[Solved] Microsoft Excel File Error ‘The document cannot be saved’

Summary: Microsoft Excel can throw errors at you at the most unexpected times. For instance, when you’re trying to save a file. But having to close a document just because Excel is unable to save it when you’ve worked on it for hours can be painful, and it can result in loss of data. So how does one deal with “Excel saving error” or “‘the document cannot be saved’’ error in Excel application? Let us find out.

Have you ever prepared an Excel file and clicked ‘Save’ just to discover Microsoft Excel File Error ‘The document cannot be saved’? Excel saving errors mainly occur when the procedure, that Microsoft Excel uses to save a file, malfunctions. For instance, if you are saving a file to your external drive, your connection experiences problems; or say, the USB you are locating your file at is removed from your system.

To put it in simple terms, when you’re working on a particular file in Microsoft Excel, the application temporarily saves it with a random name in the folder where your original file is placed. As soon as you’re done with working on the file and you click on the save option, your original file is removed and the temporary file created by Microsoft Excel gets the name of your original file. If any obstruction occurs in this process, Excel might not save your file appropriately or you would discover multiple files with the same name in the folder. Besides, you will get various errors and warnings when trying to access that file.

Here are some messages that you might receive when your file isn’t saved properly by Excel:

“Cannot access read-only document <Your File Name>”

When you try to save a file that is already open, this error is likely to occur. If you are trying to make changes to the file that is ‘read-only’, the screen will display the error ‘Cannot access read-only document <Your File Name>’. This is because the owner of the file has not given you the permission to edit the document and you can only read it. If the file doesn’t bear the ‘read-only’ tag but this error keeps on appearing while you are trying to save the file in your folder, the following can be the reasons:

  • When the user has been working for the first time on the Excel file and simultaneously opens another already existing file to make some changes, the read-only file error may get displayed when you try to save either of the files.
  • When you are saving your Excel file to an external drive, for instance, a network drive and due to some reasons the Excel file saving process gets obstructed (like if your connection fails), the system will produce “Cannot access read-only document <Your File Name>” error.

“Disk is full”

Are you sure that the drive you are saving your file in has sufficient space to store it? Sometimes some technical issues can occur in your target disk where you are saving your file or the disk can accidentally get detached from the system. In such a case, the system will ask Excel to produce “Disk is full” error message. In addition to this, the same error is likely to be displayed if you are saving your file in the disk which doesn’t have sufficient space to store your file.

 “Document Not Completely Saved or Document Not Saved”

Often, when you are working on your Excel file and you accidentally press the ESC button while saving it, the process of making a temporary file gets interrupted. Moreover, the error “Document Not Completely Saved or Document Not Saved” tends to occur when your software or hardware isn’t functioning properly or some other media issue strikes. Even though the system might not create your temporary file, your original file remains undamaged if there is any problem in your system or your workstation is interrupted.

“Document not saved / any previously saved copy has been deleted”

Your system will display this message when the process of temporary file creation fails while you are renaming the temporary file or removing the original one. It might even occur for the same reasons described under “Document Not Completely Saved or Document Not Saved” section. In such cases, your temporary file can be used but your original file gets deleted.

Now the big question that arises is how to deal with such situations? Don’t worry! We have some easy tips for you to tackle Excel saving errors. Read on.

Tips to Fix “The document cannot be saved” issues

Let’s have a look at Microsoft excel document not saved how to solve this by some common solutions to fix the above-mentioned issues

  1. Save the file with a different name: If you already have a file saved in your folder with the name similar to the one you are giving to your recent file, “cannot save file” issue can occur. To resolve this, go to File option, click on Save As, and rename your file. Check if the issue is settled. If the issue isn’t solved, proceed to the next fix.
  1. Save your file to some other location: As mentioned above, Excel won’t save your file due to an insufficient amount of space in your disk, antivirus conflict with the excel file or if your file name exceeds the maximum character limit. In such cases, it is advisable to relocate your file to some other location.
  1. Delete excel add-ins: Sometimes, corrupted Excel add-ins might cause errors when you try to save your file. Here’s how you can disable these add-ins on your system:
    • Open Microsoft excel options and click on the file.
    • Open manage, click on add-ins and select go.
    • Disable the add-ins and see if the problem is resolved.

But what if you are still experiencing the errors even after trying the above-mentioned solutions? Well, we have another sure-shot remedy for your problem.

What to do if common solutions don’t work?

If you’ve tried everything else and failed at getting rid of Excel saving errors, your Microsoft Excel application might be experiencing issues or the file in question might be corrupted. In such a case, using the services of a reliable Excel repair application is the best solution.

We recommend using Stellar Repair for Excel which is declared a tool with 100% integrity and precision for such needful situations where all other solutions fail. Equipped with technically advanced algorithms to repair Excel files, this software makes for the best choice to fix XLS and XLSX files. After performing repair on a corrupted Excel file, this software restores the file contents like tables, charts, chart-sheets, cell comments, images, formulas, sorts and filters to a new blank working Excel file which you can save easily.

If you’re tired of dealing with manual Excel repair solutions that just don’t work, try Stellar Repair for Excel.

Final Thoughts: Microsoft Excel usually associates with an array of issues that often frustrate users. However, when it comes to Excel saving errors, it becomes quite challenging to fix the issues and get your file stored in the folder you want. If you are tired of having “the document cannot be saved” error while trying to save your file in the excel folder, fret not! The above-listed tricks would definitely work out in helping you to get rid of such errors. And if these tricks fail too, you can always rely on Stellar Repair for Excel to save the day.

  1. Brian Currie December 7, 2020
    • Eric Simson December 12, 2020
  2. Rosy Pinto February 25, 2020
  3. Honas Marker February 20, 2020
  4. Loren Nel January 29, 2020
    • Eric Simson March 9, 2020
  5. Ervin Matt September 20, 2019
    • Eric Simson September 22, 2019
  6. Karen P. Moore July 28, 2019
    • Eric Simson July 31, 2019

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