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Excel: How to Troubleshoot Crashing and Not Responding Issues with Excel
Article ID: 2758592 - View products that this article applies to.
When you open or use Microsoft Excel, Excel crashes, hangs, freezes, or stops working. Additionally, you receive the following error message:
Excel is not responding.
Problems with Excel crashing or hanging can be caused by several things. The following is a list of possible resolutions.
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 updatesYou 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 Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can frequently correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities.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 updatesFor more information about Office updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953878/ )Cumulative updates are available from the Microsoft Office team to fix reported problems
More informationIf your issue is not resolved after you install the latest Windows and Office updates, go to method 2.
Method 2: Start Excel in safe modeSafe 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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/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-insMany developers create add-ins for Excel. These add-ins are divided into two types:
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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/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 ExcelIf your antivirus software is not up to date, Excel may not function correctly.
How to check whether your antivirus software is up to dateTo 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 ExcelIf 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 processFrequently, 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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/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 partySometimes 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 profileOccasionally, 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 programYou may be able to resolve your issues with Excel by repairing your Office programs. To do this, follow these steps:
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:
290301If your issue is not resolved after you repair your Office programs, go to the "Advanced troubleshooting" section.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301/ )How to uninstall or remove Microsoft Office 2010 suites
Advanced troubleshootingIf 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 contentsExcel 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 factorsEnvironmental 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:
PermissionsWhen 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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/271513/ )How to troubleshoot errors when you save Excel files
Where the file is storedMoving 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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615/ )Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software
MemoryExcel 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 driversWhen 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:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2555016/ )Excel 2010 may crash when using HP Printers
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.