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Effective Solutions to Deal with Excel Constantly Not Responding Error

“If the excel program is unresponsive, do you wait it out or restart?”

Microsoft Excel is an exceptional tool for gathering, visualizing, evaluating, and sharing data on Windows and Mac OS. Unfortunately, it can sometimes become unresponsive.

In this article, we will explore 5 Excel not-responding solutions. Don't let Excel's unresponsiveness hinder your work. Try these quick fixes right away.

Why “Excel Not Responding” Error Occurs?

"MS Excel Not Responding" error stems from various causes:

  • Large File Size: Excel struggles with large files, leading to unresponsiveness.
  • Insufficient System Resources: Low memory or processing power freezes Excel.
  • Corrupted Excel File: Damage to an Excel file can cause it to stop responding.
  • Conflicting Add-ins: Certain add-ins clash with Excel, causing unresponsiveness.
  • Software Bugs: Bugs in Excel or related software trigger the error.
  • Outdated Software: Using outdated versions causes compatibility issues.
  • Hardware Issues: Problems like failing hardware affect Excel's performance.
  • Network Issues: Connectivity problems while accessing network files halt Excel.

5 Effective Ways to Resolve “Excel File Not Responding” Error

Now that you know common Excel issues, here are ways to fix Microsoft Excel not responding. Try these solutions one by one until you resolve your issue.

#1 Open Excel in Safe Mode When Excel Does Not Respond

If Excel isn't working properly and frequently freezes, starting it in Safe Mode is a common DIY fix. In Safe Mode, Excel runs with essential services only. Thus, bypassing certain functions and not loading add-ins, which might be causing the issue.

The "Excel not responding" error can occur due to conflicts caused by:

  1. Excel add-ins
  2. Other software applications like antivirus add-ins.

In these cases, opening Excel in safe mode is the best solution. In safe mode, all add-ins and third-party applications are disabled. This helps identify if they are causing the "Excel not responding" problem.

To troubleshoot in Safe Mode, follow these steps:

Step 1: Press Windows + R and type "excel.exe /safe."

type excel.exe /safe

Step 2: Press Enter or OK. Open the Excel file to check for crashes. If it doesn't crash, there may be a faulty add-in or formatting error.

#2 Check and Disable Add-ins When Excel Keeps Not Responding

There are 2 types of add-ins:

  1. COM add-ins
  2. Those installed as XLAM, XLA, or XLL files.

Both types can cause freezing. So, it should be disabled.

Follow these steps below to do so.

Step 1: Click File, then Options, to open Excel Options.

excel options

Step 2: Click Add-ins to manage Microsoft Office Add-ins.

microsoft office add-ins

Step 3: Uncheck unwanted add-ins and click Ok to remove them.

uncheck unwanted add-ins

Step 4: Enable add-ins one by one and observe Excel's performance. If it freezes, remove the faulty add-in.

#3 Repair File Excel to Solve Excel File Not Responding Error

  • Repair damaged Excel files with all levels of corruption, including blank files, files not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, files layout changed, etc.

  • Repairs all kinds of data stored in damaged Excel files such as tables, charts, formulas, comments, images, etc.

  • Support all formats of Excel files: XLSX/XLSM/XLTX/XLTM/XLS

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • No limit to the number and size of the repairable files.

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and macOS 10.10~macOS 13.

  • Except Excel, Repairit also supports all formats of PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ZIP, and Adobe files.

A corrupt or damaged Microsoft Excel file often causes the issue, sometimes leading to an unresponsive issue in Excel. To resolve the "Microsoft Excel not responding" error, use an advanced repair tool like Wondershare Repairit.

