What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding? (11 Handy Tricks)

Method 1 – Opening an Excel Program in Safe Mode


  • Go to the Windows search box and type ‘Run’; Click on the ‘Run‘ app.
  • Alternatively, press the Windows key + R to open the Run app.

After pressing window key press R

  • In the Open box, insert excel.exe /safe and press OK.

Opening Excel in Safe Mode

Note: Remember, space is before the slash(/) symbol.
  • You’ll get a new workbook in safe mode that will work when Excel is unresponsive.

Excel file in Safe Mode

Method 2 – Using Task Manager When Excel Is Not Responding


  • Go to the search bar and type the Task Manager.
  • Open the Task Manager tool. Or, press CTRL + ALT + Delete and choose the Task Manager option.

Utilizing Task Manager

  • Select a file and right-click. Then, pick the End task option.

Utilizing Task Manager

  • The exclusive feature of the Task Manager is that if you close any file unexpectedly, you can recover it by default. After closing the file, if you open any blank workbook, you’ll get a Document Recovery pane containing the lost file. You have options if the Document Recovery pane is not working properly.

Document Recovery Pane

Method 3 – Checking the Latest Update of Microsoft Office

If the above two methods don’t work, you can check the latest update of your Microsoft Office suite.

  • To update the version, go to File > Account.

Checking the Latest Update of Microsoft Office

  • Click over the drop-down list of Update Options.
  • Choose the Update Now option.

Checking the Latest Update of Microsoft Office

Method 4 – Disabling Add-ins When Excel Is Not Responding


  • Go to File > Options.
  • In the Excel Options, move the cursor over the Add-ins option and choose the COM Add-ins.
  • Press Go.

Disabling Add-ins

  • Uncheck the box before any add-in and press OK.

Disabling Add-ins

Method 5 – Clearing Rules and Shapes to Prevent Excel Not Responding Issue


  • Click Conditional Formatting (in the Home tab) > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.

Clearing Rules and Objects

  • To delete any shapes, open the Go To Special by pressing CTRL + G and choose the Special option.

Clearing Objects

  • Check the circle before Objects and press OK.
  • Press the Delete key to delete the selected objects.

Clearing Objects

Method 6 – Opening and Repairing an Excel Sheet


  • Go to File >> Open.
  • Select the file and pick the Open and Repair option to repair the sheet.

Repairing Excel Sheet

Method 7 – Recompiling the Macros to Prevent any Not Responding Issues

  • Select Developer >> Visual Basic.
  • A VBA window will pop up.
  • Select Tools >> Options.

Going to VBA window

  • Check the boxes before Compile On Demand and Background Compile.

Selecting Compile on Demand

Method 8 – Repairing Microsoft Office


  • Go to Control Panel > Programs.

Repairing Microsoft Office

  • Click on the Programs and Features.

Repairing Program

  • Right-click on the Office app to see the Change option in Microsoft 365 and the Repair option in other versions.

What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding Repairing Microsoft Office

Method 9 – Changing the Default Printer When Excel Is Not Responding


  • Search Printers in the search bar.
  • Choose the Printers & scanners setting.
  • Uncheck the box before the Let Windows manage my default printer option.

Changing Default Printer

  • Click on the Manage button over a selected printer.

Changing Default Printer

  • Press Set as default.

What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding Changing Default Printer

Method 10 – Executing a Clean Boot When Excel Is Not Responding


  • Check the circle Selective startup and Load system services.

Executing Clean Boot

  • Check the box before Hide all Microsoft services and click over the Disable all button.
  • Press Apply >> OK.

What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding Executing Clean Boot

Method 11 – Uninstall and Reinstall Excel 


  • Go to Control Panel >> Uninstall Program.

Uninstall Program

  • Right-click over the Microsoft 365 app and choose the Uninstall option.

What to Do When Excel Is Not Responding Uninstalling and Reinstalling Excel

  • Reinstall it again.

Excel Not Responding: Knowledge Hub

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Md. Abdul Kader
Md. Abdul Kader

MD. ABDUL KADER is an engineer with a talent for Excel and a passion for VBA programming. To him, programming is like a time-saving wizard, making data manipulation, file handling, and internet interactions a breeze. His skill set extends to SWM, GIS, RS, and SPSS. He holds a B.Sc in Urban & Regional Planning from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology and has shifted to become a content developer. In this role, he crafts technical content centred around... Read Full Bio

  1. Love your ideas, will try them, as a fellow Regional Planner now MBA and into Financial Analysis I thank you for your efforts.

  2. Reply
    Slides Downloader May 27, 2024 at 6:38 PM

    I’ve had this problem so many times and it’s always frustrating. But I never thought of using the ‘Task Manager’ to close the workbook – genius! Thank you for sharing these 11 handy tricks, it’s really helpful.

    • Hello Slides Downloader,

      We are glad to hear that it worked for you and you got relief from frustrating tasks. Thanks for your appreciation. It means a lot to us.


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