Troubleshooting Tips for Unexpected Error in MS Excel

Sometimes applications do not work as they are supposed to. It is downright maddening. If you are facing an unexpected error in MS Excel then this article is for you. We would provide you with the best solutions and the best recovery tools to recover data from a corrupted Excel file. An unexpected Error in Excel can be caused due to various reasons, some of which are listed below:

  • Virus attack or contaminated system files.
  • Malfunction of software.
  • Using any special characters (#, @, $ etc) in the column names.
  • Corrupted HDD.
  • Multiple versions of MS Office.

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Before explaining the methods, we would discuss an IT expert’s recommended Tool to recover corrupted Excel files. This tool is known as SysInfo Excel File Recovery.

SysInfo Excel File Recovery

SysInfo Excel File Recovery a professional recovery software. It supports corrupt Excel files saved in both formats .xls as well as .xlsx. This tool recovers the maximum data possible.

Why use the Tool?

The tool offers extensive features and filters. Some of these features are listed down below:

  • The recovery is swift and effective.
  • Offers Smart Preview option.
  • Easy GUI.
  • Restores multiple files at the same time.

Working on the Tool

If you face an unexpected error in Excel or the files get corrupted, you can follow these steps to recover the files efficiently and hassle-free. The steps are basic and do not require any prior technical expertise.

    • Install and Run SysInfo Excel File recovery as an administrator on your System.
    • Choose the option, Select Single File, and then click on the Browse button.

Unexpected Error in Excel

    • Now select the desired File and click on Open>>Next.


    • Click on Show Preview to see the preview of the selected Excel file.

Unexpected Error in Excel

  • Left-click on the option Next.
  • Choose the saving location and click on Save.

Finally, your corrupted Excel file will be saved to the desired location.

How To Fix An Unexpected Error in Excel, Manually?

We would now discuss the manual Methods that can fix the error the MS Excel. Some of these methods are time-consuming and require sound technical knowledge.

Method 1: Disable the “Ignore Other Applications That Use DDE” Option

*NOTE: This approach is working for MS Excel 2010 onwards.

    • Open MS Excel and click on File.


    • Now, select Options located in the bottom left corner.


    • In the Pop-up Box select Advanced, and then scroll down to General.


    • Check the Box Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), and click on OK.

Unexpected Error in Excel

This method will solve your issue of unexpected error in Excel, if you are still facing the issue follow the next methods.

Method 2: Save the Excel file in HTML Format

The following steps can solve any corruption-related issues.

    1. Open MS Excel and click on File and then on Save As
    2. Select the location where you want to save, and make sure that in Save as Type the format is selected as Web Page.


  1. Now, open the HTML file in MS Excel.
  2. You must save the file either in .xls or .xlsx format.

By Following these steps an unexpected error in Excel can be solved.

Method 3: Repair Utility Tool

In this method, we will learn about the Open and Run Utility Tool.

    • Launch MS Excel, and click on File>>Open.
    • Then click on Browse, and navigate to the corrupted file.


    • Now, select the file and click on Open and Repair.

Unexpected Error in Excel

  • Click on Repair to recover the data of Excel file.
  • Select Extract Data to extract values and formulas in the Excel file.

Method 4: Remove Special Characters

Excel displays an error message while working on a custom list. The issue generally appears when exporting to SharePoint. This issue can be avoided by not using special characters (! @,$,% etc) while making a custom list. There is a high chance of getting this error message even if you are not using a custom list.

Hence, to get rid of this issue do not use special characters. Simply delete the column and create it again without using special characters.


After implementing these steps, we hope that you are no longer receiving an Unexpected Error in Excel. These Manual methods provide a temporary solution to the problem. Having a backup of your important files is always necessary and a wise thing to do. SysInfo Excel File Recovery allows users to create a backup of their Excel files. It also recovers the maximum possible data from a corrupted file.

About The Author:

I'm a content writer in the field of Email Migration, Data Recovery, Email backup, and File Management. I started this writing career two years back. I think the vast range of information in this industry is the reason I am so fascinated to read about the newer techniques and technology.

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