Not necessarily. I would first try to delete the names step-by-step: first try to remove the error names, then the hidden ones. Make sure you do not remove Excel system manes, those are often hidden.
Then -finally- try removing the external names.

Comment by: Bobby Speake (11-8-2011 14:26:23) deeplink to this comment

Where do I get Excel File Remediation Tool, I may be not seeing it but I need it

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-8-2011 02:18:31) deeplink to this comment

Hi Bobby,

Send me an email using the address at the bottom of this page.

Comment by: Jaden Glaukos (8-9-2011 01:01:12) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jan,

First need to say thank you! For years I have enjoyed using the always
improving versions of Name Manager. I am fairly sure that at least
more than once keeping my job, or at least my self-respect, that Name
Manager made it possible to sift through issues in a name/formula
birds nest someone created...

Lately, I have been having issues brought to me (and that I have caused
myself) that are exactly like described above. Somehow the amount
of names, sheets and formats placed on a workbook over a period of
time corrupts them. I have looked for a solution for a while now and
it sounds like you recently developed one.

Are you going to retail this product, or have you already and somehow
I missed the link in the article?

All the best and cheers,

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-9-2011 01:02:06) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jaden,

Yes, I do offer the product for purchase.
Let me know if you are interested by sending an email to the email address shown at the bottom of this page.


Jan Karel Pieterse

Comment by: Orlando Calderon (8-3-2012 12:00:59) deeplink to this comment

where do I download Excel File Remediation Tool. I have a critical Excel workbook that every so often crashes.
Thanks for the GREAT tools

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9-3-2012 05:47:39) deeplink to this comment

HI Orlando,

The tool cannot be downloaded. However, you can send your file to me and I'll run it through the tool so you can check whether it helps.

Comment by: Alister (8-7-2013 10:46:46) deeplink to this comment

Hi .. I have a file that gets the following error when saved in Excel 1997-2003. However I have deleted all defined names and their appears to be no external links. Have you come across this problem and how to remove the error from the file. I can send file if required.

"Some formulas in this workbook are linked to other workbooks that are closed. When these formulas are recalculated in earlier versions of Excel without opening the linked workbooks, characters beyond the 255-character limit cannot be returned. Defined Name"

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-7-2013 16:12:55) deeplink to this comment

Hi Alister,

Download my free name manager from www.jkp-ads.com/officemarketplacenm-en.asp and use it to filter for names with external references. That way you'll be able to locate which are causing havoc.

Comment by: Alister (8-7-2013 17:40:18) deeplink to this comment

Your 'Name Manager' add-on worked fantastically. It found a hidden Defined Name that I could not delete because Excel 2007 would not show it in the list. Using 'Name Manager' I was then able to delete the name and thus solved the problem. Many thanks for such a useful and powerful program.

Comment by: Paul D Pruitt (31-7-2013 21:51:45) deeplink to this comment

Jan, as I reported in my E-mail, my open source tool, S2 Recovery Tools for Microsoft Excel, has been updated moving from version 3 to 4 with new features. Maybe your customers will find it useful:

* http://sourceforge.net/projects/corruptexcelrec/,

Also there is another free tool they might try:

* http://sergeig888.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/net4-0-version-of-the-xlstylestool-is-now-available - the desktop versions. There is also a WIndows 8 app version.

Comment by: Thomas (10-11-2016 12:15:50) deeplink to this comment


Your tool is great, I now work from an MacBook with OSx and can't install the remediation tool.

Do you have a Mac version available?



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (14-11-2016 09:13:50) deeplink to this comment

Hi Thomas,

I'm afraid this is a Windows-only tool, sorry!

Comment by: Wade Kathage (3-2-2018 05:11:45) deeplink to this comment

Is this tool compatible with Windows 10 and Excel 2016?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4-2-2018 12:14:22) deeplink to this comment

Hi Wade,

Yes it is!

