9 Tested Solutions to Fix “Document Not Saved” Error in Excel

Working on the spreadsheets in MS Excel can be really exciting. But at times, it turns into fear when Excel throws an error “Document not saved”. This happens when trying to save the spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Fortunately, you can solve document not saved error in Excel by applying a few workarounds mentioned in this post.

So, let’s find them out…!

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Why Is My Excel Document Not Saving?

Instead of directly fixing the Excel document not saved. the document may be open or an error may have been encountered when saving it is important to extract what actually causes it.

Here you can see the real interface of this error:

document not saved error in excel

These are the major factors for generating this error message:

Network Issues: 

Another reason can be the weak or bad internet connection and due to this shared files over the network got damaged.

So when you start working on such a document it won’t allow you to do any modification nor you can save it.

Hardware Problems:

The situation may arise where the files kept on external devices like USB or hard drives somehow got damaged or corrupted.

So when you try to make changes on such files it’s obvious to encounter unable to save Excel file error.

Process Interrupted: 

The process of saving documents somehow got interrupted is the most obvious reason to generate Excel file save error. Usually, this happens when meanwhile the saving process you press the close icon or ESC button.

Permission Restrictions:

In some cases, the user is not allowed to make any changes to the particular excel file. So this can be also the reason because of why your Excel file is denying getting saved.

How To Fix Document Not Saved Error In Excel?

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 or issues. Read on.

Solution 1- Save Your File Using Another Dummy File

The first solution that you need to try is saving the already existing Excel document by using another dummy file.

Doing this will at least help you to save your Excel document content and later on you can try to fix the error.

Note: log in to your PC as an administrator.

  • Open your Excel file in which you are getting a document not saved error. Now press Ctrl + C button to copy the complete content of your Excel file.
  • Now press the ctrl+N button from your keyboard this will open a new excel file page on your screen.
  • On this new Excel document, you have to press the ctrl+v After this you will see all the content including the formula that you have copied from the problematic Excel file is now get copied in this new Excel file.
  • After this tap to the File > Save As  Also assign the location where you want to save this file.

Save Data in New Excel Document

Solution 2- Remove The Interrupting Program /Process

As we have already discussed that accidental pressing of the ESC button or the presence of some interrupting process prevents the saving of Excel files.

So once more go to the save tab and try saving up your Excel file again without making press to any key.

Apart from this, you can end the ongoing interrupting process from the task manager.

  • For this press Windows + R button and now in the opened run
  • Enter text “taskmgr” in the box and press the enter.
  • Now in the opened task manager window check for the potential program or services which are interrupting your saving task.
  • Once you find it, just end the interrupting process and then try to save your Excel document again.

close excel file from task manager 2

Solution 3- Resolve Network Connection Problem

Well, there are so many situations that arise where you need to save your Excel file over the network for easy sharing and remote working.

Microsoft says that if your network is not stable or facing a delay to make any changes then you will definitely face difficulty in saving your document.

If you are using your organizational network then try to send the remote document from some other peer’s PC.

If still you are getting the same document not saved. the document may be open because of a network connection problem, you need to contact the IT support team.

Also Read: Fix Excel Not Saving Formatting Changes Issue?

Solution 4- Check The Hardware Components

Another thing you need to check is whether the entire hardware component attachment in your PC is working correctly or not.

If you are trying to save an Excel file on an external hard/flash drive then ensure that a seamless and proper connection is done. Apart from this, physical damage to the external or system’s hard disk also results in the document not saved error in Excel.

Follow these tricks to Check Hard Disk Health in Windows 10

1: Windows CHKDSK Tool

Windows CHKDSK tool is a Windows built-in tool that scans your disk to fetch any type of bad sector and system errors.

Besides that, it helps in easy checking of the hard disk health by showing a complete list of errors.

It will scan and troubleshoot the problem if possible and inform you about any bigger issue if it’s present.

So use this inbuilt tool to make a check for the disk health and fix bad sector errors.

  • Open the File Explorer and make a right-click over the system’s drive in which you want to make a check. Choose “Properties >>Tools” Hit the “Check” option.

document not saved error in excel

  • In most of the cases, users get the following message “You don’t need to scan this drive”.

Windows CHKDSK Tool 1

It’s because the windows 10 PC automatically scans for disk health issues. If you want then you can still execute the manual scan.


It is a command-line interface that does so many administrative tasks, like checking the hard disk health, etc.

WMIC works on a very enhanced feature i.e S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) to check the hard disk status. After complete checking, it will show message like “OK,” “Pred Fail,” etc.

Here are the steps to check hard disk status with WMIC.

  • Hit the Win+ R key from your keyboard. This will open the run dialog box.
  • Type cmd in it and hit OK.

  • Now in the opened command prompt window enter the text “wmic” and hit enter.
  • Once the WMI interface seems ready in the command prompt type the text “diskdrive get status”. After that press the enter button.


  • Very soon you will receive the hard disk status.

Solution 5- Checking Permissions

If you have saved your excel file to such a location where no other users have permission to access it. At that time it was obvious to get the Excel Document not saved. The document may be open, or an error may have been encountered when saving.

Likewise, each folder is having its own permission which is by default given to the administrators.

Even some system folders are also restricted to administrators or users. So for that, you need to change the access permission.

NoteLogin like a general administrator.

