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Symptoms

When you open or use Microsoft Excel, Excel crashes, hangs, freezes, or stops working. Additionally, you may receive one of the following error message: 

Excel is not responding.

Excel has stopped working. 
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.  Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.



Cause

Problems with Excel crashing or hanging can be caused by several things. The following is a list of possible resolutions.

Resolution

Use the following methods in the order in which they are presented. If you try one of these methods and it does not help, go to the next method.

Method 1: Verify/install the latest updates

You might have to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can frequently correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities. To install the latest Office updates, click the link specific to your version of Windows and follow the steps in that article.


Operating system updates

Install Windows updates in Windows 7

Install Windows updates in Windows Vista

Install Windows updates in Windows XP

Office updates

For more information about Office updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
953878 Cumulative updates are available from the Microsoft Office team to fix reported problems  
If your issue is not resolved after you install the latest Windows and Office updates, go to method 2.

Method 2: Start Excel in safe mode

Safe mode lets you safely use Excel without encountering certain startup programs. You can open Excel in safe mode by pressing and holding Ctrl while you start the program or by using the "/safe" (that is, excel.exe /safe) option when you start the program from the command line. When you run Excel in safe mode, it bypasses functionality and settings such as alternative startup location, changed toolbars, the xlstart folder, and Excel add-ins. (However, COM add-ins are excluded.)

If your issue is resolved after you run Excel in safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
280504 How to troubleshoot startup problems in Excel

If your issue is not resolved after you start Excel in safe mode, go to method 3.

Method 3: Investigate possible issues with add-ins

Many developers create add-ins for Excel. These add-ins are divided into two types:
  • Excel add-ins (add-ins that are saved as .xla, .xlam, or .xll files). These add-ins are loaded in the Excel user interface.
  • COM add-ins. These add-ins usually have to be installed and include DLLs and registry keys.

Disabling add-ins is a good test because it let you narrow the choice of which add-in is causing the crash.

Note Excel safe mode does not disable COM add-ins.

For more information about add-ins in Excel, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
280504 How to troubleshoot startup problems in Excel

If your issue is not resolved after you remove or disable add-ins, go to method 4.

Method 4: Check whether your antivirus software is up to date or is conflicting with Excel

If your antivirus software is not up to date, Excel may not function correctly.

How to check whether your antivirus software is up to date

To keep up with new viruses that are created, antivirus software vendors periodically provide updates that you can download from the Internet. Download the latest updates by visiting your antivirus software vendor’s website. For a list of antivirus software vendors, go to the following Microsoft website:
Consumer security software providers

How to check whether antivirus software is conflicting with Excel

If your antivirus software includes integration with Excel, you may experience performance issues. In this case, you can disable all Excel integration within the antivirus software by creating exceptions for Excel files.

Important
Changing your antivirus settings may make your PC vulnerable to viral, fraudulent, or malicious attacks. We do not recommend that you try to change your antivirus settings. Use this workaround at your own risk. You may have to contact your antivirus software vendor to determine how to configure software to exclude any integration with Excel.
If updating you antivirus software, and excluding it from integrating with Excel did not resolve your issue, continue to method 5.


Method 5: Make sure that Excel is not being used by another process

Frequently, Excel is being started by a third party or called through an automation process. This may cause Excel not to perform as expected. If you are automating Excel in this manner, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257757 Considerations for server-side Automation of Office

Try to reproduce the crash only with Excel. Do not use any automation. If you can reproduce the issue only by using automation, contact the company that supports the automation application.

If your issue is not resolved after you remove automation, go to method 6.

Method 6: Check whether your file is being generated by a third party

Sometimes Excel files are generated by a third-party application. In this case, the files may be generated incorrectly, and some features may not work correctly when you open the files in Excel. If this occurs, test the features in new files outside the third-party application. If the features work correctly, you should make sure that the third party is aware of the issue.

If your issue is not resolved after you test it outside the third-party application, go to method 7.

Method 7: Test by using a new local or network profile

Occasionally, Windows might not read your user profile correctly. To determine whether a corrupted user profile is causing the issue, try to log on as a new user. Or, click one of the following links, depending on your version of Windows, and then follow the steps in the article:

Windows 7: Fix a corrupted user profile

Windows Vista: Fix a corrupted user profile

Windows XP: How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP

If your issue is not resolved after you re-create the profile, go to method 8.

