How to Restore Excel Spreadsheet to a Previous Version

by Louise Balle
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When you have a newer version of Microsoft Excel (2007 and later) on your computer, you can usually open a spreadsheet from an older version with no problem, but that is not always true in the reverse situation. Newer Microsoft Office versions are not always compatible with older programs. So to assure that your spreadsheet will be compatible with all versions of Excel, you may want to convert it back to the previous version.

Step 1

Open your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Click "Save As" from the "File" or "Office" menu depending on your version.

Step 2

Press the arrow next to the "Save as type" drop down box. Find "Excel 97-2003 Workbook" from the list. If your spreadsheet is a template choose "Excel 97-2003 Template."

Click "Save" and email the file to the computer that has the older version of Microsoft Excel to assure that it opens correctly.


  • You can tell the difference between an Excel file from an older version (97-2003) and a later version (2007 and later) by hovering your mouse over each file in your folder. Just click "Open" on your Excel main menu and navigate to the folder that contains the Excel spreadsheet. Place your mouse above the file name and a popup box will show you the file version information. Keep and distribute both versions of the spreadsheet—one for people who have older versions of Excel (97 to 2003) and one for yourself and others with a newer version.


Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

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