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  • Fix all Excel file issues like blank Excel, Excel not opening, unreadable Excel, Excel running slow, etc.
  • Repair corrupted Excel files with a very high success rate in 3 simple steps.
  • Support Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Office 365.
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Unable to Save Workbook in Microsoft Excel – Solve Excel Error Here

Microsoft Excel is a prominent spreadsheet program available on many operating systems. This powerful tool provides a pivot tool, graphics, calculations, and many other features for performing tasks. However, like all other software, MS Excel is also prone to errors. It usually causes troubles at most unexpected times. One such common Excel error is “unable to save files”, resulting in data loss. 

Got stuck in this situation and are wondering about how to get rid of the same? Keep scrolling the page and find some practical ways to troubleshoot this error in no time. The guide also features some possible reasons that might trigger the error and essential tips to avoid the same in the future. 

Part 1: Troubleshoot why Excel doesn't save changes? 

  • Save by using a new file name

The first and easiest way to troubleshoot this Excel Error is to save the file with a new name. Sometimes, the error arises when you already have a file saved in your folder with a name similar to the one you are giving to your recent file. 

Follow the steps to resolve the error.

1. Go to the File option and tap on the “Save As” button. 

tap save as button

2. Rename your file and click to save the Excel workbook. 

  • Move the original worksheets to a new workbook

The second-best method to get rid of the trouble is to move the original worksheets to a new workbook. Here are steps to carry out this process. 

1. Firstly, press Shift +F11 to add a filler worksheet to your workbook. Then, group all the worksheets except the filler.

2. Select the first sheet, hold the Shift Key, and select the last sheet.  After that, right-select the grouped sheets and click “Move” or “Copy”. 

tap save as button

3. Select (New Book) in the to Book list. 

select new book

4. Tap Ok, and you are done, 

  • Save the file as a different Excel file type

Still unable to save workbook in Microsoft Excel? Fret not, and try saving the file as a different Excel file type. Learn about the step-by-step guide here.

1. Open the File Menu and click on the Save As button.

open save as tab

2. Choose a file format other than the current file format in the Save As type list

3. If you are using MS Excel 2007 or the later version, save the file as .xlxs or .xlsm extension instead of .xls. 

  • To change the default save location

Sometimes, Excel won’t save your worksheet due to an insufficient amount of space in your disk, or if your file name exceeds the maximum character limit, or due to antivirus conflict with the excel file. In such a case, it is suggested to save the file to another location, such as a local hard disk, a removable drive, or a network drive. 

  • Save the workbooks in safe mode

Yet another possible way to get rid of this Excel Error is to save your workbooks in safe mode. For this, you need to restart Windows in Safe Mode and then try to save the Worksheet to your local hard disk. 

  • Modify Registry Entries

If users are unable to access the workbooks stored on the shared drive, try modifying Registry entries might solve the trouble. Follow the steps below to carry out the process. 

1. Type “regedit” in the Start Search Box and press Enter to go to “Registry Entry.”

type regedit

2. After that, you will be prompted for the administrator password or for confirmation. Enter the password, and click “Continue.”

3. Now, locate the following registry subkey and right-click the same. 


locate the registry subkey
click on the new key

4. Take your cursor to New and tap on “Key.”

5. Now, enter the file parameters in the available box. 

select file parameters

6. Right-click the parameters, point the cursor to New and tap “DWORD (32-bit)Value. 

tap dword 32bit value

7. Enter “FormatDatabase” and click Enter. Right-click FormatDatabase and select “Modify”. 

select modify

8. In the Value data box, type “1” and click Ok.

type 1 in value data box

9. Exit “Registry Editor” and restart the system to verify if the files can be saved now. 

  • Try Google Uploads

Unable to save workbook in Microsoft Excel? Don’t freak out and try uploading the document on Google Drive to save it. The best thing about using this method is that you can access the workbook from anywhere and at any time. All you need is a device and a strong internet connection. Also, you can use the Google sheets export feature to download the file in Excel format. 

  • Resolve manually with Open and Repair

This excel error sometimes arises when the file gets corrupted during working. In such cases, you can resolve the trouble by using a manual open and repair tool. Follow the steps to recover your workbook.

  • Click File > Open.

  • Go to the location or folder that contains the corrupted workbook.

  • Select the corrupted file in the Open dialog box.

