How To Fix Excel Not Saving Formatting Changes Issue?

No one can afford the loss of formatting changes done in the Excel worksheet. But sometimes the situation may arise where Excel won’t save formatting changes and due to this whole data formatting goes off after reopening of the Excel worksheet.

Do you have any idea how to deal with this particular Excel not saving formatting changes issue?

No need to get tensed; as our today’s blog is specifically about this particular issue. So just go through all the fixes to resolve Excel not saving formatting changes issues and also know how to recover lost formatting in Excel.

Why Is My Excel Not Saving Formatting Changes?

Reason 1# Restricted File Permissions

When an Excel file is saved, it’s compulsory to have folder access permission in which it is been saved.

  • Write permission
  • Delete permission
  • Modify permission
  • Read permission

Reason 2# Third Party Add-Ins

If you are unable to save formatting changes done in Excel then the problem is accused by the third-party add-in. Some third-party software add-ins work smoothly with the existing Excel file. Whereas some start causing issues in saving the Excel file and its formatting changes.

Reason 3# Disk Space

Another reason behind the Excel file won’t save changes issue can be the lack of storage space. So make sure that your disk has enough free space to save the file.

Otherwise, you will receive “disk is full” or Excel file won’t save formatting changes like errors.

Reason 4# File Naming

If you are trying to open or save such a file whose path length is more than 218 characters along with the file name then you may get the following error message:

Filename is not valid

As a result of this, you will also start encountering Excel not saving formatting changes like issues.

Reason 5# Antivirus Software

When you install any antivirus software, it scans the entire file stored on the PC. This scanning process sometimes hinders Excel saving tasks correctly.

In order to make a cross-check whether the anti-virus is conflicting with the Excel program. You need to temporarily deactivate the anti-virus software and then try saving up your Excel file.

Reason 6# File-Sharing

If multiple users work concurrently on the shared workbook then this also generates formatting changes won’t saved in Excel.

You will get this problem because Excel can’t save changes of multiple instances in a single piece of time.

Reason 7# Cannot Access Excel Read-only Document 

Excel 2016 not saving formatting changes error also encounters in Excel read-only file.

It’s all because the reason that owner or administrator of the file hasn’t allowed permission for making any changes in the file. Following reasons are highly responsible for this:

  • You open such a file and try saving it.
  • Trying to save the file on the network or external drive and all of a sudden connection fails.

To recover lost Excel data, we recommend this tool:

This software will prevent Excel workbook data such as BI data, financial reports & other analytical information from corruption and data loss. With this software you can rebuild corrupt Excel files and restore every single visual representation & dataset to its original, intact state in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download Excel File Repair Tool rated Excellent by Softpedia, Softonic & CNET.
  2. Select the corrupt Excel file (XLS, XLSX) & click Repair to initiate the repair process.
  3. Preview the repaired files and click Save File to save the files at desired location.

How To Fix Excel Not Saving Formatting Changes?

Use the following to resolve Excel won’t save formatting changes. These fixes are really very helpful for format retention mainly when you are trying to keep up the original file formatting.

Fix 1# Date Format Issue In Excel

Your assigned dates are changed to text, number, another date format like MM/DD/YYYY is changed to DD/MM/YYYY or to any other format which Excel fails to recognize.

Here is an example of Excel Date won’t save formatting changes:

Suppose you have entered a date September 6 in your Excel cell and after pressing the enter key, the assigned cell value is been converted to ‘Number.’

This shows that the number format of the cell is not properly synchronized with what users trying to get. The cell is already set with a number format that changes your input data to some numerical value.

How To Fix it?

  • Make a right-click on the cell having the date; now from the appearing list of options choose Format Cells.
  • Go to the “number” tab, after that from the category list choose the “date” and then from the type box choose the date format as per your choice.

Date Format Issue In Excel

Fix 2# Number Format Issue

Excel won’t save formatting changes also arise when Excel number is changed to Date, Text, or any other format which is not well supported.

How To Fix?

 To fix such issues, users need to use the fixes like Paste Special or Error Checking.

