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Article ID: 2026096 - Last Review: April 19, 2012 - Revision: 15.0

Symptoms

When trying to save Excel for Mac file/document you get an error message or the file is not saving.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow these steps. 

Step 1: Check Hard Disc name

Check to ensure the Hard Drive icon has a name to it. The name should not be all numbers but can have numbers in it as along as the name starts with a text character(s). There should be no special characters like, periods, commas, semi-colons, quotes, etc.

Step 2: Try saving to a different location

If you are saving a file in your Documents folder, try saving the file to the Desktop or a different location.

Remember that there is a 255 character limit to file names and the path to save file is included in the name. For example, saving a file on the desktop will have the path HD\users\<your user name>\Desktop so before the file is named there are already 25 characters in its name.

If you are saving to a network share or to an external device (Flash drive etc), first save the file to your local hard drive. If you are able to save the file on the local hard drive (Documents folder) then there is nothing wrong with Excel or the file. If you cannot save to your local hard drive then proceed to Step 3 in this article.

If you cannot save the file to an external device, contact the manufacturer of the external device or Apple. If you cannot save to a network share, contact your network administrator (Your IT department) or the owner of the share. If you do not have an IT department and trying to save to a Network then contact Microsoft Professional Support. 

Step 3: Empty Auto-Recovery folder

IMPORTANT The location of certain files are different if you have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. To check if it is installed, open Word, and then click About Word from the Word menu. If the version number is 14.2.0 or above, you have Service Pack 2 and you should follow the Service Pack 2 steps when provided in this article.

 

Move AutoRecovery files to the Desktop or another folder to see if they are causing the problem. 
 

    To empty the AutoRecovery folder, follow these steps if have version 14.2.0 (also known as Service Pack 2) installed:

    1.     Quit all applications.

    2.     On the File menu, click New Folder.
    A new folder is created on the desktop. The folder will be called "New Folder."

    3.     On the Go menu, click Home.

    4.     Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

    5.     Open Application Support, and then open Microsoft.

    6.     Open Office 2011 AutoRecovery.

    7.     On the Edit menu, click Select All.

    8.     Drag all files into "New Folder" on the desktop.
    The AutoRecovery folder should be empty.

    9.     Open Excel for Mac 2011 and try to save a file.
    If you can save a file, review the contents of "New Folder" to decide which files that you want to keep.

    If the problem continues to occur, go to the next method.

     

    To empty the AutoRecovery folder, follow these steps if you do not have Service Pack 2 installed:

    1. Quit all applications.

    2. On the File menu, click New Folder.
    A new folder is created on the desktop. The folder will be called "New Folder."

    3. On the Go menu, click Documents.

    4. Open Microsoft User Data, and then open Office 2011 AutoRecovery.

    5. On the Edit menu, click Select All.

    6. Drag all files into "New Folder" on the desktop.
    The AutoRecovery folder should be empty.

    7. Open Excel for Mac 2011 and try to save a file.
    If you can save a file, review the contents of "New Folder" to decide which files that you want to keep.

    If the problem continues to occur, go to the next method.

 
Step 4: Remove Excel Preferences 

Note that if you have used the software at all on this computer then removing the preferences may reset any customizations that you have made. These customizations include changes made to toolbars, custom dictionaries and keyboard shortcuts that have been created.

  1. Quit all Microsoft Office for Mac programs. 
  2. On the Go menu, click Home . 
  3. Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.
  4. Open the Preferences folder. Click View , click Arrange by then Name. 
  5. Look for a file that is named com.microsoft.Excel.plist. 
  6. If you locate the file, click and then drag and drop the file to the Desktop. If you do not locate the file, the program is using the default preferences.  
  7. If you locate the file and move it to the desktop, start Excel, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem still occurs, quit Microsoft Excel, and restore the file to its original location. Then, go to the next step. If the problem seems to be resolved, you can move the com.microsoft.Excel.plist file to the trash. 
  8. Quit all Microsoft Office for Mac programs. 
  9. On the Go menu, click Home . 
  10. Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.
     
  11. Open the Preferences folder. 
  12. Open the Microsoft Folder. 
  13. Look for a file that is named com.microsoft.Excel.prefs.plist. 
  14. If you locate the file, move it to the desktop. If you do not locate the file, the program is using the default preferences. 
  15. If you locate the file and move it to the desktop, start Excel, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem still occurs, quit Microsoft Excel, and restore the file to its original location. Then, go to the next step. If the problem seems to be resolved, you can move the com.microsoft.Excel.prefs.plist file to the trash. 
  16. Quit all Microsoft Office applications. 
  17. On the Go menu, click Home . 
  18. Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in MAC OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.
     
  19. Open the Preferences folder. 
  20. Open the Microsoft Folder. 
  21. Open the Office 2008 or Office 2011 folder. 
  22. Look for a file that is named Excel Toolbars (12) or Microsoft Excel Toolbars. 
  23. If you locate the file, move it to the desktop. If you do not locate the file, the program is using the default preferences. 
  24. If you locate the file and move it to the desktop, start Microsoft Excel, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem still occurs, quit Microsoft Excel, and restore the file to its original location. Then, go to the next step. If the problem seems to be resolved, you can move the Excel Toolbars file to the Trash. 

If the problem continues to occur, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Create New User Account 

Sometimes, a user's specific information may be corrupted which can cause problems with applications starting, installing, or using. To determine if this is the case, you can log on as a new user or create a new user account, and then test an application. For steps and instructions on how to create a new user account, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 

2439218 Testing your user account to troubleshoot Office for Mac applications

If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next step.
Step 6: Test saving the file in Safe Mode

You can use Safe mode to troubleshoot the problem. To restart the computer in Safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 2398596 Perform a clean startup (Safe boot) to determine whether background programs are interfering with Office for Mac

If you are able to save in Safe Mode, then the problem most likely related to programs that are running in the background.  

More Information

If trying steps in this article did not resolve the issue, see Mactopia forums for possible resolutions/workarounds.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=151500) for other considerations.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal KB2026096
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