How to Fix Excel Not Responding Without Closing (16 Possible Solutions)

This article illustrates 16 effective ways to fix the issue of Excel not responding without closing. Excel users often face this annoying problem due to several reasons. This article highlights those reasons. Then it shows ways to remove those causes. It will be better for you to try to apply the solutions in order. If a solution doesn’t work, go to the next solution. Hopefully, one of them will fix the problem.

How to Fix When Excel Is Not Responding Without Closing: 16 Possible Ways

1. Wait till Excel Responds Again

You may not want to close excel when it stops responding. Because you are concerned about losing your unsaved data. Then, select Wait for the program to respond. Excel may take some time to assess the problem. After that, it will start working again. If not, then try the next solution.

Wait if Excel Not Responding

Read More: Excel Not Responding When Opening File

2. Open Excel in Safe Mode

Certain startup programs can cause excel to not respond. You can run Excel in Safe Mode to check if this is the case. To do that, press and hold the CTRL key while opening the program. If asked whether you want to open Excel in safe mode, select yes.

Alternatively, you can open excel in safe mode using the run command. Press Windows+R. Then enter excel.exe/safe in the Open field. After that, select OK. Now, you will see Safe Mode written at the top of the excel window.

Fix If Excel Not Responding by Opening in Safe Mode

If this solves the issue, then perhaps some add-ins are causing the problem. Go to method 5 to fix that. If not, then try the next solution.

3. Update Microsoft Excel in Your PC

If your excel is not up to date, then this problem may occur. To update your excel, you need to update the entire Office application. You can select File >> Account >> Update Options >> Update Now to do that.

Update Excel to Fix If Not Responding

Hopefully, this will fix the issue of your excel not responding without closing. Try the next solution if you are still stuck with the problem.

Read More: Fix Excel Not Responding and Save Your Work

4. Close Processes That Are Using Excel

Excel may not respond if it is being used by another process. You need to wait for the process to end. Otherwise, you can press CTRL+SHIFT+Esc to open the Task Manager. Then you can close the processes if you see multiple instances of excel there.

Close Multiple Instances of Excel If Not Responding

5. Check Issues with Excel Add-Ins

Issues in add-ins often cause excel to stop responding. You can disable add-ins one by one to check which add-in is causing the problem. Follow the steps below to do that.

📌 Steps

  • First, press ALT+F+T to open the Excel Options, Next, go to the Add-ins tab. Then click on Go.

  • Then, uncheck an Add-in and press OK. After that, restart Excel to see if it fixes the issue. Do this with other Add-ins until the issue is fixed.

  • If the problem still remains, then you can troubleshoot for COM Add-ins. For that, select COM Add-ins and then click on Go as earlier.

  • Now, uncheck all COM Add-ins and press OK. Then restart Excel.

The problem should be resolved by now. If not, then apply the next solution.

6. Investigate the File Contents If Excel Is Not Responding

You should probably investigate the file contents now. Because some contents in the file may cause excel to freeze. For example, invalid or excessive named ranges can cause that. Press CTRL+F3 to check all the defined names.

  • You can also try clearing the rules used in Conditional Formatting.

Moreover, an uneven number of arguments in formulas, hidden objects, and copying and pasting excessively between workbooks may also cause the issue.

7. Check If the Excel File Is Corrupt

Now is the time to check if your excel file is corrupt. Because that can easily make excel stop responding. Files produced by third-party applications may not be generated correctly. Try using files that are not generated that way. If the problem resolves, then let the third party know about the problem.

8. Perform a Clean Boot

Several applications start automatically with windows. These applications may affect excel. You can perform a clean boot to avoid that. This way you will know if that is the reason behind your excel not responding.

  • To do that, open the run command by pressing Win+R as earlier. Then, type msconfig in the Open field and press Ok.

  • Now, go to the General tab and mark the radio button for Selective Startup. Then check Load system services and press OK.

  • Next, restart your computer. If the issue remains after that, then it is due to some system services. Otherwise, the startup items are causing the problem.

9. Repair the Office Application

If your excel is not responding, then you can always repair the Office application. Because most of the time it fixes the problem. Search for Apps and Features in your system settings to do that. Then scroll through the apps and find the Office product. Now click on it to modify. After that, you will see two options to repair the product.

  • Using Online Repair is always recommended. But you can perform a Quick Repair to see if it fixes the issue.

Repair Excel If Not Responding

If this doesn’t help, then try re-installing the Office application.

10. Check Issues with Antivirus

You should always update your antivirus software. Otherwise, excel may not operate properly. Furthermore, you should try to avoid integrating your antivirus program with excel. Because your antivirus may detect something within excel as conflicting and may cause it to stop.

11. Change the Location of the Excel File

Sometimes, there may exist a problem with the file location instead of the file itself. If the file is located on a web server, save it locally. Then try to test it. If it is saved locally then move it to a different folder.

12. Keep Enough RAM Memory

If your excel file is very large, then you need to have enough RAM memory to run your excel smoothly. Make sure your system meets the system requirements for the Office application. You can clean your C drive to get rid of unnecessary files. Try to keep it as less occupied as possible. Because insufficient disk space may slow down your excel program and ultimately cause it to stop responding.

13. Change Printers and Video Drivers

It is also possible that either your default printer or the video driver is causing the problem. Because every time you open Excel, it examines them as they will display the workbooks. When you set the view to Page Break Preview, excel will run slower. You can disconnect the default printer or use a different one to determine if it is causing the issue. Do the same with the video driver.

14. Recompile Macros in Excel Workbook

Problematic macros may cause your excel to stop responding. Follow the steps below to see if this solves the issue.

📌 Steps

  • First, press ALT+F11 to open the VBA window. Then select Tools >> Options as shown in the picture below.

  • Next, go to the General tab in the Options Then, uncheck Compile On Demand. After that, select OK.

  • Now, select Insert >> Module to create a new module as shown below.

  • Then, save the workbook and close it.

  • After that, running macros will not cause excel to stop responding.

15. Unselect Some of the Advanced Options

The Show Insert Options buttons option sometimes slows down excel. If you try to copy and paste a large number of cells, then you should uncheck the Show Paste Options button when content is pasted. You can press ALT+F+T to open Excel Options. Then go to the Advanced tab to do that.

  • Furthermore, your excel may become unresponsive if it contains links to many documents. You can try disabling the Update links to other documents option to avoid that.

16. Inspect the Entire Workbook

You can inspect the workbook for any hidden properties that might cause excel to stop working. Select File >> Info >> Check for Issues >> Inspect Document to do that.

Inspect Your Workbook To Fix If Not Responding

Things to Remember

If the solutions above didn’t fix the issue, then you should contact Microsoft Team. Excel always keeps a copy of your unsaved work. Therefore, save that copy next time you open excel after it stops responding. This way you can avoid losing data.


Now you know how to fix the issue if excel is not responding without closing. Please let us know if those solutions were sufficient to fix the problem for you. You can also use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions. Stay with us and keep learning.

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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Md. Shamim Reza, a marine engineer with expertise in Excel and a fervent interest in VBA programming, sees programming as a time-saving tool for data manipulation, file handling, and internet interaction. His diverse skill set encompasses Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He holds a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and has transitioned into a content developer role, generating technical content focused on Excel and VBA. Beyond his professional pursuits,... Read Full Bio

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