Save a workbook as an XLS file for use with an older version of Excel

Excel 365
By default, Excel saves all workbooks in the newest format (*.xlsx), but you can change the default format to *.xls or anything else.

To customize Excel to save a file in another format than *.xlsx, do the following:

   1.   On the File tab, click the Options button:

Excel 365 Options

   2.   In the Excel Options dialog box, on the Save tab, choose the format you prefer in the list Save files in this format:

Save files in this format in Excel 365
  • Choose Excel 97–2003 Workbook if the file will be used by someone who has Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003,
  • Choose Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook (the last one in the figure above) if the file will be used by someone who has Excel 5 or Excel 95.

Note: Don't forget to run the Compatibility Checker first to ensure nothing critical is lost when you save the workbook in an older format.

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information you’ve provided to them or they’ve collected from your use of their services.

Learn more