This file cannot be generated because it exceeds the maximum file-size

Applies to
ApexSQL Complete

When exporting data to XLSX Excel file format from the Results grid context menu using ApexSQL Complete feature Export to Excel, you might get the following informative message:


ApexSQL Complete cannot export data that exceeds Excel specifications and limits. If you encounter the above message, you’re trying to export a large result set from the grid that has more than 1,048,576 rows:

As can be seen in the above figure, the result sets returned a large number of rows (11,669,638) which exceeds the maximum limit and therefore ApexSQL Complete is unable to generate the Excel sheet.


The method for overcoming the problem in Excel is simply to reduce the selection when large result sets are returned and try to chunk the data selections in batches. This means that we could select no more than 1,048,576 rows from the result set and we should be good to go:

Note: One additional row is included in the Excel sheet for the table’s column names

If dividing data into chunks does not resolve the issue, please refer to the full list of Excel specifications and limits and ensure that the maximum limit is not exceeded for other Excel feature as well in order to export data successfully.

Affected versions:

  • ApexSQL Complete 2017.07.0324 and above
  • Excel for Office 365, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007