Filed Under: Repair, Windows

Excel Not Responding? Here Are the Top Fixes You Should Try


Written by Jack Lin

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Excel Not Responding

Is Excel not responding or frozen? Have you failed to open it, and no data can be accessed? Don’t be frustrated; you are not the only one in the world to experience that issue.

Just like any other app, MS Excel, too, can fail for some reason. So, this guide will explain how to overcome this issue and get your Excel back to normal.

As mentioned in the above paragraph, “Excel not responding” is not an issue that is unique to you. Users from all around the world have experienced this issue and are looking for solutions.

When you experience this issue, it can be pretty frustrating and problematic. You cannot create documents, edit existing documents, or even copy the content when Excel doesn’t respond.

Also, some users say that their Excel sheets become unresponsive in the middle of work. As a result, you may even fail to save the file you were working on.

So, finding a solution to this issue is exceptionally important for any computer user. The purpose of this guide is to explain the most practical solutions to try if your Excel is not responding.

Besides, if you wonder how to decrypt Excel files, you should check out this guide.

Part 1: Reasons Behind Excel Not Responding Issue

It is true that there are plenty of reasons for MS Excel to stop working all of a sudden. It is working perfectly now, and in the next second, it gets stuck.

With that said, mentioned below are only some of the most common reasons behind this issue.

  • If you are using an MS Excel version, which is outdated, it might get unresponsive pretty frequently.
  • You are using the Excel software to accomplish another task at the same time.
  • You have installed some third-party add-ins on your MS Excel version, and they cause some conflicts.
  • The antivirus program installed on the PC might conflict with the MS Excel software. This is particularly true if the MS Excel version you are using is outdated.
  • You are using a third-party app on your PC, which conflicts with your MS Excel version.
Excel not responding

Also, there can be plenty of other reasons for MS Excel to function strangely. Regardless of how the respective issue is caused, let’s learn how to fix it.

Part 2: Fixes You Should Try if Excel is Not Responding

In this part, we will explain all the practical solutions to try if Excel is not responding.

The solutions mentioned below can address the “Excel not responding” issue regardless of its cause. So, let’s continue to learn how to do it.

Method 01: Launch Excel in Safe Mode

Launching Excel in Safe Mode is one of the most basic methods to fix the “Excel not responding” error. This temporary solution can help you until a permanent solution is found.

So, follow the instructions below and learn how to do it.

  • First, you should launch the Run utility simply by hitting Windows and R keys simultaneously on your keyboard.
  • Then, key in the text “excel.exe/safe” (without inverted commas) and hit “Enter” or click on “OK.”
Launch MS Excel in Safe Mode

This option will launch MS Excel in safe mode. However, as mentioned before, this is not a permanent solution. You should try this; even if it works, you will have to find a reliable solution later.

Method 02: Disable the Installed Add-ins to Fix Excel Not Responding

As we have mentioned before, some of the add-ins can conflict with the function of MS Excel software. This is very common if you use third-party add-ons on an outdated Excel version.

Anyway, before trying any other method, it is better to disable the add-ons you may have installed. That will help you get rid of the potential conflicts you may have.

Below are the instructions to follow if you need to disable the installed add-ons on MS Excel.

  • First, you should start the process by launching MS Excel in Safe Mode. You already know this because we explained how to do it in the previous method. After that, you should see the main interface of MS Excel. You should just go to the main toolbar on the interface and click on “File.” Then, go to the option called “Excel Options” to proceed.
  • You can click on the option “Add-ins” on the side menu. When you click on it, you can see another option called “Excel Add-Ins,” as well. It can be found in the option called “Manage.” Then, hit “Go” to move forward.
Disable the installed add-ins
  • You can then uncheck the box next to the add-in you intend to disable. If you need to disable multiple add-ons, you can uncheck the boxes next to them. Then, you should click on the “OK” button, which will save the changes you have made. That’s it. You can relaunch MS Excel and see if the application is still not responding.

If the issue is related to add-ons, you will likely solve it by now. However, if the problem persists, you should move to the next solution we explain.

Method 03: Repair the MS Office Version You Have

If disabling add-ons doesn’t work, the issue might be related to corrupted or damaged files of the app itself. Even a minor glitch can cause MS Excel to work properly, so it will fail to respond.

So, to address such types of issues, you should repair Microsoft Office and relaunch MS Excel. You don’t have to use a third-party tool to do it.

Instead, you can use a utility available in the software, and it is called the “Repair Microsoft Office Program.”

Below are the instructions to follow if you want to repair the Microsoft Office package.

  • First, go to your PC’s “Start” menu (located at the bottom left). Once the “Start” menu is opened, you should locate the option labeled “Windows System.” Then, click on it and launch the “Control Panel” option.
Repair the MS Office version you have
  • You must click on the “Programs and Features” option in the Control Panel window.
Repair the MS Office version you have
  • Now, you should right-click on the option labeled “Microsoft Office.” After that, you should choose the “Repair” option on the existing menu.
Repair the MS Office version you have

Now, you should launch the Microsoft Excel application once again and see if it works. If it doesn’t, you should move to the next solution.

