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Can't save Excel 2007/2010 files-- "file is currently in use" RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've tried reading up on this problem, and I've found some folks discussing somewhat similar issues, but I can never find anything that quite matches what I'm experiencing here.

    I help manage multiple laptops and desktops running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit, and they all have either Office 2007 Small Business or Office 2010 Home & Business installed. The users of these laptops work with files shared off of various servers running 2003 Standard and 2008 Standard, as well as a few NASs running Windows Storage Server.

    The problem is that occasionally some people will report Excel being unable to save a file. The file is always one stored on a network share. They'll work on a spreadsheet for about 15-20-30 minutes, an hour, whatever, then they'll hit Save. Excel (both 2007 and 2010) will act busy for a minute, then it will come back with the message "Cannot save blahblah.xlsx. File is currently in use. Please try again later." At this point, they CAN do a Save As and save a copy to their desktop so they don't lose their work, but they can't overwrite the document on the server after they close out of Excel, nor can they delete the original and replace it (the file is "still in use"). These files are only being used by one person when the problem occurs.

    Also, when they shut down Excel, there is still a background process open for it (EXCEL.EXE). If they attempt to force quit it via Task Manager, it doesn't work. This can happen multiple times if they open multiple Excel files that end up with this problem. They could have upwards of 5-6 EXCEL.EXE processes in the background eating up system resources and none of them can be stopped. Any new Excel processes that open will have the saving issue as well after that. The only option they have at that point is restarting the computer completely. This is obviously not an acceptable long-term solution since the problem can come up multiple times per person per day, leading to a lot of downtime and interrupted workflow.

    This seems to be only happening in Excel. I haven't heard of anyone having this issue in Word, PowerPoint, or anything other Office application. It's also worth noting that we have some folks still on Windows XP running Office 2007. They never have any of these issues, so it seems to me that this is an issue following Windows 7 involving Excel 2007/2010 saving changes to a file stored on a local file server.

    Any ideas for potential fixes or further troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 3:36 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

     

    The error message could be right and indeed there is a program trying to access the file.

     

    You could use msconfig utility in order to prevent memory residents to load in your Windows and test again.

     

    If problem is solved, you should enable the residents one by one in order to find the bad guy.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Harry 

    • Proposed as answer by Harry Yuan Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by Harry Yuan Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:30 AM
    Thursday, March 3, 2011 2:25 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

     

     

    The error message could be right and indeed there is a program trying to access the file.

     

    You could use msconfig utility in order to prevent memory residents to load in your Windows and test again.

     

    If problem is solved, you should enable the residents one by one in order to find the bad guy.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Harry 

    • Proposed as answer by Harry Yuan Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by Harry Yuan Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:30 AM
    Thursday, March 3, 2011 2:25 AM
  • Hi,

    Did you find an answer to this problem.  I'm having the same problem with some users at my company.  We are using Windows 7 (64bit) with Office 2010 (32bit).  Occasionally they will go to save a document in either Word, Excel or Powerpoint and it will say the file is in use.  The only option is to save to another file name.

    I have a theory that it might be down to Offline Files, as the people who are reporting the problem to me are primarily working in folders that are redirected, and therefore have an offline cache.  I haven't proved this yet though.

    If you found any solutions please let me know. 

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:39 AM
  • Having the same problem here as well.

    Its not all files, not even all excel files. I created some test files with the user seeing the issue and they all work fine but there a few that he works on that are still acting up. Please let em know if you find a resolution.

    Thanks.

    Friday, March 25, 2011 1:40 PM
  • Same problem here.  Excel 2007 users can open the file but cannot save it.  Excel 2003 users don't seem to have the problem.

     

    Thanks.

    Friday, March 25, 2011 6:32 PM
  • I am having this exact problem with one of my users that has been upgraded to Office 2010.  She is opening an excel 2003 file (xls) from a network location. 

    When I check the file server, it actually shows that the file is not even open by ANYBODY, even though she is clearly in the file on her computer.  She can save the file down to her desktop, but has to restart to overwrite the other file.

    When I check Task manager, Excel is not listed at all under applications.  On the processes tab, EXCEL is open and will not close via end process or process tree, I have to force close it during the restart to get it closed. After this occurs, the file will save properly to the network location. 

    My users do not have this problem on systems with Office 2003 or 2007 installed. 

    Friday, June 3, 2011 9:57 PM
  • I have the same problem. I have a mixed environment of Windows xp and Windows 7 workstations running either Office 2007 and Office 2010. They files with problems are on network shares on a Windows Server 2008 (64). I too only experience the problem in excel.
    Friday, June 10, 2011 12:52 AM
  • I am having this issue also.  3 new Win 7 32 bit computers on a new Win 2008 R2 64 bit server.  It seems the other 7 machines running Win XP SP 3 are not having the issue.  The users work in the file then try to save and the progress bar goes 1/2 way and just stops.  Eventually we kill the process the the Excel.exe still stays active in the Task Manager.  Sometimes we don't get the progress bar and it just says file in use or if they try and open it it says file in use open as read only etc....

    A reboot fixes it most of the time but all changes are lost.  As everyone know here this is getting very frustrating for the users, are there any resolutions out there Microsoft?

    Thanks

    Bill

    Monday, July 4, 2011 3:29 PM