This article describes how Microsoft Excel saves
When you save an existing file in Excel, Excel creates a
temporary file in the destination folder that you specify in the Save
dialog box. The temporary file contains the whole contents of your
workbook. If Excel successfully saves the temporary file, the temporary file is
renamed with the file name you specify in the Save As
This process of saving files makes sure that the original file is
not damaged. The original file is useful if the save operation is not
When Excel saves a file, Excel follow these steps:
- Excel creates a randomly named temporary file (for example,
Cedd4100 with no file name extension) in the destination folder that you
specified in the Save As dialog box. The whole workbook is
written to the temporary file.
- If changes are being saved to an existing file, Excel
deletes the original file.
- Excel renames the temporary file. Excel gives the temporary
file the file name that you specified (such as Book1.xls) in the Save
As dialog box.
Important Points About Saving
- After Excel creates and saves the temporary file, all the
changes are written to the temporary file.
- If Excel cannot delete the existing file, you receive an
error message. The original file and the temporary file both remain in the
- If Excel can delete the existing file, but Excel cannot
rename the temporary file, you receive an error message. Only the temporary
file remains in the destination folder.
- If Excel saves a new file for the first time, Excel does
not create a temporary file. Excel saves the file with the file name that you
specified in the Save As dialog box.
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
You receive an error message when you try to save a file in Excel
Description of the AutoRecover functions in Excel 2002
XL2002: How to Recover a Lost Worksheet or Lost Version of a Worksheet