Error message: "Microsoft Office Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action"

Symptoms

When you open or use a Microsoft Excel workbook, you receive the following error message:
Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action.
You may receive this error message if any of the following actions occur:
  • You try to use the Send as Attachment option in Excel.
  • You try to open an embedded object in Excel.
  • The Excel worksheet tries to access data from another application that is still active.
  • Too many Excel add-ins have been added to the program, or one of the add-ins is corrupted.

Resolution

To resolve this problem, use one or more of the following methods.

Method 1: Use a different method to attach the Excel workbook to an email message

We recommend you use the internal Send Using E-mail option in Excel to send the workbook as an attachment. However, if you experience this error, you can send the workbook file as an email attachment. Visit the following Microsoft website for more information about how to use this workaround: If you use a different email program, you may want to refer to its help section for information about how to attach a file to your email message.

This problem may also occur if your email client (such as Outlook) cannot communicate with the server. If this is the case, the error message takes some time to appear. For information about how to troubleshoot Outlook connection problems, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
813514 Error messages when you send and receive in Outlook and Outlook Express
If this error continues to occur frequently, try to send a Word document as an email attachment from the Word application to determine whether the problem is specific to Excel. Method 2: Close the application that interacts with Excel

The error may occur when Excel interacts with another application, and that application is not responding. For example, the Excel worksheet may contain an embedded object (such as a Word document) that you try to open, nd the application that is associated with the object (Word) does not respond in a timely manner.

If this describes your scenario, we recommend you close both Excel and the other application, and then start the Excel workbook again and test.

If the problem still occurs, try to work around it by enabling the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) feature. To do this, follow these steps:

Microsoft Excel 2010
  1. On the File tab, click Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click to select the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.
Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Excel Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click to select the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box in the General area.
  3. Click OK.
Microsoft Office Excel 2003 or earlier versions
  1. n the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Click to select the Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) check box, and then click OK.
Method 3: Troubleshoot add-ins in Excel

The error can occur if you have too many Excel add-ins or one of the add-ins is corrupted. We recommend that you temporarily disable the add-ins, and then test your workbook. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the File tab, click Options, and then click the Add-Ins category.
  2. In the Manage box, click Excel Add-ins, and then click Go.
  3. In the Add-Ins available list, clear to select the check box next to each add-in, and then click OK.
If the error no longer occurs, repeat these steps to determine which add-in is the cause of the problem. Add the add-ins one at a time until the problem re-appears. You can remove and then re-add this Excel add-in, or you can leave it inactive. For more information, see the following Office website article:If the error continues to occur, you may also want to remove the COM add-ins. To do this, follow the steps in the following Office website article: Add or remove add-ins.

More Information

The information provided in this section is for advanced users.

If you created a workbook that is automating another application through VBA, you can add the following line of code to turn off the message:

Application.DisplayAlerts = False

Note In the code that performs the automation, this line of code must precede the call for the line of code that causes the error.
Properties

Article ID: 2698564 - Last Review: Sep 24, 2015 - Revision: 1

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