[Fixed!] Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting? (7 Possible Reasons)

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As an Excel user, you may face several problems in your day-to-day activities. But one of the most popular problems is based on Excel not saving any formatting. This is really frustrating for any Excel user. This article will try to focus on all the possible reasons and their effective solutions for why Excel is not saving my formatting. I hope you enjoy the whole article and gather some effective inside.

Excel Not Saving Formatting: 7 Possible Reasons and Solutions

We have found seven reasons why Excel is not saving formatting. All of the reasons are quite simple but they can cause a lot of problems in your day-to-day Excel use.

Reason 1: Restricted File Permission

First, the major reason Excel is not saving formatting is because of restricted file permission. When you save your Excel file, it is necessary to give the folder access permission. Otherwise, no one can access your Excel file. Excel files can be restricted from being modified. In that case, you can change the Excel format. Even if you change the format, it will not save that formatting.


First of all, to get a solution regarding this issue, you need to remove the restriction from your worksheet. A restricted worksheet can’t be used for any changes. So, you need to unprotect your sheet with or without a password. After that, you need to apply any formatting and then save it. Next, see whether it saves changes or not.

Reason 2: Presence of Unnecessary Add-ins

Another possible reason not to save formatting in Excel is because of some third-party Excel Add-ins. These Add-ins can work properly in Excel but cause some build-in application problems. It can be a valid reason for this issue.


To solve this problem, you need to uncheck Excel Add-ins. To do this, you need to follow the steps carefully.

  • First, go to the File tab in the ribbon.
  • In the File tab, select the More command.
  • From there, select Options.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

  • An Excel Options dialog box will appear.
  • Next, select the Add-ins.

  • In the Add-ins section, there is a Manage option, select Excel Add-ins from there.
  • Then, click on Go.

  • Add-ins dialog box will pop up.
  • In the Add-ins Available section, uncheck all the available add-ins.
  • Finally, click on OK.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

Now, check your Excel formatting if it saves those formatting or not.

Read More: [Fixed!] Excel CSV File Not Saving Changes

Reason 3: Low Disk Space

The low disk space can be another valid reason because if you have very low disk space, your application can do some abnormal behavior. The low storage space may show some errors while saving any formatting in Excel.


When you work with your PC, make sure you have enough disk space. Otherwise, you may face several difficulties not only in but also other in other applications. To have enough disk space, your PC has enough breathing space while running Excel or other applications. So, it is a must to notice disk space every time you work on your PC.

Reason 4: Interruption of Antivirus Software

When you install any antivirus software on your computer, it can restrict any application from running properly if it finds any problems. When it performs any scanning on your PC, it may undo some of your Excel formatting.


To have a better result, everyone suggests stopping antivirus processing temporarily and then applying excel formatting. Then, you will not face any format-related difficulties. To disable antivirus, you follow the steps carefully

  • First, go to the Start menu of your PC.
  • Next, go to the Windows Settings.

  • Then, in the Settings dialog box, select Update & Security.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

  • Next, go to the Windows Defender option.
  • Turn off Real-time protection and Cloud-based protection.

Then, check your Excel formatting.

Reason 5: File Name Exceeded 218 Characters

When you save or open an Excel file whose path to the file including the file name exceeds 218 characters, you will get an error message. It can cause several issues like Excel not saving formatting.


To solve this problem, you need to set your Excel file name to 218 characters.

Reason 6: File Shared to Multiple Users

When multiple users work on the same shared workbook, Excel faces some difficulties. Excel can save several things at the same time. For that reason, it creates problems like not saving format changes.


To get a good solution, you need to avoid the usage of multiple users at the same time. It provides Excel with some breathing space through which it can perform properly.

Reason 7: Corrupted Excel File

If you are using any corrupted Excel file, you can face many difficulties such as Excel is not saving any formatting. The Corrupted Excel file can give a headache to any user. They can’t use all the Excel facilities.


