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Level 2

Exporting to Excel Issues

I am exporting reports to Excel.  Whenever I create a new workbook, it exports just fine.  However, after I have formatted my spreadsheet in Excel and then want to update the export (i.e. Change date ranges) the update export fails.  I have found I can only update a current worksheet when I don't have any colors on my spreadsheet, or do not center my text, etc..  Is there a way to update a worksheet with more current data while still formatting that Excel spreadsheet to make it more appealing?  


Another issue I have pop up is "Quickbooks cannot export to a protected Excel worksheet..." None of my worksheets are protected so why will it not export?  Any help is appreciated. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

Thanks for sharing on-point details about exporting your reports to Excel, @kfrem


Yes, you're right with figuring out that you can only update a current worksheet when you don't have colors on it and the text is not centered. Currently, there isn't an option to update a current worksheet while you're still formatting in Excel. 


Since all of your worksheets aren't protected, here are the possible reasons you're unable to export existing worksheet and the error you're getting: 


  • There is a problem with the report or the data file itself. 
  • QuickBooks versions and MS Office and are not compatible. 
  • QuickBooks installations and MS Office are damaged. 


To help fix this, you'll first need to ensure the compatibility of the program and MS Office. You can check out this article for more information: QuickBooks Desktop System Requirements


Second, you'll need to update update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release. This way, it will help you get the latest features within the program. 


If updating the program doesn't work, please go through the third to the last solutions through this article: QuickBooks Desktop Crashes When Exporting Report to Excel Worksheet


Stay in touch with me how it goes after performing the steps above, @kfrem


I'll be around to help if there's anything else you need. Take care always. 

Level 2

Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

So there is no way to update reports in excel if I have any color or borders on my spreadsheet?  I repaired Microsoft Office, so far it seemed to have worked.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

Hello there, @kfrem.


I’m glad repairing QuickBooks fixed the error message you receive. Let me provide some clarification about exporting reports and updating existing worksheets.

Yes, you can update reports in Excel with colors or borders. However, the newly exported data will replace the existing one removing the effects, fonts and colors on the spreadsheet.

Check out this article about exporting reports for reference: Export report from QuickBooks Desktop to Microsoft Excel.

That should do it. Leave a comment below if you have any other concerns, I’m always here to keep helping. Have a good one!

Level 2

Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

I followed all your steps and repaired Microsoft Office, but I got the "Protected Worksheet" error again today.  All of my programs are updated to the most current version.  Any other reasons why this would do this?


Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

Hello kfrem,


Thank you for getting back to us. Allow me to join the thread and help provide additional troubleshooting for this strange behavior in QuickBooks Desktop.


First, let's check if you can make it work by removing the worksheet protection within the Excel program. For the detailed steps, please visit the Microsoft support article below:


Change or remove workbook passwords.


I also recommend creating a sample file and export payroll data to Excel to determine if the problem is company file related. If you're able to export successfully, we'll need to get back and run the Verify and Rebuild data feature to fix any data damage.


To verify data:


  1. Click the File tab at the top menu bar.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Click Verify Data.

After following the steps above, you can proceed with resolving any data issues the Verify Data finds. Here are the steps:


  1. Click the File tab at the top menu bar.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Click Rebuild Data.


For additional reference about the Verify/Rebuild process, I'm adding the article I recommend on this:


Verify and Rebuild Data in QuickBooks Desktop.


I look forward to serving you to the best of my ability so feel free to post your response regarding the troubleshooting results. The Community is always here to help.

Level 1

Re: Exporting to Excel Issues

SOLUTION FOUND!!  Your Excel worksheet must be in the Normal view.  If your Excel sheet is in the Page Layout view, QuickBooks for some reason recognizes that as Protected.

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