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The file size of an Excel workbook may unexpectedly increase exponentially

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The file size of a Microsoft Excel workbook may unexpectedly increase exponentially. Additionally, if all the users of a shared workbook save and then close the workbook, the workbook may not decrease in file size as it should.

Note Excel 2007 files are based on a combination of XML and compression, the file types are usually smaller than legacy XLS file types. However, this issue may occur in any of the versions of Excel that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
This issue may occur if Excel closes unexpectedly. In this case, users may not be correctly disconnected from the shared workbook.
To resolve this issue, disconnect all users who are currently not using the workbook, save the workbook, and then close the workbook.

Important Verify with the users whom you want to disconnect that they are no longer actually working on the workbook. If you disconnect an active user, that user's unsaved work will be lost.

To disconnect users who are currently not using the workbook, follow these steps, as appropriate for the version of Excel that you are running.

Excel 2007

  1. Open the shared workbook in Excel 2007.
  2. Click the Review tab.
  3. In the Changes group, click Share Workbook.
  4. On the Editing tab, click the name of each user whom you want to disconnect, and then click Remove User after each name.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and earlier versions of Excel

  1. On the Tools menu, click Share Workbook, and then click the Editing tab.
  2. In the Who has this workbook open now box, review the list of users.
  3. Click the name of each user whom you want to disconnect, and then click Remove User.
The issue that is described in this article may occur regardless of whether you use the Don't keep change history option in Excel. Excel keeps track of any changes that are required to synchronize the workbook between users. Excel stores these changes in memory until you save the workbook. When you save the workbook, Excel saves these changes to the hard disk drive.

Whenever Excel closes unexpectedly, ghost user names can remain in the shared workbook. The workbook tracks the version of a shared workbook to which a user was last synchronized. The workbook does this so that changes that are made after the synchronization are not purged.

To avoid the issue that is described in this article, use the following suggested practices:
  • Save frequently. The longer the interval between save operations, the more memory that is used by stored change records that have not been saved to the file.
  • Make sure that each user closes the shared workbook daily. This procedure helps prevent ghost user names. Additionally, this procedure enables change records that are in memory to be purged.
  • Periodically, look for and remove any ghost user names that are left in the workbook. Then, save and then close the workbook.
XL2003 XL2007 XL2002 XL2000

Article ID: 930253 - Last Review: 02/15/2012 16:59:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition

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