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FIX: Google Apps “A server error occurred and we were unable to save your last change”

Today I was working on a Google Spreadsheet with my Google Apps for work account from work, I was adding multiple images to it. Suddenly an error appeared:

“There was a problem, a server error occurred and we were unable to save your last change. We are restoring your spreadsheet to its previous state.”

The spreadsheet was not getting the latest changes saved and entered into an endless loop of the same error popping up over and over again.

I tried several things I came up with, plus some other suggestions I found online. These are the things I tried and didn’t solve the issue:

– Hit CTRL+F5 to reload the Chrome browser session with refreshed cache.
– Closed all Chrome sessions and tried again.
– Cleared Chrome´s cache.
– The Chrome version I am using is: 37.0.2062.120 m. But I tested and the same issue repeats with Chromium 39.0.2137.0 (751d179ac804) and my personal Google Apps for Work account.
– I tried to make a copy of the Google Spreadsheet file to check if the behavior would continue and it did.

– I asked a colleague to open the file and try to edit it by just for example; moving one of the images, and it worked perfectly for him.

So was it something I had on my own computer that was preventing me to edit the file so Google can Auto-Save it?

I finally figured out what was going on. I´ve noticed that my Chrome session had the zoom set to 75% so I could see more content on my Spreadsheet. So I tried resetting it to 100%, but I was seeing the same error. I then tried closing the tab with the spreadsheet with problems and re-opened it with the zoom at 100%. The problem went away.

To double check this, I asked my co-worker to open the spreadsheet, zoom down to 90% and to try to edit the file by moving an image. As soon as Google tried to save the file, pam! the same error again.

I asked him to reset the zoom and re-test, and as me, the issue went away.

Other things I tested

– I tested with the latest Chrome release: 38.0.2125.104 m and the problem persisted.
– I tested with Internet Explorer 11.0.9600.17207 and the problem didn’t occur.
– I tested with Firefox 33.0 and the same behavior as Chrome occurred, the error did occur.

Conclusion

It seems there is a relation between the viewing zoom you can set on Google Chrome and Firefox and Google Apps for Work (don’t know if this occurs with the free version). It also seems to be related to the amount of images that are pasted on the file, as I created a new spreadsheet, pasted an image, then tried to move it without any issues on Chrome with viewing zoom of 90%. Maybe the size of the document itself might be helping to the failure? I leave it to Google to figure it out :).

So if you encounter this issue, you know how to get rid of it fast and easy. I hope Google finds out what the problem is and fixes it, as it doesn’t seem to be related only to Chrome, but also to Firefox browser.

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Web + Tech Junkie = Geek. IT Solutions Specialist and entrepreneur. Process improver fan, food lover and blogger. I try to write about different technology topics in this blog.