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Perfectly repair Excel files with different issues in minutes.

  • Fix all Excel file issues like Excel running slow, blank Excel, Excel not opening, unreadable Excel, etc.
  • Repair corrupted Excel files with a very high success rate in 3 simple steps.
  • Support Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Office 365.
  • Perfectly compatible with different Windows & Mac system.
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How to Resolve "Excel Running Slow"? [10 Proven Ways]

Today, Excel running slow is one of the most common file problems faced by users. Recently, a lot of users have complained about this problem. It is a frustrating problem that Microsoft Excel starts to run slow when you are dealing with large data set.

The frustration of the users increases when their excel files get corrupted inevitably. So, if you are also going through this same situation, then you have come to the right page. Here, in this post, you will get to know what are the reasons and symptoms behind the problem and how you can fix it effectively.

Part 1: Causes and Symptoms of "Excel Running Slow"

"Why is my Excel running so slow?"

You might be wondering to know what the probable reasons behind Excel processing slow are and so, here are all the major causes of Excel running very slow.

Cause 1. Invalid names in Name Manager

Excel has a "Name Manager" feature to manage names and the name ranges in Microsoft Excel that has numbers, letters, and special characters. And it might be possible that Excel can't able to resolve the names because as worksheets grow, you also end up with more and more name referencing. The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to move to the name manager and remove invalid names.

Cause 2. Excessive Volatile Functions

The excessive volatile functions can also probably slow down your Excel when you are tackling large datasets. So, if you are using volatile functions such as VLOOKUP excessively, then it can be the reason why your Excel running slow and freezing. That's also the reason why most businesses don't prefer volatile functions when it comes to large data sets.

Cause 3. Unresolved Formulas

Another reason for Excel lagging is Unresolved Formulas. So, if you have a sheet in your excel whose cell has a value>0, then it means a cell has unresolved formulas. And that can also be the reason why you have encountered this problem.

Cause 4. Column References

Sometimes, not giving the optimizing column references can also slow down the performance of Excel. You need to optimize references. It is recommended to minimize the number of cells you are referencing in your Excel worksheet.

Moreover, if you are using a formula like VLOOKUP that has to look at million records, then it will certainly slow down your Excel performance. Thus, it is also recommended not to use a formula that needs to look at a lot of records. Otherwise, you will face a performance issue in Excel.

Cause 5. Too big spreadsheet

Are you having a too big spreadsheet in your Microsoft Excel? If your answer is yes, then it is also one of the reasons behind Excel working slowly. Many users have a bad habit of storing a lot of data in one sheet. Moreover, if you are using volatile functions along with too big spreadsheets, then it will slow down your Excel performance. Thus, in this scenario, all you have to do is to reduce the file size in Excel to come out of this problem.

Cause 6. Automatic Formula Calculation

Automatic Formula Calculation is also the cause of Excel lagging. In the case of automatic calculation, formulas are recalculated whenever you make any change. This sometimes makes Excel slow and that's why it is recommended to enable manual calculation.

Now, let's explore what can be the symptoms of Excel very slow, and below, we have listed every possible sign of the problem. Just check if your MS Excel has the following symptoms.

1. Excel processing slow

The first and most common sign of Excel slowness issue is that it is processing slowly. It is taking too much time to process the operations you are doing in your Excel sheet. The reasons why your Excel processing is slow can be because of Array formulas or volatile functions you are using.

2. Excel slow calculating

Another symptom of Excel running slow and freeze is there is a performance issue in doing the calculation. Poor calculation speed further affects productivity and enhances user error. The reasons why your Excel is calculating formulas slowly may be you are using volatile functions in excess or not keeping all referenced data in one sheet. So, avoid volatile functions to get rid of Excel's slow calculating problem.

3. Excel is slow to open files

If your Excel is taking a very long time to open certain files, then it directly shows that your Excel is slow to respond and you need to do something to fix it. There can be many reasons why Excel slows to open files. First of all, it can be because you have stored a lot of data in one file or you have used too many volatile or complex functions in the Excel file.

4. System Memory

There is no doubt that Excel has enough capability to create big sheets, but as the sheet gets bigger, it requires more memory. If your system memory is low, and you are having a too big spreadsheet, then it will probably slow down your Excel. Thus, you need to manage your spreadsheet size as per your system memory. Otherwise, you will have to face performance complications.

Part 2: How to Fix "Excel Running Slow" Manually? (9 Solutions)

You now are well familiar with the causes and symptoms of Excel running very slow. Let's move towards its fixes to speed up Excel.

Solution 1: Keep the Spreadsheet Small

Too big spreadsheets in Excel can cause Excel file slow to respond because big Excel spreadsheets also take up large space on your system.

You also know that you need enough free storage space on your system so that you can do your task on the system smoothly and efficiently.

Here are some ways to reduce the file size in Excel:

  • Save Excel File as the .xlsb file format

  • Eliminate Unused Cells

  • Eliminate Cell Formatting

  • Remove Unwanted Formulas

  • Compress Images

Solution 2: Enable Manual Calculation

Another solution to fix the problem is enabling the Manual Calculation mode in your Excel. When manual mode is turned on, the Excel will not perform calculations until you don't press F9. The Automatic calculation mode will make Excel do calculations automatically and that can slow down the Excel speed to a great extent. Thus, the best thing you can do is turning on the Manual Calculation Mode. Below are the steps on how

you can do it to fix the Excel working slow issue:

Step 1: To begin the process, choose "File" and then, "Excel Options" and then, "Formulas" tab.

