How to resolve “Microsoft Excel cannot open or save any more documents” warning

Case

You are trying to open an Office file in any Office application, e.g. Excel and you receive the following error:

Microsoft Excel cannot open or save any more documents.

Solution

This warning is very tricky and can have many potential root causes. Check the following items when troubleshooting:

  1. First off, check the actual server/workstation resource usage, including disk space, RAM memory and CPU utilization. Also check the administrative event logs in the windows event viewer.
  2. In many cases this warning is misleading because it actually points to a security trust issue. On the affected MS Office file, right click and choose Properties –> General and untick the Unblock button. If this resolves the issue, then consider changing the security settings inside the Microsoft application to let the MS application trust the folder where the file resides. This can be setup from inside MS app, eg Excel, go to File –> Options –> Trust Center –> Trust Center Settings –Trusted Locations. Try the following: a) Tick the allow trusted locations on my network and b) Click the Add new location button and add the UNC path of the folder where the file in question resides.

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