Why Is My Excel File So Large? (7 Reasons with Solutions)

While working on Excel, we often encounter large files that take too much time for processing or open. Even while working they take much time to execute a simple instruction and sometimes freeze the desktop. There can be multiple reasons for having a large Excel file. Here is the reason and solutions if you are having a question about why my Excel file is so large.

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7 Reasons with Solutions for Being My Excel File So Large

Excel files might get large for a variety of reasons. Excel has a wide range of uses and applications. As a result, various aspects may face different reasons. The most common reasons and solutions for reducing the file size of large Excel files are discussed here.

Reason 1: Unused Data

Sometimes, we insert data into an Excel file for a small period but then forget to remove it. The Excel file will become so large because of this.

Let’s say we want to use the cells from A4 to B6. Then for any short note, we wrote it in cell E10. Then after work, we forget to erase it. Excel will keep the range A4 to E10 instead of A4 to B6 because of that note. This will increase the file size.

Solution: Remove Temporary Data

  • We need to get rid of these temporary things to reduce the active cell ranges as well as the file size.

Reasons with Solutions for Being My Excel File So Large

Read More: Reduce Large Excel File Size by 40-60% (12 Proven Methods)

Reason 2: Presence of less Important Formulas and Functions

If there are too many different calculations associated with any Excel workbook, it can take up a huge space in the memory to load and compute. In addition, automatic calculations in workbooks check and try to calculate after every input. That also makes my excel file so large and takes too much time to load as well.

Solution: Avoid Long and Automatic Calculation

To remove such problems, we can take several steps such as:

  • Use VBA code to centralize all the formulas and then calculate when needed.
  • Disable Automatic Calculation and try to manually calculate the workbook only when required. We can disable it by simply going to options in the menu and selecting Manual in the Formulas section.

Reasons with Solutions for Being My Excel File So Large

Read More: How to Reduce Excel File Size Without Deleting Data (9 Quick Tips)

Reason 3: Hidden Worksheets

We often make temporary worksheets in Excel to store and calculate data separately. After that, we forget to get rid of them or put them away for now. These sheets can add to the size of a file and is a reason for excel files to be so large.

Solution: Delete Hidden Worksheets

  • Get rid of those sheets to make the file smaller, and try to make as few as possible to avoid having to do so.

Read More: How to Compress Excel File More than 100MB (7 Useful Ways)

Reason 4: Extra Charts and Graphs

One of the most used features of Excel is to show and create graphs and charts based on given data. Often while comparing, we create more charts to show different aspects on different sheets even on the same sheet as well. These plots are small images that increase the size of the file pushing the file size up to some Gigabytes as well.

Reasons with Solutions for Being My Excel File So Large

Solution: Get rid of Extra Images

  • We can also save the graphs separately to reduce the file size.

Read More: How to Reduce Excel File Size with Pictures (2 Easy Ways)

Reason 5: Extra File Formatting

In Excel, we often make custom formats for better data readability and viewing or analyzing. But we often make formats to make the sheet or workbook visually appealing. This uses the blank spaces in Excel and the file has to keep the blank cells’ pattern as well. This makes the files large and difficult to open.

Solution: Avoid Extra Decorations

  • We can remove such decorations and formatting to reduce file size and it will also increase file accessibility.

Read More: How to Compress Excel File for Email (13 Quick Methods)

Reason 6: Large Amount of Source Data

Since Excel is an analytical tool, a large amount of data can create problems while processing and storing. Excel usually can not handle too much data while saving processes or calculations. So a large amount of source data should be avoided in the case of Excel.

Solution: Make Separate File or Change File Type

  • We can use a Microsoft SQL server or Access for storing data. Using a CSV file format for storing large amounts of data can also be a solution.

Read More: [Fixed!] Excel File Too Large for No Reason (10 Possible Solutions)

Reason 7: Inappropriate File Extension

If an Excel file is becoming too large but we can’t reduce it with any of the methods from the upper description, we should consider saving the file using a different extension.

Solution: Save as Excel Binary File

  • Usually, Excel saves the file as an XLSX file or default Excel But we can change the file extension to XLSB or Excel Binary file which reduces the file size and saves the storage as well.

Reasons with Solutions for Being My Excel File So Large

Read More: How to Compress Excel File to Smaller Size (7 Easy Methods)

Things to Remember


Reducing an Excel file size helps a lot to utilize a file and process it. It is important for transferring files and encryptions. If you’re still having queries about any of these problems and solutions, let us know in the comments. Our team is ready to answer all of your questions. For any excel related problems, you can visit our website Exceldemy for all types of excel related problem solutions.

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Nasir Muhammad Munim

Nasir Muhammad Munim

I am Nasir Muhammad Munim from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I work as an Excel and VBA Content Developer for Exceldemy right now. Electrical and electronic engineering was my major at Islamic University of Technology, where I got my degree. I love creative works and learning new things. And I'm really into online games, especially first-person shooter games.

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