Method 04: Change Your Default Printer to Fix Excel Not Responding

Changing the default printer on your system can be another solution to address this issue.

Many users have tried this fix and found it to be very effective in solving this error. Changing the default printer to another is not difficult at all.

You can easily follow the instructions mentioned below and change the default printer.

  • To begin, you should click the “Start” button on the PC and open the “Start Menu.” Then, locate the “Control Panel” on the menu and open it.
Change your default printer
  • Once the “Control Panel” window is opened, you should click on “Printer and Devices.”
Change your default printer
  • Choose the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” option and set it to the default printer.
Change your default printer

Now, open MS Excel on your computer and see if it works without issue.

Method 05: Recompile the Macros

“Excel not responding” error can appear on your PC due to an issue related to Macros.

In other words, fault macros can be a strong reason behind the “Excel not responding” error. However, it doesn’t take that long to fix such an error.

Mentioned below are the steps to do it.

  • Launch MS Excel on your computer and go to its “Developer” tab to proceed. Then, choose the option called “Visual Basic.”
  • Afterward, you should go to the “Tools” option and select “Options.” Then, click on the option called “General,” as well. After that, you should clear the option “Compile or Demand.”
Recompile the Macros
Recompile the Macros to fix Excel Not Responding
  • You can now use the navigation pane labeled “Project.” Then, please click on the option called “Module” as well. You can then choose the option called “Insert” so you can insert a new module.

Now, you should save the Excel document and close the Excel application. When you open MS Excel next time, it should work smoothly.

Method 06: Perform a Reinstallation to Fix Excel Not Responding

If you have yet to succeed even after trying all the above options, try a reinstallation. You should uninstall MS Excel from your PC and install a new version.

Thanks to the user-friendliness of the Windows platform, installing a new MS Excel version is a pretty easy process.

Mentioned below are the steps you should follow.

  • First, you should launch the Control Panel on your PC and go to Programs. Then, click on Programs and Features.
Perform a reinstallation
  • You should find Microsoft Office under the list of installed programs. Click on it and choose the option called “Uninstall.”
Perform a reinstallation to fix Excel Not Responding
  • Once the uninstallation is finished, you should reinstall a fresh copy of MS Office. This should fix the issue and get your MS Excel application to work smoothly.

Besides, if you wonder how to fix Microsoft Word not responding, you should check out this guide.

Important Tip: How to Recover an MS Excel Password if You Have Forgotten It?

Those who use Excel very often have the habit of using passwords to protect their files. This step is required to prevent third parties from editing or misusing Excel files. Password protection is not unique to Excel.

All the other tools in the MS Office package can be locked and protected using passwords. Regardless of how useful this feature is, it can also become a serious issue. What if you have forgotten the password of a protected file?

In that case, you’ll have to find a professional and reliable way to recover lost or forgotten Excel passwords.

The best Excel password remover tool you can use to recover a lost MS Excel password is Passfab for Excel. It is a dedicated tool that can easily crack the passwords on any Excel file. It is quick, reliable, and convenient.

This tool comes with various handy features, including the fastest recovery speed and four password attack modes.

Also, it features two password recovery modes. The success rate of Passfab for Excel is impressive, and it is surely among the highest in the industry.

You don’t have to worry about the safety of your data if you use Passfab for Excel. None of your data will be damaged or lost if you recover it through Passfab for Excel.

Passfab for Excel

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Why does Excel freeze or become unresponsive?

A1: Excel can freeze or become unresponsive due to various reasons, such as large file sizes, corrupt add-ins, outdated software, conflicts with hardware acceleration, or system performance issues.

Q2: Will repairing Microsoft Office delete my data?

A2: No, repairing Microsoft Office will not delete your data. It focuses on fixing any issues with the installation files and should not affect your saved files or documents.

Q3: How can I prevent Excel from freezing in the future?

A3: To prevent Excel from freezing, keep your software and operating system up to date, avoid using too many add-ins, optimize Excel’s performance settings, increase available memory, and regularly clear temporary files.

Q4: Can a virus or malware cause Excel not to respond?

A4: While it’s unlikely that a virus or malware directly causes Excel not to respond, antivirus software can sometimes interfere with Excel’s operations, leading to unresponsiveness. Temporarily disabling antivirus software can help identify if it’s the cause.

Q5: What should I do if none of the fixes work?

A5: If none of the fixes mentioned in this article work, it’s recommended to reach out to Microsoft support or consult with an IT professional who can provide further assistance.


Excel not responding issues can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can resolve them and get back to working efficiently. By following the suggestions outlined in this article, you can address the most common causes of Excel unresponsiveness and prevent future occurrences.


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