Identify, recover, and update a corrupted project

Minitab is a very stable program, but projects occasionally become corrupt, especially in older releases of Minitab.

Symptoms of a corrupted project

The following symptoms indicate that a project is probably corrupted:
  • Error messages appear when you try to open the project or update a graph.
  • Items are missing from the project after you save and re-open it.
  • Graphs that seem to be linked to the worksheet are not actually linked.
  • The project does not open.

Recover a corrupted project

If your project is corrupted, you can take the following actions.

Try to retrieve the backup file of your project

When you open a project file, Minitab automatically creates a backup file in the same folder as the original .MPX or .MPJ file. The backup file has a .BAK extension. For example, if the project file is DEFECTS.MPX, then the backup file is DEFECT.MPX.BAK.

  1. Choose File > Open.
  2. From the file types drop-down list, choose All (*.*).
  3. Browse to the folder where the original project file is saved.
  4. Double-click the .BAK file for the project.

Send a copy to Minitab Support so that we can try to recover it

If you think that a project might be corrupted, try to save the project and send a copy of the .MPX or.MPJ file and the .BAK file to Minitab Support might be able to recover some or all of the project's contents.


Before you send any files, please remove any Personal Identifiable Information that is protected or regulated by any law or statute. Personal Identifiable Information includes any information by which individual persons or groups can be identified, such as names, social security numbers, and credit card numbers. Because you will not provide Minitab with any Personal Identifiable Information, you acknowledge and agree that Minitab is not a "business associate" under HIPAA.

Try to recover individual worksheets

If you cannot retrieve a backup copy, you can try to recover individual worksheets.

  1. In a new Minitab project, choose File > Open.
  2. From the files type drop-down, choose Minitab Worksheets (*.mpx, *.mwx, *.mpj, *.mtw).
  3. Select the corrupted project and choose Open.
  4. Select the worksheets that you want to recover, then click OK.

    You can select multiple worksheets by pressing the Ctrl key as you select them.

Update a recovered project

After you recover a corrupted project file, update the software and the project to prevent the project from becoming corrupt again.

  1. In Minitab, choose Help > Check for Updates, and install any available updates.
  2. Open the project and re-create the graphs.

    To quickly recreate a control chart or a graph that was created from the Graph menu, follow these steps:

    1. Double-click the graph active. With the graph in editing mode, choose Copy Command Language from the graph editing toolbar to save the command language for the graph.
    2. Choose View > Command Line/History.
    3. Press Ctrl+V to paste the session commands in the Command Line pane.
    4. Click Run.

  3. Delete the old graphs from the project because they may be corrupting the file.