It was bad before. But this is absolutely crazy. Illustrator has been horrible at saving in the recent past. But it's been tolerable. This is different.
I have a 5.9 MB native Illustrator file, that I've already Saved As. I then quit Illustrator, reopened the file, exported some artboards, and am trying to save it again. It took 18 minutes and 46 seconds to save. A 5.9 MB file.
I'm running the latest Monterrey. And the latest Illustrator. On a 2019 MacBook Pro with 32gb of memory.
Can you try and turn off "Save in background" in the preferences?
Turning off "Save in Background" yielded a blazing 16:31 minute save time with the only difference from before being the inability to use Illustrator while it was saving.
Where do you save it?
Where do I save it? On my computer.
This file has 15 artboards. But the entire file is literally some text and the same AU file placed multiple times. So against my better judgment, I went back in and created two separate backgrounds, saved as transparent PNG files, that match the exact size I need and replaced all the linked AI files. The resulting file took around 3 minutes to save. A marked improvement. However, it created a LOT of extra work for me for something I've done a million times in the past without the slightest hiccup.
Those saving times are not normal.
Now you replaced the linked .ai backgrounds with png files.
What happens if you embed it once and use that as a Static symbol?
That was my plan. Just finished replacing them all with a symbol. Hit Save As and its up to 2:09 so far.
So it just finished. Just a shade under 12 minutes. And that is with ONE embedded file that I turned into a symbol and placed throughout the artboards. Also, the resulting file is 8mb. The largest yet.
The filesize depends on the type of symbol Static (unfortunately not the default) is small, Dynamic creates large files.
But you are not alone with long saving times:
I would recommend to report it here: