Excel Not Responding – Here is How to Fix it (2024)

Excel is a powerful tool used by millions of people around the world to handle data πŸ’ͺ🏻

However, it is common for Excel users to get issues with Excel files such as the Excel not responding error.

This is such a frustrating experience because it prevents you from getting your work done 😫

But you don’t need to panic 😊

In this article, we’ll cover the possible reasons why Excel is not responding so that you know what to do to fix Excel πŸ”¨

Start Excel in safe mode

Sometimes the Excel not responding error happens when there are conflicts due to

  • Excel add-ins or
  • Other software applications such as antivirus software add-ins.

In such situations, opening Excel in safe mode is the best solution 🦺

When you open Excel in safe mode, all the add-ins and each third-party application will be disabled.

It helps you to identify whether add-ins and other applications are the roots of the Microsoft Excel not responding issue.

Disable add-ins

Have you tried the safe mode option to open the Excel file and it functions properly?

It indicates that the Excel not responding error is due to add-ins or other third-party applications.

You can disable excel add-ins one by one until you find the cause of the error message in your Excel files πŸ”’

To disable add-ins you have to follow the below steps.

  1. Go to the File tab.
Go to the file tab
  1. Select options.
Select options
  1. Go to add-ins in Excel options.
Go to add-ins in Excel options.
  1. In the manage box, select Excel Add-ins and click Go.
In the manage box, select Excel Add-ins and click Go
  1. Clear the check box next to the add-in that you wish to disable in the Add-Ins available box. Then click OK.
Clear the check box next to the add-in that you wish to disable in the Add-Ins available box. Then click OK.

Sometimes you have to restart Excel to remove disabled add-ins from the ribbon.

First, you can disable all Excel add-ins.

Then, check whether the Excel not responding error is resolved.

If it is not resolved, you can follow the above steps and disable Com add-ins.

Is disabling the add-ins fix Microsoft Excel?

Then you can start enabling one add-in at a time until you find the one causing the issue.

Repair Microsoft Office

Sometimes MS Excel not responding due to corrupt or damaged installations of MS office programs.

Then, your solution is to repair Microsoft Office programs βš’οΈ

To repair MS office apps, you can follow the below steps.

  1. Type “Control Panel” in the Windows search bar.
  1. Select the Control Panel to go to the control panel window.
Select the Control Panel to go to the control panel window
  1. Click Uninstall a program under programs.
Click uninstall a program under programs.
  1. Select Microsoft 365 and click “Change.
  1. Click Quick Repair
  2. Click Repair.

After the repair process is completed, you may have to restart your computer.

Check if Excel is in use by another process

Another main reason for the Excel not responding error is that Excel spreadsheet is used in another process.

To check that, you have to open the task manager.

You can open the Task manager using the “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” shortcut.

Check whether “EXCEL.EXE” is in the list of processes.

If it is running, you have to right-click on it and select “End Task”.

Fix a slow Excel file

When we are working with a large set of data, sometimes our Excel workbooks function very slowly 🐌

It can be due to many reasons.

  • Array formulas referencing entire columns.
  • Circular referencing
  • There are unnecessary data and unnecessary formatting, large-size pictures.
  • The Excel file is saved in the page break preview view. When you open an Excel worksheet, the Excel program will check the default printer. It may cause reduced Excel performance.

To make Excel files work properly, you can do the following.

  • Select only the relevant cell ranges for array functions. Example: For XLOOKUP, select only the relevant cell ranges for the lookup and return arrays.
  • Minimize circular referencing.
  • Minimize links between Excel files and Excel worksheets.
  • Try to avoid referencing your formulas to cells that are on the right side and below your formula.
  • Remove invalid defined names.
  • Remove unnecessary data sheets.
  • Remove unnecessary formatting.
  • Compress pictures inside your Excel workbook.
  • Don’t save Excel files with the view as a page break preview.
  • Use Excel’s built-in performance optimization tools.
  • Apply any other performance optimization tip recommended by Microsoft Support.

Update Excel

The Excel not responding error sometimes occur when there are bugs and other software problems.

Then, you can update the Excel program to fix Microsoft Excel not responding error.

You can follow the below steps to update Microsoft Excel πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ’»

  1. Go to the File tab.
Go to the file tab
  1. Select Account.
Select Account
  1. Expand update options.
Expand update options.
  1. Click “Update Now”

That’s it – Now what?

Nice going! Now that you’ve learned the possible reasons why Excel is not responding, you can now easily fix these issues πŸ˜€

You also learned that one of the causes of the Excel not responding error can be your Excel formulas and functions πŸ’‘

So, it’s really important to learn how to correctly and efficiently build your functions and formulas in Excel.

If you want to learn Excel functions correctly and efficiently, then join my 30-minute free online course where I send you free, quick, and practical lessons about the IF, SUMIF, and VLOOKUP functions.

Get more work done in less time by learning these powerful Excel functions πŸš€

Join this Excel training that helped +100,000 people and more πŸ€—

Other resources

Have you lost your Excel file due to Excel not responding error? 😒

Quickly read our article about How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files (4 Free Methods) so you can easily recover your lost files.

You can minimize the Excel not responding issue by reading about How to Find Circular References in Excel and How to Reduce Excel File Size.

Be Excel-wise! 🧐 Read our Full List of ALL Excel Errors and How to Fix Them article.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, in most cases.

Excel will recover from not responding if you follow the solutions outlined above.

But, if the issue is related to a corrupted or damaged Excel file, you may need to recover the file using a backup or by using Excel’s built-in repair tools.

It can be due to many factors such as outdated software, a corrupted/ damaged file, insufficient memory, or conflicting software.

Update your Excel versions regularly to get better performance. Regular virus scans can help lower the risk of malware infections that can cause Excel to stop responding.