Method 8: Perform a selective startup to determine whether a program, process, or service conflicts with Excel


When you start Windows as usual, several applications and services start automatically and then run in the background. These applications and services can interfere with other software on your PC. Performing a selective startup (also known as a "clean boot") can help you identify problems with conflicting applications. To perform a selective startup, click one of the following links, depending on your version of Windows, and then follow the steps in the article:

Windows 7: Run Selective Startup using System Configuration

Windows Vista: Run Selective Startup using System Configuration

Windows XP: How to configure Windows XP to start in a "clean boot" state

Selective startup is used to help identify the offending process, service, or application that conflicts with Excel.

If your issue is not resolved after you perform a selective startup, go to method 9.

Method 9: Repair or reinstall your Office program

You may be able to resolve your issues with Excel by repairing your Office programs. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Exit any Office programs that are running.
  2. Open Control Panel, and then open the Add or Remove Programs item (if you are running Windows XP) or the Programs and Features item (if you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7).
  3. In the list of installed programs, right-click Microsoft Office 2010, and then click Repair.

Note If you are using Office Click-to-Run, go to the following Microsoft Office website, and then follow the steps to repair Office Click-to-Run:

Update, repair, or uninstall Office Click-to-Run products

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  
290301 How to uninstall or remove Microsoft Office 2010 suites  
If your issue is not resolved after you repair your Office programs, go to the "Advanced troubleshooting" section.


Advanced troubleshooting

If the methods that were mentioned earlier did not resolve your issue, the issue could be either file specific or environmental. The following section describes how to troubleshoot additional issue that can cause Excel to hang or to crash.

Investigate Excel file details and contents

Excel files can exist on the computer for a long time. They are upgraded from version to version and frequently travel from one user to another user. Frequently, a user inherits an Excel file but doesn't know what is included in the file. Therefore, make sure that you take an inventory of your Excel files and remove files that are no longer needed. For more information about possible trouble areas in an excel file, go to the following Microsoft website: 

Excel: How to troubleshoot crashing and not responding issues in an Excel Files
Top 10 List of Performance Issues in Excel Workbooks

Environmental factors

Environmental factors are just as important as file contents and add-ins when you are troubleshooting crashes. You can help us determine the cause of your issue by taking the following actions:
  • Follow basic troubleshooting steps.
  • Test files in the cleanest possible environment. For example, test files on a local computer . Or, use a Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer driver.
The following sections describe some areas that are worth investigating.

Permissions
When you save an Excel file, you must have the following permissions to the folder to which you are saving the file:

• Read permissions
• Write permissions
• Modify permissions
• Delete permissions

Note If you do not have all these permissions, the Excel save process cannot be completed, and Excel may hang or crash. To learn more about why Excel needs these permissions, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 
814068 Description of the way that Excel saves files

Note
 If Excel hangs or crashes when you save a file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 
271513 How to troubleshoot errors when you save Excel files

Where the file is stored
Moving the file locally will help determine whether there is something wrong with the file or with where the file is saved. Several issues can arise when you save an Excel file over a network or to a web server. It is a good idea to save the file locally. This should be done in the following scenarios:

• Redirected "My Documents" folder to server location

• Offline files

• Opening files from Webfolder or SharePoint

• Remote Desktop/Citrix

• Network appliances

• Virtualized environment. For more information about Microsoft software that is running in a virtualized environment, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  
897615 Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software

Memory
Excel files can grow fairly large when you start adding lots of formatting and shapes. Make sure that your system has enough RAM to run the application. For system requirements of the Microsoft Office suites, go to the following Microsoft websites: 

System requirements for Office 2013

System requirements for Office 2010

System requirements for Excel 2007

Office 2010 introduces native 64-bit versions of Office products to take advantage of this larger capacity. For example, this additional capacity is needed only by those Microsoft Excel users who require Excel spreadsheets to access more than 2 gigabytes (GB) of addressable memory. To read more about Excel and 64-bit editions of Office, go to the following Microsoft websites:

64-bit editions of Office 2013

Understanding 64-bit Office

Printers and video drivers
When Excel is started, it examines the default printer and video drivers that will display the Excel workbooks. Excel is printer-intensive. Therefore, it will run even slower when Excel files are saved in Page Break Preview view. Testing the file by using different printers such as the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer driver or the VGA video driver will determine whether the problem is with a specific printer or video driver.

There is a known issue with certain HP printer drivers. You should remove these printer drivers your computer. To view a list of these printer drivers, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 
2555016 Excel 2010 may crash when using HP Printers  

More information

If you still have hanging or crashing issues in Excel after you work through the resolution methods that are mentioned here, you should contact Microsoft Support for more information.

Properties

Article ID: 2758592 - Last Review: October 29, 2013 - Revision: 5.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Excel 2013
Keywords: 
KB2758592

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