  • Tap the arrow next to the “Open” button and select the “Open and Repair” option. 

select the open and repair option
  • Click Repair to recover as much as the file as possible. 

click repair or extract data
  • To use AutoRecover Function of excel

The Auto-Recover functions of Excel saves copies of all Excel files that can be recovered if MS Excel closes unexpectedly. 

Follow the steps to configure auto-recover settings in Excel.

  • Go to the Save Workbooks tab and select “Save Auto-Recover info every checkbox” to turn on the Auto-Recover feature.

  • Type any integer from 1 through 120 in the minutes' box. This box sets the number of minutes that occur between saves and the default value is 10 minutes. 

  • Enter the path in the Auto-Recover file location box and the folder name of the location in which you want the Auto-Recover files to stay. The default location is drive:\Documents and Settings* user_name*\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel. 

Part 2: Fix Corrupted Excel Files with File Repair Tool

If you have tried everything but still the error persists, it’s time to change the approach and try some third-party app to deal with the trouble. Wondershare Repairit is a powerful tool that can easily repair corrupted excel files in easy steps. This software comes with a simple user interface so that everyone can quickly use it without going through plenty of learning tutorials. 

Wondershare Repairit

1,010,994 people have downloaded it.

  • Repair damaged files with all levels of corruption, including files don't save changes, blank files, files not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, garbled files, files layout changed, etc.

  • Repair damaged or corrupted PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, support all file formats and versions.

  • Repair damaged or corrupted files caused by any reason, such as system crash, file format change, virus attack, etc.

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • Compatible with Windows PC, Mac OS, and supports PC to mobile transferring/sharing.

The step-by-step guide to using the tool is mentioned below. 

Step 1: Upload the corrupted file

  • Launch the Wondershare Repairit tool and go to the File Repair feature from the left dashboard "More Types Repair".

  • Click on the Add button to add the corrupted excel file. 

add file to the wondershare repairit

Step 2: Initiate the file repairing process

  • As soon as the workbook gets uploaded on the tool, the details will be displayed on the screen such as the file size and location.

  • Tap on the Repair button to initiate the process. 

select repair
  • The tool might take a few minutes to repair the damaged excel file and you can check the progress of the repairing process on the screen. 

Step 3: Preview and save the results

  • Once the repairing process is completed, an on-screen prompt is generated to notify about the same. Click on the “Preview” button to check the repaired file before saving it. 

  • If you are satisfied with the results, click on the Save button adjacent to the file details to export the repaired file to the specific location. 

click on the save button

Part 3: More Information That You Want to Know

Plausible reasons for ‘unable to save Excel workbook’ error

Some of the possible reasons that can trigger the “ unable to save workbook in Microsoft Excel” error are listed below. 

  • The mismatch of the excel version on the user system and the excel version on the file server leads to the error. 

  • MS Excel doesn’t save the file if the document is infected by any malware or virus. 

  • An unexpected shut-down when the file saving process is still being processed leads to the file damaging, resulting in this Excel Error.

  • The issue is generally found in MS Office Professional Plus 2010 32-bit, Service Pack 14.0.6029.1000. Also, it impacts only the Build Version 1707 and later. 

Tips to avoid this error

Although you are now well-acquainted with the methods to resolve the trouble, it’s still good to learn about the additional tips to avoid the error in the future. Here are mentioned some of them. 

  • Make sure that you handle excel files properly to prevent this error. For example, avoid unexpected shutting down of the system while the file is in the saving mode.

  • Prefer installing a reliable anti-malware tool on your system to protect your files from getting corrupted. 

  • You should always install the trusted add-ons only to your MS Excel application.

  • Lastly, avoid taking unwanted actions that might trigger logical issues with excel workbooks. 

Closing Word

The error “Unable to save workbook in Microsoft Excel” is a common issue that might arise for several reasons, be it the corrupted file, mishandling, mismatch of the excel server, or anything. But there is no need to worry about it as we have numerable solutions to resolve the trouble. The users can bookmark the page and use any of the methods listed above to eliminate this excel error. 

Remember that these methods work best if the problem arises due to unexpected shutdown or hardware issues. But if the error triggers due to the damaged excel workbook, you need to use the third-party tool to resolve the issue. Wondershare Repairit is a powerful and reliable software that you can use to repair corrupted, damaged, and inaccessible documents.