How to Fix Issues with Excel File Save

Sometimes users face problem in saving Microsoft Excel files. Excel shows different type of error messages while saving the file such as “Errors were detected while saving C:/Users/Filename.xlsx”, “an error message indicating the document was not saved or that someone else is using the file and can’t be saved”. You may face these types of issue while saving Microsoft Excel files if one or more of the following conditions are true.

  • You have limited permissions to a network drive and you are trying to save an Excel file there.
  • You do not have sufficient drive space and trying to save an Excel file to that location.
  • While saving the Excel file, you have lost the connection to the file.
  • Antivirus software program arise conflicts with the Excel file save.
  • You are trying to save a shared Excel file.
  • The path length for the Excel file exceeded than 218-characters.
  • Excel file is damaged or some data in the file is corrupt.
Here are some methods to troubleshoot Excel saving problem. I would recommend that follow these steps in the order that they appear until your problem is fixed.

Step1: Save the Excel file to another Location
Try to save the current Excel file to another location like local hard disk drive, floppy drive, or to a network drive. If you can save the Excel file without any issue, then the following scenario may be the cause of your problem.

  • Restricted permission to the Folder - There is possibility that you do not have all permission to the folder where you are saving the Excel file. You must have read, write, modify and delete permissions to the folder where you are saving the Excel file. In a case, if you do not have these permissions, then you can not save Excel file in that folder.
  • Conflict with the Antivirus Software - Sometimes antivirus software disrupt the Excel save process when antivirus is running or it is scanning any files.
  • Conflict with File Sharing - This error may appear when you are working on a shared Excel file and you and other user are trying to save that file at same time. For your information, I would like to tell you that Excel can not save the file, when another instance of Excel is saving the same file.
  • Issue with File Name Length - You may receive this error message, when you try to save an Excel file that has path length more than 218 characters. The total length of both the path and the file name, including file name extension, do not exceed to 218 characters.
  • Issue with Network Connection - This issue may also occur when you save an Excel file from a network location and the connection to the drive is lost. It happens because some parts of the Excel file such as Pivot Table Caches, VBA, and the ActiveX objects may not be downloaded to the local computer at the time that you open the file.

Step2: Save a new Excel file to the Original location
Follow these steps to save new Excel file to the original location and check the issue.
  • Create a new Excel file.
  • Go on File menu and click Save As.
  • In the Save As dialog box, do following
  1. In the Save in box, go to the location where original file is saved.
  2. In the File name box, give a new name for new Excel file.
  3. Now click on Save.
If you can save new Excel file to the original location, then File name length or File sharing conflict is the possible reason for the issue.

If you can not save new Excel file to the original location, then Insufficient drive space is the possible reason for the issue.

Step3: Save the Excel file in Microsoft Windows Safe Mode
In most of the cases, the methods provided in steps 1 and 2 easily resolve this issue. If your problem is still not resolved, then try to save the Excel file in Microsoft Windows safe mode.

Here are the steps to use Safe Boot option in Windows:
  • Just keep pressing F8 key when you restart computer.
  • When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select an option and then press ENTER.
  • When the Boot menu appears again, select Safe Mode option and then press ENTER.
If you are able to save the Excel file in Windows Safe Mode, then try to re-save the file again in normal Windows mode.

If you are not able to save the Excel file in Windows Safe Mode or you have same issue again when you save in normal Windows mode, then the following are possible reasons for the issue:
  • Third-party add-in
  • Antivirus software conflict
  • Restricted permissions
  • File name length

Third-party Add-in - Sometimes, Excel save issue occurs because of third party add-ins. Third party software vendors install custom add-ins to work with Excel. To verify that a third-party add-in is causing an Excel save issue, start Excel in safe mode.

Follow these steps to start Excel in safe mode:
  • First quit Excel.
  • Now click on Start and browse to Microsoft Excel through Programs.
  • Hold down Ctrl key while you start Excel, until you receive a message to start Excel in safe mode.
  • When you get the message to start Excel in safe mode, click Yes.
  • Now try to save a new Excel file, and then re-save the same Excel file again.
If you can save the file correctly, then the third-party add-in is the main cause of your problem. Try to find out that add-in and remove it and check the issue again.


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