Comment by: Joachim Koenen (26-2-2018 08:31:30) deeplink to this comment

Dear Jan,
I tried to use the ExcelFileRemediationToolset.xlam tool and loaded it into my excel 2016, but nothing appeared. I havn't even found the menu of the tool. The Namemanager is working fine, thanks.
Best regards

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (26-2-2018 10:14:03) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jo,

Perhaps the add-in file is blocked by windows. Check out this article on how to unblock:

Comment by: Joachim Koenen (26-2-2018 15:15:47) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jan,
that it was. Now it's working.

Comment by: Alan (7-8-2018 17:05:35) deeplink to this comment

Have you seen an issue on an Excel file where Freeze Panes are set but you can not unfreeze? It acts like the file is protected but it is not. I ran into this recently and was really stuck. It was not about getting the data out, we just wanted to fix the sheet.

It was very similar to this where they reference the freeze pane issue at the bottom.


I was wondering if your tool would have solved this issue.

Comment by: Alan Jones (7-8-2018 17:13:06) deeplink to this comment

Not sure if my first comment went though regarding freeze panes, but was also wondering will this tool clear all Pivot Table caches?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-8-2018 21:11:31) deeplink to this comment

Hi Alan,

No, it does not do that I'm afraid. Good suggestion though.

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8-8-2018 21:14:16) deeplink to this comment

Hi Alan,

I doubt if it would have, but if you like you can send a sample file exhibiting the problem to me?

Comment by: Alan (9-8-2018 16:55:07) deeplink to this comment

I will email you a cleaned up copy of the sheet in question. We have worked around it but want to fix/prevent in the future.

Might be a good feature to add in the future cleaning Pivot Table cache.

Comment by: Don Miller (17-9-2018 21:16:40) deeplink to this comment

loaded your demo xla, shows to be an add-in, and I tried your demo, now your tool bar will not even show. This is a link to a summary on my file symptoms. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_excel-mso_windows8-mso_2013_release/any-known-issues-with-office-2013-excel-macro/11781434-9ba4-4891-aa42-11356f1fc802

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-9-2018 10:16:32) deeplink to this comment

Hi Don,

Can you try just opening the xlam? Excel 2013 and 2016 are a bit problematic when installing add-ins, especially if there are other instances open or if Excel has experienced a crash. The add-in is then listed as installed, but in reality never opens. Also, did you unblock the add-in file?

Comment by: Alan (30-7-2019 20:04:00) deeplink to this comment

Here is an interesting case to consider for a future addition.

Options to strip out all or specific nonprintable characters.

I had a case where an Excel file gets updated regularly and we were gong to convert the current version to PDF (File -> Export -> PDF -> Create PDF). The export process failed with the error "Document not saved. The document may be open , or an error may have been encountered when saving."

After a long time digging it turned out there was a tab charter (dec 09/hex 09) at the end of the text string. Removing tabs that allowed PDF export.

You can also reproduce this by putting something like
="3" & CHAR(9)
in a cell then trying an export

Would be nice if the Remediation Tool looked for and removed all or some nonprintable characters.

Also would love to see it clear the Pivot Table Cache (did not see that in the list of options)

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7-8-2019 09:57:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Alan,

Thank you!

Comment by: Kim (2-2-2020 00:36:00) deeplink to this comment

How does this Excel repair tool compare to others out there? I know the answer may be a little bias to this product. However would love to hear your thoughts on differences.

I have been considering this tool, The Stellar Info Excel Repair Tool and the Wonder Share one. I know there are several other ones out there also. Have you looked at the other tools? Love to hear when do you think your tool is the right one vs another product or is your just always better?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4-2-2020 11:26:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Kim,

Stellar is mainly aimed at Excel files which are too corrupt to open.
I don't know the other tool you refer to I'm afraid.

My tool is aimed at removing specific problematic content from files which Excel is still able to open but which behave odd. My tool is very capable of weeding out problem range names and resetting the used ranges on the worksheets.

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