To solve this problem, you need to repair your Excel with built-in repair tools or use other repair software. A corrupted Excel file can cause your PC as well as it can delete any important data any time. To repair your Excel, you need to follow the following steps carefully,

  • First, go to the File tab in the ribbon.
  • Then, click on the Open command.
  • From the Other locations, click on Browse.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

  • Next, select any corrupted Excel file.
  • Then, click on the arrow beside the Open option.
  • From there select Open and Repair.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

  • A new dialog box will appear.
  • Select Repair from there.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

Read More: [Fixed!] Document Not Saved Excel Network Drive

Further Recommendations

There are some other reasons besides these. If you don’t get the proper solution after applying the above solutions, you can go through these also. It can be helpful for your purpose.

1. Clear Conditional Formatting

Sometimes, Excel can freeze while working. In that case, Excel can’t perform its original work. Users may face the issue where Excel doesn’t save the formatting. The best way to solve the issue is to clear conditional formatting.


  • First, go to the Home tab in the ribbon.
  • From the Style section, select Conditional Formatting.

  • In the Conditional Formatting section, select Clear Rules.
  • In the Clear Rules option, select Clear Rules for Entire Sheet.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

Next, save the Excel worksheet and then apply any formatting.

2. Create New File and Save It

Users will face this formatting issue when they try to open Excel from one system to another. If the Excel file is in the older version, it will not execute on the new version of Excel. To solve this issue, we need to save Excel in a new format rather than the old format. We can do this by going to the File tab in the ribbon and then selecting ‘Save as’.

3. Copy Worksheet to a New Workbook

You can copy the worksheet to a new one. It can help you to solve formatting issues. To copy your worksheets, you need to follow the following steps.


  • First, you need to create a filler worksheet.
  • To create a filler worksheet press Shift+F11.
  • Then, you need to group all the worksheets except the filler worksheet.
  • To do this click on the first worksheet and then press Ctrl and select the other worksheets.
  • Right-click on the grouped worksheet.
  • Then, select Move or Copy.

Why Is Excel Not Saving My Formatting

  • A Move or Copy dialog box will appear.
  • Next, in the To book section, select a new book.
  • Then, check on Create a copy.
  • Finally, click on OK.

Now, check your Excel Formatting. Sometimes, copying the worksheet to a new one can solve the problem.

4. Change File Type

Sometimes your current file type can cause problems. By changing the file, you can solve the formatting issue.


  • First, go to the File tab in the ribbon.
  • Then, select the Save As command.

  • Then in the Other Locations section, select Browse.
  • In the Save as Type section, select any type except the current file.

5. Save Excel File to Another Location

Sometimes location can cause problems. You can change the current save location to another to see whether it was the issue for not saving format changes in Excel. You just have to save your Excel to a different location except for the current location.

6. Run Excel in Safe Mode

Finally, you can run your Excel in a safe mode and see if this can give you the solution. A safe mood will help you to run the program without any further problems. To run the excel in a safe mode, you need to follow the following steps


  • First, open the Run command by pressing Windows+R on a keyboard.
  • A Run dialog box will appear.

  • In the Open section, write down Excel/safe.
  • Finally, click on OK.


We have shown all possible reasons and solutions to why Excel is not saving my formatting issue. We have also provided some extra procedures through which you can be benefitted. All the methods are fairly easy to use and also quite easy to understand. I hope you enjoy the whole article.

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Durjoy Paul
Durjoy Paul

Durjoy Kumar, with a BSc in Naval Architecture & Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, is a dedicated contributor to the ExcelDemy project. His substantial contributions include crafting numerous articles and demonstrating expertise in Excel and VBA. Durjoy adeptly automates Excel challenges using VBA macros, offering valuable solutions for user interface challenges. Apart from creating Excel tutorials, he is interested in Data Analysis with MS Excel, SPSS, C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Python Web Scraping, Data Entry... Read Full Bio

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