Repairing the Excel file with this tool can fix the freezing issue effortlessly. Fortunately, Repairit allows you to simultaneously add multiple files for repair with no file size limit. Here are the features of Wondershare Repairit:

Step 1: Hit File Repair under More Types Repair to start the Excel file repair process.

excel file repair

Step 2: Click Add to upload your non responding Excel file(s). Repairit's batch-processing feature allows you to repair multiple Excel files at once.

add non responding excel files

Step 3: Click Repair to start. The tool will scan the not responding Excel file(s) and address any issues. You can track the process and cancel it if needed.

non responding excel files details

Step 4: After finishing the Excel repair process, click "Preview" to check the results. To save your work, click "Save". For saving all repaired Excel files, select "Save All" and choose a location to store them.

save repaired excel files

#4 Update Windows and Office Updates

Excel Not Responding issue might occur if Windows and MS Office aren't up-to-date. So, install the latest updates for both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

To ensure automatic updates, set the installation and update option to 'Automatic mode' in Windows. This will download and install important updates for MS Office, potentially resolving the Excel performance problem.

Here's how:

Step 1: Go to Settings. Click Windows Update.

go to windows updates

Step 2: Click Advanced options and toggle all the switches. This will automatically download and install Windows updates and other Microsoft products.

click advanced options

Step 3: Restart Excel and check if the issue is resolved after updating. MS Excel will consistently receive the latest updates without manual intervention with this setting.

#5 Repair Microsoft Office If Microsoft Excel is Not Responding

A corrupted or damaged Microsoft Office can also lead to the 'Excel is not responding' issue. You can fix this by repairing the Microsoft Office files.

Here's how:

Step 1: Close all running MS Office programs. Open the Control Panel on your Windows system.

open the control panel

Step 2: Click Programs, then Programs and Features.

open the programs and features

Step 3: Select Microsoft Office. Right click it and click Change.

click change

Step 4: Select between Quick Repair and Online Repair. Then, click Repair.

click repair

This repair process may take some time. Once done, check your Excel program and files for the error.

Tips to Avoid “Excel Not Responding” Error

Encountering the "Excel Not Responding" error can disrupt your work, particularly when handling spreadsheets. However, you can take measures to prevent this problem and keep Excel running smoothly. By following these tips, you can reduce the chances of encountering the "Excel Not Responding" error and work without interruptions.

  1. Regularly update your Excel software and make sure you have the latest version installed. This helps ensure compatibility and fixes any known bugs or issues.
  2. Optimize your system resources. Close unnecessary programs and applications are working in the background to free up memory and processing power for Excel. This can prevent Excel from becoming overwhelmed and unresponsive.
  3. Avoid working with excessively large files. If possible, split large files into smaller ones or use alternative methods to handle and analyze data.
  4. Use reliable add-ins and plugins. Incompatible or poorly developed ones can conflict with Excel and cause it to stop responding. Stick to trusted sources and regularly check for updates.
  5. Save your Excel files frequently to avoid losing progress in case of an unexpected crash or unresponsiveness. This way, you can easily recover your work without significant data loss.


Microsoft Excel is a robust program for data management, but it can sometimes become unresponsive. This article discussed five solutions to the "Excel not responding" error. Don't let Excel's slowdowns affect your work. Try the quick fixes mentioned above. Implementing these solutions can effectively overcome the "Excel not responding" error, ensuring smooth data management and productivity.

  • How can I avoid Excel from crashing when working with large files?

  • 1. Break down large datasets into smaller chunks. Alternatively, filtering and sorting functions can be used to manage data more efficiently.

  • 2. Close any unnecessary tools or applications running in the background to free up system resources for Excel.

  • 3. Consider upgrading your computer's RAM or using a computer with better processing power if working with large files is a regular task.

  • What should I do if Excel continues to be unresponsive?

  • If Excel consistently becomes unresponsive, you may need to seek technical support. Contact Microsoft support or consult online forums for further assistance.

  • Will I lose my work if Excel crashes and becomes unresponsive?

  • Excel often auto-saves your work periodically. However, saving your work regularly is essential to minimize the risk of data loss. If Excel crashes and you haven't saved your work recently, you may lose unsaved changes. But if you save it beforehand, don’t worry. Excel programs are reliable enough to keep file records.