  • Hit the Windows + E button and then go to the folder location where you want to save your file.
  • Make a right-click on that folder or drive location and then choose the Properties tab.
  • Go to the “Security” tab after that hit the “Advanced” option which is present at the screen’s bottom. If here you won’t get any proper permission for the account then tap to the change.

change Folder Permissions

  • Here you can change the folder’s owner to your PC account.
  • Hit the “Advanced” option when any new window pops out. On this, you have to hit the “Find Now” option.

change Folder Permission 2s

  • The list will appear on the screen bottom which contains all the user’s group detail present on the PC.
  • Choose the account and hit the “OK” button.
  • Select the option “Replace owner on sub containers and objects”. Doing this will modify the ownership of entire files/folders present within that particular folder. In this way, you can avoid repetition of the same task for any sub-directories present within it.
  • As per your preference you can make a check across the option “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object”.
  • Click the apply button and close the Properties.
  • Once again open the Properties window and search for the security > Advanced.
  • Now go to the permission window and tap the “Add” button present at the screen bottom.

change Folder Permission 5

  • Tap to the “Select principle” option.
  • Select all the permissions which you want to assign and hit the “OK” button.

change Folder Permission 6

  • After that choose the “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object” and hit the Apply.

change Folder Permission 6

After doing this you have got exclusive control over the directory in which you need to save your Excel file. Now once again try to save your Excel document and check whether the problem still persists.

Also Read: Fix Excel Encountered Errors During Save

Solution 6- Open Your Excel In Safe Mode to Document Not Saved Error in Excel

Try to launch the Excel application in Safe mode because in this mode plugins running in this application are complete take a cut off and the application starts with only a basic editor.

So if this Excel document not saving issue is originated due to bad plugins then running it in safe mode will resolve the issue.

  1. Hit the Windows + R  This will open the Run dialogue box on which you have to type the following text:

excel /safe

excel /safe

  1. Now Excel will get into safe mode. Try to save your Excel document data.

Solution 7- Update the MS Excel

Many users have reported that they received Microsoft Excel document not saved error because of using an outdated Excel. Hence, updating MS Excel to the latest version has fixed that issue for them.

So, here you have to do the same thing to get rid of it. To update the Excel, follow the below steps;

  • Open the Microsoft Excel.
  • After this, choose the Account from a left side pane.
  • Next, you have to tap on the Update Options.
  • Now, select the Update Now option from a context menu.

document not saved error in Excel

Finally, Microsoft will download the Office updates if any are available.

Solution 8- Repair MS Office

Even after following the above methods, if you are still facing the same error, consider repairing the Microsoft Office.

It might possible that you are facing this problem due to corruption in MS Office.

So, simply repair it by following the below steps:

  • Go to Start & choose Settings (instead, you can use Win + I key).
  • Then, choose the Apps from a left pane >> Apps & Features.

document not saved error in Excel

  • Now, find & choose Microsoft Office then click on 3 dots menu.
  • Click on Advanced options >> Online Repair.

document not saved error in Excel

  • Finally, click on the Repair > Repair.

document not saved error in Excel

Now, MS Office will solve any sort of corruption found in a suit.

Solution 9- Best Software To Fix Excel Document Not Saved Error:

If you are unable to save your excel file and frequently get the Document not saved error. In that case, chances are quite high that your Excel document somehow got corrupted.

To resolve the Excel document corruption issue you are recommended to go with the professional’s recommended MS Excel Repair Tool. This is the best tool to fix any sort of issues, corruption, or errors in Excel workbooks.

With the help of this tool, you can easily restore all corrupt Excel files including the charts, worksheet properties cell comments, and other important data. This is a unique tool to repair multiple excel files in one repair cycle and recovers the entire data in a preferred location.

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Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:

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What Are The Different Types Of Excel Document Not Saved Error Occurs?

Following are some error messages which may encounter when Excel document denies to get saved:

Error 1# “Document Not Completely Saved or Document Not Saved”

Meanwhile working on an Excel file if you accidentally press the ESC button at the time of saving it then this will interrupt the process of making a temp file. Due to which Document Not Completely Saved or Document Not Saved as the error occurs.

Apart from this, Document Not Completely Saved error is also encountered when the software or hardware has stopped working properly.

Even if your system hasn’t generated the temporary file but your original file won’t get damaged if any issue occurs in the system.

Excel Document not saved

Error 2# Document Not Saved / Any Previously Saved Copy Has Been Deleted

Your PC will start showing Document Not Saved / Any Previously Saved Copy Has Been Deleted in Excel when any ongoing process of temp file creation fails. This error mainly occurs at the time of temporary file renaming or removal of the original file.

Well in such a situation, you can use the temporary file but the original one gets deleted.

Error 3# “Cannot Access Read-Only Document <Your File Name>”

If someone tries to save the changes done in the read-only file then Excel will display the Cannot Access Read-Only Document <Your File Name> error.

Cannot Access Read-Only Document

This happens because you are not allowed to do any editing on the Excel file rather than you can only read it.

But if your file is not having any read-only tag but still you are getting the same Cannot Access Read-Only Document Excel error. In that case, the following reasons are highly responsible:

  • When you are working on one excel file and simultaneously open another already existing file to do some changes on it. At that time saving any of these files starts displaying a read-only file error in Excel.
  • Another reason is when you have saved your Excel file on the external drive such as a network drive and due to weak network saving process get interrupted. At that time Excel will show “Cannot access read-only document <Your File Name>” error.

Wrap Up:

Now you need not get fret with this Excel document may be open, or an error may have encountered when saving.

All the above-given tricks will definitely work to resolve this issue. If unfortunately, these tricks fail to work then you can rely on an expert’s recommended Excel repair tool.

Do share your opinion regarding this post and whether it helped you in removing the Microsoft Excel document not saved message on our social accounts Facebook and Twitter.

Priyanka is a 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.