Why does excel always say "..may contain features that are not compatible with CSV" when saving a CSV file?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Every CSV I’ve ever tried to save from Excel (2010, anyway) says filename.csv may contain features that are not compatible with CSV (Comma delimited). Do you want to keep the workbook in this format?. Why is this? Is there any way to save CSV files from excel that do not contain this message?

Even the following file (saved as a .csv) will cause this to happen, if you try to save it:

test1,test2
test3,test4

I’ve even just created a new spreadsheet in excel and tried to save it, and it still shows this message.

I wouldn’t care, but I have someone telling me that I’m not formatting CSV files properly because excel shows that warning message, and I’m looking for ammunition to prove it’s Excel and not my format (or if it actually is my format, to fix it).

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

Microsoft Excel will claim this when saving to just about any format other than .xls or .xlsx. The reason is that only these (proprietary Microsoft) formats can support Excel features like formulas, (conditional) formatting, charts, multiple worksheets, etc.

If all you’re saving is data, you can safely ignore this message. I think you can even tell Excel to shut up and stop telling you that with a little “Don’t show this warning again” tickbox on that “error” message.

To the person criticizing “your” CSV formatting, I’d shoot back that it’s Excel, not you, generating the CSV file, so any error in the CSV format is Excel’s error, not yours.

Method 2

Looks like there is a way to fix this, I just found this article, which worked for me using Excel 2013.

Registry subkey 
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel\Options
Value name  DisableSaveAsLossWarningOpenDocumentSpreadsheet
Value type  DWORD
Value data  0 - Display the warning message
            1 - Suppress the warning message

The registry value changes to

DisableSaveAsLossWarningOpenDocumentPresentation for Powerpoint and
DisableSaveAsLossWarningOpenDocumentText for Word

Method 3

The features that Excel is complaining about are settings and functionality like cell formatting, column filters, formulas, and other Excel specific functionality that won’t be saved when you save to a CSV.

For example, if you had a cell that contained a formula, such as =2+2, only the evaluated value of 4 would be stored in the CSV, the formula itself would be lost.

Method 4

This question is 9+ years old at this point but I can confirm there is a solution in at least Excel 365 and likely other versions.

File > Options > Save

Why does excel always say "..may contain features that are not compatible with CSV" when saving a CSV file?

Method 5

In my case I was swapping between Windows 7 and Windows 10 with keeping my .ods files.

The solution to get rid of the popup every time was not changing the file format, but copying and pasting all the content to a new .xlsx file.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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