How to save an older Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (97-2003) in a newer file format (2007+)

The Problem

Older versions of Excel spreadsheets (97-2003) often prompt you to

"Check compatibility when saving this workbook"


This can lead to inconsistencies in formats and can be tiresome. Remove these unwanted prompts permanently by saving them in a newer version

Another advantage of saving in the newer Excel file format is that they typically take at least half the disk space – which makes them quicker to open and save, as well as saving valuable disk space

The older file format saves and Excel spreadsheet as an XLS file
(Excel 2003 icon example below)


The newer file formats save as an XLSX file
(Excel 2010 icon example below)


How to do it

Press F12 (keyboard shortcut to open the Save As .. box)


Click Save as Type and change it from “Excel 97-2003 Workbook” to
Excel Workbook


Sorted! 🙂

P.S. And here’s an example comparison of file sizes: