discard changes or save copy

Copper Contributor
When two people try to make changes to an Excel worksheet at the same time, one of them is disabled by the system. The changes he makes are not saved and he receives an error like this: save changes or save a copy.


1 Reply


To enable real-time collaboration and co-authoring in Excel 365, it is typically necessary to store the Excel file in OneDrive or SharePoint and then share it with the users you want to collaborate with. Users can then work on the same Excel file simultaneously, and changes are synchronized in real-time. To avoid conflicts and the error messages you mentioned, you can follow these best practices:

  1. Use OneDrive or SharePoint: If you are working in Excel 365, it is recommended to store your Excel file in OneDrive or SharePoint. These cloud-based platforms are designed to facilitate real-time collaboration and co-authoring. When multiple users access the file from the cloud, Excel handles conflicts more gracefully.
  2. Enable Auto-Save: Make sure the AutoSave feature is enabled. AutoSave regularly saves changes to the cloud, reducing the likelihood of conflicts. You can find the AutoSave toggle in the upper left corner of the Excel window when you are working on a file stored in OneDrive or SharePoint.
  3. Turn on Co-Authoring: Co-authoring allows multiple users to edit the same worksheet at the same time. Ensure that co-authoring is enabled for the document. By default, Excel 365 enables co-authoring when the file is stored in OneDrive or SharePoint.
  4. Communicate: If you are collaborating with others in real-time, communicate with your team members. Let them know when you are making changes, so you can avoid editing the same cells simultaneously.
  5. Resolve Conflicts: If a conflict occurs, Excel will prompt users to choose between "Save Changes" or "Save a Copy." Users can select "Save Changes" to merge their changes with the current document or "Save a Copy" to create a new version. Make sure everyone understands how to resolve conflicts.
  6. Version History: OneDrive and SharePoint offer version history, allowing you to revert to a previous version of the document if needed. This can be useful in case of major conflicts or unintended changes.

By following these best practices and leveraging Excel 365's collaboration features, you can minimize conflicts and errors when working on Excel worksheets with multiple users simultaneously. Storing the file in the cloud and using co-authoring features will provide a smoother collaborative experience.

If this information does not help you, please describe your concern with a step-by-step explanation. Additional information such as Excel version, operating system, storage medium, etc. would be beneficial.

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