How to Sanitize Excel Data XLSX, XLSM, XLS, XLT, and XLA Files?

Rollins Duke   
Published: May 10th, 2024 • 6 Min Read

Nowadays Microsoft Excel is used by several working professionals, marketers, data analysts, engineers, accountants, managers, teachers, students, etc. But still, major Excel users don’t seem aware to sanitize Excel Spreadsheet files.

If you are getting MS Excel files through the internet then this is advisable to sanitize Excel files before use. Even, you should clean Excel file cache before sending it to others via email. Excel inspection is considered a good habit because it helps to prevent malware / virus / attacks.

You are here because you want to sanitize Excel files before sharing and using them. Don’t worry! Here we are just discussing the best free and professional methods to clean Excel data without wasting time. Let’s know!

#1 Method – Free Sanitize Excel Spreadsheet Files Using Excel Document Inspector

Excel Document Inspector is a freeware embedded program of MS Office. That allows to sanitize Excel files with some limitations. However, you can use this technique to clean Excel files one by once.

  1. Open MS Excel Sheet for sanitization and choose File << Info option to continue.
    Choose file info option
  2. After that, choose the Check for Issues option to continue.
    check for issues
  3. Under the dropdown menu select Inspect Document option as shown in the screenshot.
    inspect excel file
  4. Excel Inspector shows a warning before you use it i.e., Make sure you save your changes because the Excel Document Inspector might remove data that can’t be restored later. Do you want to save your file now? Press the Yes button for confirmation.
    before use excel document inspector
  5. Thereafter, choose what you want to inspect Excel file for errors. Check required fields from Comments, Document Properties and Personal Information, Data Model, Content Add-ins, Task Pane Add-ins, PivotTables, PivotCharts, Cube Formulas, Slicers, Timelines, Embedded Documents, Macros, Forms, ActiveX Controls, Links to Other Files, Realtime Data Functions, Excel Surveys, Defined Scenarios, Active Filters, Custom Worksheet Properties, Hidden Names, Long External References, Custom XML Data, Headers and Footers, Hidden Rows and Columns, Hidden Worksheet, and Invisible Content.
    excel inspection
  6. After choosing the required items for sanitization. Press Inspect button to inspect Excel file for errors.
    inspect excel file for errors
  7. Thereafter, you can see searched properties under Excel Spreadsheet. Press the Remove All button for all found Excel properties.
    sanitize excel file
  8. Now you can see Excel Spreadsheet properties and personal information were successfully removed.
    sanitize excel spreadsheet
  9. Here you can see Excel Document Inspector is unable to clean some Excel data.
    excel sanitize data

Using above mentioned steps users can easily sanitize Excel Spreadsheet files i.e., *.xls, *.xlsm, *.xls, *.xlt, and *.xla. However, this freeware method comes with some limitations. Let’s take a look at them.

Limitations of Excel Document Inspector

  • Freeware Excel Inspector allows to sanitize one Excel file at a time. Thus, for example, if you want to sanitize 20 Excel files then you will need to repeat all the above-mentioned steps 20 times. Hence, this is a time-consuming and lengthy process for the Excel file cleaning process.
  • Experts don’t recommend to open suspect Excel files before sanitization. While there is no option available to use this Excel Inspection Tool without opening Excel files. Hence, the chances of virus and malware attacks are increased.
  • Sometimes Excel Inspection Tool may fail to clean some Excel file properties. Thus, this is not considered a guaranteed solution. Even it does not provide a guarantee of data loss. It clearly mentions a note as Some changes cannot be undone.

#2 Method – Clean Excel Files in Batch Using Excel Sanitization Tool

Document Sanitization Tool by BitRecover is one of the best solutions to sanitize Excel Spreadsheet files in bulk. The Tool is specially designed by following all expert guidelines. Hence this is capable to sanitize Excel files without opening them. Grab this Excel Sanitization Tool to clean Excel cache files to avoid malware attacks.

Download for Windows

Know How to Sanitize Excel Data – Read Steps

  1. Start Excel Sanitization Tool on your computer and click on Select Files or Select Folders. Thereafter, choose a folder having unlimited MS Excel files for sanitization.
    excel sanitization tool
  2. Thereafter, you can see Excel Spreadsheet files in the software GUI. The tool also shows information about whether Excel files have automation scripts or not that may be a cause of virus / ransomware attacks.
    see vba projects information
  3. Choose specific required or all Excel Spreadsheet files for the sanitization process.
    select required files
  4. After that, select what you want to clean from Excel Sheet files i.e. All Automation Programming Scripts or Password Scripts.
    clean excel file
  5. Press Save Document and choose a choice destination folder to store sanitized Excel files.
    browse destination folder
  6. See the popup message of completion as Excel files were sanitized successfully. Click on Ok to confirm.
    completed successfully
  7. Lastly, this Excel format cleaner tool automatically opens the destination folder. Now get sanitized Excel files.
    sanitized Excel files

Benefits of Excel Sanitization Tool

  • This Excel Cleaner Tool is capable to sanitize Excel files stored in XLSX, XLSM, XLS, XLT, and XLA extensions without any error message.
  • Users can sanitize Excel Spreadsheet files in bulk without having size and quantity-related limitations.
  • Clients can save crucial automation coding scripts into simple text files before sanitizing Excel files for reusing scripts.
  • Grab this easy-to-use software to clean Excel cache files created with Excel 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, etc.
  • Users can upload a whole folder having unlimited Excel Spreadsheet files. Then check or uncheck the required Excel files for sanitization.
  • The tool gives the facility to inspect Excel files as files have automation scripts or not before cleaning Excel files.

Why Need for Excel Sanitization?

  • Sometimes users may receive Excel Sheets having automation programming scripts. These scripts may be harmful to your computer, hence professional users don’t want to take any risk while using MS Excel.
  • Hackers may target you for malware and ransomware attacks. They can send an Excel file through email or messaging applications for cyber-attacks.
  • Sometimes you may receive Excel files from a trustworthy person. Unknowingly, these files may have some harmful scripts. Hence, this is advisable to sanitize Excel Spreadsheet.
  • Many working professionals download sample Excel files for creating new Excel files with same structure. Professional users prefer to sanitize Excel Spreadsheets before editing downloaded files.

Get Answers to Your Questions

Q 1: How to sanitize Excel data free of cost?

A: Use Excel Document Inspector to sanitize Excel Spreadsheets 100% free of cost as we have mentioned in technique #1.

Q 2: Can I install your Excel sanitization tool on Windows 11 laptop?

A: Yes, Excel sanitization tool supports all latest as well as old Windows editions including Windows 11.

Q 3: Does your software permit to sanitize 500+ Excel files at once?

A: Yes, you can sanitize unlimited Excel Spreadsheet files at once without error or warning.

Expert Suggestion

We have discussed both best techniques to sanitize Excel Spreadsheet files. If you are home user and want to clean Excel files free of cost then go with manual technique. But manual method has some limitations that we have mentioned above. If you want to sanitize Excel files in bulk then proudly use Excel sanitization tool.