Excel is one of the most preferred spreadsheets by students and professionals. Although the program is widely used for convenience, like every application, it may sometimes freeze or stop responding. When Excel stops responding, the screen can appear white with the Not Responding message on the status bar.
If it comforts you, the issue is widespread and can happen to anyone. However, this issue shouldn’t stop your productivity. In this article, we have discussed the causes behind excel freezing or not responding and ways to fix the problem on your own, so keep reading!
Why is Excel Not Responding or Freezing?
There are several factors that can cause your Excel program to stop responding. The causes can range from being normal such as using heavier applications in the background, to more complex issues, like recursion in Excel formulas. Here was have mentioned the list of causes we have gathered behind Excel not responding:
- Processor-intensive Application in Use
- Too many Add-ins
- Issue with Excel Startup Folder
- Excel Program Used By Other Process
- Corrupted Program Files
- Outdated Office
Excel Not Responding or Freezing? Here’s How to Fix.
To all the issues we have mentioned in the section above, we have discussed viable solutions in this section. We have gathered 8 solutions to fix the Excel not responding or freezing. Refer to each solution step-by-step; if they don’t resolve your issue, move on to a different fix.
Close Heavy Background Applications
Other applications may slow down or stop responding when you use a heavier application in the background. This is because they take up more space in the processor, resulting in delays in other tasks.
You can check which application is taking up more of your space from the Task Manager. Once you identify which application is taking more of your percentage of your CPU, you can end the task for that application by following these steps:
- Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
- In the Processes tab, check which application takes more of your CPU.
- Right-click on the application name > End Task.
If you have entered a formula with an array, make sure to double-check it to ensure that there is no recursion. Recursion is when your formula produces infinite results. Excel cannot process calculations as such and could freeze as a result.
Check if Excel Is in Use
If other applications are using Excel, this likely is why the program has gone unresponsive. You can check if Excel is currently being used from the status bar at the bottom of the program. You can wait for the application to finish its task and begin using the program normally.
Excel has the feature of adding extensions named “add-ins” to improve your experience while using the program. However, both third-party and Excel add-ins can sometimes cause your program to freeze. In cases as such, you will need to disable these add-ins.
You can try disabling the COM add-ins and then turn off the Excel add-ins if the issue isn’t resolved. You will need to launch Excel in safemode, which may create changes in the registry editor. So, create a windows restoration point before you proceed with the fix.
Disable COM Add-in
- Open Run (Windows key + R)
Excel /safein the search box > OK.
- Launch Excel.
- Select Options from the sidebar.
- Choose Add-ins from the panel to your left.
- Select COM Add-ins next to manage and hit Go.
- Deselect the box next to all add-ins > OK.
- Restart Excel.
Disable Excel Add-in
- Start Excel in Safe Mode (refer to steps 1 and 2 mentioned above)
- Launch Start, then enter regedit to open Registry Editor.
- Navigate to
- Select the latest Excel version, then navigate to Excel > Options.
- Locate the Key named OPEN with REG_SZ Type. In case you don’t see the value refer to the next solution.
- Right-click OPEN, then choose Rename.
- Change the name to RenameOPEN, then hit Enter.
- Rename every key that starts with OPEN with REG_Z Type.
- Restart Excel.
Sometimes your Anti-virus may cause your Excel program to freeze. While performing its periodic scans, the anti-virus program takes up a lot of space in the processor in the background. You can try turning off your anti-virus for some time and see if your excel programs become responsive.
Relocate Files in XLStart Folder
Files in the trusted locations start as you launch the excel program. If many files are saved in these locations, then Excel can take a lot of time to start itself. In cases when Excel takes too long, the entire program can go unresponsive.
You can try to move the files to a different folder from File explorer. To know these locations, follow these steps:
- Select File.
- Head to Options from the left panel.
- Select Trust Center > Trust Center Settings.
- Head to Trusted Locations, then navigate to the trusted locations on File Explorer.
- Relocate the files from these locations.
There could be an issue with the Excel program files. If the files have gone missing or corrupt, Excel may not be able to function normally. You will need to perform an online repair of your Office program to resolve the issue of corrupt or missing program files.
When you perform an Online repair, these problematic files are replaced with good, working files. Make sure you have a stable internet connection and follow these steps to repair your office program:
- Open Settings (Windows key + I).
- Head to Apps > Apps & features.
- Scroll down to the Office app and select the vertical three-dot menu > Modify.
- Select Online repair > Repair.
Your Office program may have gone outdated. Issues as such are very common when you do not update your program for a long time. You must keep your Office application updated so that you do not leave room for security vulnerabilities and in-app errors.
You can update your Office from any application from the package. Here we have mentioned the steps to update Office using MS Excel:
- Open MS Excel.
- From the sidebar, choose Account.
- Select Update Options.
- Click Update Now.