  • Hit the cell and go to the Home tab from the Excel ribbon. After that click the down-arrow sign present in the number section.
  • Here you will see the number format list along with the data present for each of the formats.

Date Format Issue In Excel 1

Fix 3# Clear Conditional Formatting

Many a time it happens that Excel freezes while working and doesn’t allow you to save your work in that case clearing the conditional formatting is the best option. Below are the steps that are given to perform conditional formatting:

  • Open Excel workbook.
  • Click on Home>conditional formatting>clear rules>clear rules from an entire sheet

  • At the bottom of the Excel sheet select any extra tab and redo the first step.
  • Now, select file>save as.
  • Make a copy of that spreadsheet in new.

If still, Excel won’t allow you to save formatting changes then apply the conditional formatting again.

Fix 4# Make A Fresh Start

Usually, these kinds of issues are generated when the user tries to open Excel file of one system onto another. Or, when the new PC executes the older version of the Excel application.

How To Fix?

In that case, you need to save your Excel files in widely accepted or native format but not in the older format. Well, you can easily do this by using the ‘Save As’ feature for saving up the Excel file.


Apart from this, Excel won’t save formatting changes can also be fixed by transferring data from the current workbook to the new workbook.

Fix 5# Excel XLS or XLSX file corruption

Chances are also high that just because of the xls/xlsx file corruption your Excel won’t save formatting changes.

To repair corrupt Excel file, you can either use the inbuilt ‘Open or Repair’ tool or you can go with the Excel repair software.

This software repair very efficiently repairs the damaged Excel file in just 3 simple steps, i.e Select, Scan, and Save. Just save the repaired file either on the desired or default location.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Using this advanced Excel repair tool you can fix the corruption issue and recover lost formatting in Excel. With this tool, you can easily recover conditional formatting, Chart, table formatting, and all your data formatting completely intact meanwhile Excel file restoring.

Fix 6# Shift Original Worksheets To New One

  • Just add a filler worksheet in your Excel workbook. For this, you need to press Shift+F11 from your keyboard.


Well, this sheet is compulsory to have because hen all the relevant data sheets are removed then this sheet will remain.

  • Now you need to group all the worksheets excluding the filler one. For this, choose the first datasheet, and press the shift key. After that choose the very ending datasheet.
  • Make a right-click over the grouped sheets and choose the option “Move or copy”.

Shift Original Worksheets To New One

  • From the To Book list, choose the (New Book).
  • Hit the OK button.

Shift Original Worksheets To New One 1


This step will move your grouped or active worksheets to the new ones.

If your Excel workbook is having VBA macros then you need to manually copy the modules from the old to a new workbook.

Fix 7# Save The File As A Different Excel File Type

  • Go to the File menu and choose Save As option.


  • From the Save as Type list, choose the file format instead of the current file format.

Save The File As A Different Excel File Type

If you are running Excel 2007 or a later version then save the Excel file in .xlsm or .xlsx format rather than .xls.

Fix 8# Save The Workbook To Another Location

Sometimes location at which you are saving the file also leads to generate Excel file won’t save changes like issues.

 So try to save your Excel file in another location like a network drive, removable drive, or local hard disk.

Fix 9# Save New Workbook In The Original Location

If you need to save a new Excel file to the original location then follow down these steps:

  • Make an Excel workbook.
  • Go to the File menu and choose the Save As option.

  • This will open the Save As dialog box, where you need to perform the following steps.
  • Under this Save in the dialog box, choose the location where the original Excel workbook been saved.
  • In the box of “File name” assign the name for your new file.
  • Hit the Save button.

Save The Workbook To Another Location

Fix 10# Save Workbook In Safe Mode

Run your Windows in the safe mode and after that save the Excel workbook on the local hard drive.

If you are using a network location for saving up the Excel workbook, then restart the Windows PC in safe mode along with the network support.  After that try saving the Excel workbook.

Wrap Up:

Hopefully, you have found this article informative and from now onwards you don’t need to deal with this Excel 2016 not saving formatting changes issue.

Apart from this if you have any further queries to ask then let me know by commenting on this post.

Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.