Errors and error messages for MS Excel

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We’ve attempted here to list down all major errors and error messages that you may experience while working on MS Excel spreadsheets. An awareness of these error messages will go a long way in cautioning you that something has gone awry with Excel; and put you on alert to prevent further damage to spreadsheets and prompt you to take corrective measures. On the other hand, continuing with a serious corruption and data disappearance events will worsen chances of a full recovery of corrupted and disappeared data and may even cause further data loss, and sometimes it means beyond recovery.


You should be strictly on your guard if you see any of the following error messages. You may see them when you’re trying to open or close a worksheet, update link, do calculations etc. As a result you may not be able to create or save a new sheet, empty clipboard, or calculate correctly.


  • "Not enough memory."
  • "Error EXCEL.EXE"
  • "File.xls cannot be accessed. The file may be read only."
  • "Network connection may have been lost"
  • "Excel cannot complete this task with available resources"
  • "This file is not in a recognizable format"
  • "This PivotTable list could not be imported correctly by Excel"
  • "File format not valid"
  • "File not Found"
  • "An error occurred initializing the VBA libraries"
  • "Illegal operation"
  • "Microsoft Excel has encountered a problem and needs to close"
  • "Unexpected error"
  • "The file may have been changed"
  • "Unable To Read File"
  • "Cannot access read-only document"
  • "Document Not Saved"
  • "Cannot Empty Clipboard"
  • "Cannot run ‘MSQuery.exe’"
  • "The document Filename caused a serious error the last time it was opened"
  • "MS09.DLL"
  • "This program has performed an illegal operation and will shut down"
  • "Error 1004"
  • "Error 13"
  • "Error 91"
  • "Cannot shift objects off the sheet"
  • ".xls file format is not valid"
  • "Cannot open .xls file"