Are you getting an error message that says “Document not saved” when trying to save your Excel workbook? Several Microsoft Excel users have reported getting this error message on saving the workbook content. You might also get the “Document not completely saved” error message. As the message says, this error prevents you from saving the changes made to your workbook and you might end up losing all the updates made to the workbook.
There can be several reasons behind getting this error message. In any case, if you are facing the same issue, this guide is for you. Here, we are going to mention several fixes that will help you get rid of the error message at hand. But before that, let us find out the scenarios that are likely to trigger this error message.
What causes Document not saved error in Microsoft Excel?
Here are some of the potential causes of the Document not saved error in Microsoft Excel:
- It could be caused due to some interrupting program or process that is preventing Excel from saving your workbook. If the scenario is applicable, try terminating such processes to fix the error.
- If your user account doesn’t have sufficient folder permissions to save the workbook, you might experience this error message. Hence, you can try checking and granting folder permissions to fix the issue.
- You might experience the issue at hand if there is a network connection issue. This happens when saving the workbook to a network location.
- If there are some errors on the hard disk where you are trying to save your workbook, you might experience this error. So, check your disk drive health and fix the errors, if any.
- The error message might also be triggered due to a bad or problematic plugin. In that case, try running Excel in safe mode to fix the error.
Now that you know the scenarios that might cause the error message, let us check out the solutions.
Fix Microsoft Excel Document not saved error
Here are the fixes you can try to resolve the “Document not saved” error in Microsoft Excel:
- Save the Excel workbook with a new filename.
- Move the original workbook to a new workbook.
- Terminate the interrupting program or process.
- Check folder permissions.
- Check Network Connection.
- Check Hardware Components.
- Start Excel in Safe Mode.
1] Save the Excel workbook with a new filename
The first thing you can try to fix this error is to save your Excel workbook with a new filename. This is a kind of workaround and it might fix the problem for you. Just go to the File menu and click on the Save as option. Then, enter a new filename and save the workbook. See if you are able to save the workbook now without the “Document not saved” error or not.
If not, you can also try saving the workbook at a different location and see if it works for you. Additionally, try saving the Excel workbook with a different extension.
In case the above workarounds don’t work for you, try the next potential fix to resolve the error.
2] Move the original workbook to a new workbook
You can also try moving the content of the problematic workbook to a new fresh Excel workbook. Firstly, copy the content of your workbook using Ctrl+A and then the Ctrl+C hotkey. After that, just create a new workbook and paste the copied content into the new workbook. Now, save the new workbook and whether the error is fixed or not.
If you still get the same error, you can try the next potential solution to fix the error.
3] Terminate the interrupting program or process
In some instances, the error might be caused due to some program or process interrupting Excel while saving the file at a particular location. So, if some other program is preventing Excel from saving the workbook, you can try closing the interrupting programs. You can open Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc hotkey and analyze the running processes. And then, end the suspicious processes using the End Task button. After that, check if you are able to save your Excel workbook without the “Document not saved” error.
If you still receive the same error while saving your Excel workbook, try the next potential fix to resolve the error.
4] Check folder permissions
You are likely to encounter this error message if your current user doesn’t have the required permissions at the location where you are trying to save your Excel file. Hence, check the permissions and if needed, change them.
To change the folder permissions, you need to log in with an administrator account. After that, you can follow the below steps:
- Firstly, open File Explorer using Windows + E and open the directory where the target folder is present.
- Now, right-click on the folder and then press the Properties option.
- Next, move to the Security tab, click on the Advanced button, and tap on the Change button
- After that, in the opened dialog window, press the Advanced button, click on the Find Now button, and from the search results, select your user account and press the OK button.
- Now, again press the OK button and then enable the “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” checkbox.
- Next, press the Apply button, and again in the Security tab, press the Advanced button.
- Now, click on the Add button, press the Select a principal button, and repeat the step (4).
- Then, enable all the folder permissions for the selected user account and tap the OK button.
- Finally, enable the checkbox called “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object” and click on the Apply button.
You can now try saving the Excel workbook and see if the error is now fixed or not. If the problem still persists, you can try the next potential fix to resolve it.
5] Check Network Connection
If you are trying to save your Excel file to a network drive over a local network, make sure the network is stable and doesn’t have any lag issues. Network disruptions might prevent you from saving your file successfully. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, contact your IT admin and ensure that there is no problem with network connection properties.
No issues with network connection properties and still getting the same error? Try the next potential solution to fix the error.
6] Check Hardware Components
In case you are trying to save your Excel workbook to an external flash or hard drive, make sure they are connected to your system properly. You might receive the error if there is some physical damage to your external drive.
Apart from external drives, the issue might also be with your disk drives. If there is corruption or some other issues associated with your disk drive, you will face problems while saving files to your storage. Hence, you can try running a disk check to scan and repair bad sectors and file system errors on your hard disks.
To check hard disk errors, you can use Windows built-in tool called CHKDSK Tool. Simply right-click on the drive where you are trying to save your Excel workbook and press the Properties button. Then, go to the Tools tab, click on the Check button, and follow the prompted instructions to scan and fix file system errors. You can also try running the WMIC tool. It basically scans the health of your hard disks.
7] Start Excel in Safe Mode
If nothing worked for you, try launching Microsoft Excel in safe mode and see if the problem is fixed. Starting Excel in safe mode will basically disable all the plugins. So, if there is some bad plugin causing the error at hand, this should fix the error. Here is how to do that:
- Firstly, press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
- Now, type the following command in the Open field:
- Next, press the Enter button to launch Excel in safe mode.
- Finally, try saving the workbook and see if the error is fixed.
In case this fixes the error for you, there must be some bad plugins causing the error. You can analyze such plugins and disable or uninstall them.
How do I fix Document not saved error in Excel?
To fix the Document not saved error in Excel, you can try closing all the interrupting processes, changing your folder permissions, checking network connection, etc. Apart from that, you can also try scanning and repairing disk errors if that is what causing the error. Also, try launching Excel in safe mode. You can even try some workarounds like saving Excel workbook with a new filename.