Step 2: After that, go to "Calculation Option" and then, select the "Manual" button under the "Workbook Calculation.

Step 3: Also, check the "Recalculate Workbook before saving" option if you like to make sure that the workbook calculation is always current. You can uncheck it if you want to calculate the formula using the F9 key before you exit.

check recalculate workbook before saving

Solution 3: Avoid Volatile Formula

As we told you earlier, volatile formulas are one of the reasons for this problem. So, the best thing is to get rid of the volatile formula to speed up your Excel. Some examples of volatile formulas are NOW, INDIRECT, OFFSET, etc. For instance, if you use the INDIRECT formula in a cell, and when you make any change, then the formula will also be recalculated.

So, the volatile functions take more processing speed, and then, you end up facing the slow Excel speed. Thus, avoid using the volatile formula or if you can't, then try to minimize its use.

Solution 4: Convert Formula to Value - change the unused formulas to static values:

There are many formulas in Excel that lead to its slow performance. And thus, if you have unused formulas in Excel, then it is better to change them to static values. There are many ways to convert unused formulas to static values in Excel. Here are shown using the Paste special method.

Step 1: Choose the cells you want to change formulas to values. After that, copy the cells using CTRL+C.

Step 2: Then, move to "Home">" Clipboard">" Paste">" Paste Special".

paste special in excel

Solution 5: Clear Rules - avoid using the entire row/column as a reference (A: A)

When you reference the whole row or column as you think it consists of a few cells, Excel checks the reference row or column anyways. This takes a lot of time to do calculations and that ultimately slowdowns the Excel speed. Thus, if you want to fix the Excel processing slow, then you need to avoid using the entire row/column as a reference.

Solution 6: Reference Fewer Cells

A cell reference is used to determine a particular cell or cell range in the sheet. It can be used in function so that Excel can find the data easily you want in function to calculate. So, if you refer to a lot of cells, then it can affect the Excel performance. That's why it is always recommended that you should reference fewer cells so that Excel calculate formula or function smoothly.

Solution 7: Repair Excel File

If Excel slows to open files, then you can repair Excel files to resolve the problem with ease. Luckily, there are a lot of third-party tools available that can help you to do this, one professional Excel repair software Wondershare Repairit - File Repair makes it easy for users to fix Excel errors and problems. By the way, you may also see another guide for Excel-related error: Excel issue "out of memory".

Solution 8: Turn On Manual Calculation Mode

The Automatic Calculation will make your Excel run slowly when the program calculates new formula results automatically when a value or formula component changes. Therefore, turning on Manual Calculation mode to make Excel only recalculate when you force it to do so will speed up the Excel workbook and save time if you have a slow Excel spreadsheet.

Solution 9: Disable Uncessary Add-ins

The various add-ins in Excel are quite useful, but they can definitely slow down your Excel files because adding an add-in means adding extra code to the Excel file. Therefore, it is possible to speed up Excel by disabling third-party add-ins (or if you have enabled some of Excel's own built-in add-ins), although you can still keep them and enable them if you need them in the future.

Here are the steps that Disable uncessary Add-ins.

Step 1: Click the "File" tab and click "Options", then find the "Add-ins" in the "Excel Options".

select add-ins

Step 2: Select "Excel Add-ins" from the "Manage" drop-down at the bottom of the dialog box, then click on "Go".

click excel add-ins

Step 3: Uncheck the add-ins you want to disable In the Add-ins dialog box.

uncheck add-ins

Part 3: How to Fix "Excel Running Slow" Caused by Corrupted Excel Files?hot

If the Excel running slow due to a corrupted Excel file, then the methods mentioned above cannot fix this error, When it comes to repairing an Excel file, the Wondershare Repairit - File Repair stands out from the huge crowd. As you need a powerful tool to repair Excel files and this software can make it possible.

  • Fix all Excel corruption errors, such as Excel running slow, not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, etc.

  • Repair damaged or corrupted files caused by any reason, such as system crash, file format change, virus attack, etc.

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

  • Support Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007.

  • Quickly and safely repair multiple .xlsx files in a single process.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to repair MS Excel File with the help of Repairit.

Step 1: Install Software and Add Files

To begin the process, download the software from the downloading buttons above on your computer. After installing it successfully, run it. Go other Types Repair>File Repair.

add file in wondershare repairit

After that, you need to tap on "Add" Button.

Step 2: Repair Corrupted Files

Once selected the Excel file, click on the "Repair" button to begin the repairing process. When the repairing process is completed, you will get the preview of the repaired file.

start repair in wondershare repairit

Step 3: Save Repaired Files

Thereafter, tap on the "Save" button to save the Excel file that software has repaired. You can save the repaired Excel file either at default or a new location.

save file in wondershare repairit

Once you saved the repaired Excel file, you will get a prompt message that says your Excel file repair process is finished.

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Part 4: Tips for Avoiding "Excel Running Slow".

Want tips to avoid Excel working slow problems? Here are some effective tips that can aid you to avoid the problem in the future.

1. Keep Everything In Single Workbook

When you keep everything in a single workbook rather than using multiple workbooks, it will probably aid you to avoid slow performance in Excel. More workbooks mean more references and that's why when you can multiple sheets, your Excel slowdowns.

2. Sort Data

Another common reason why Excel speed becomes slows is the lack of sorting. To have great Excel performance, you need to sort the data in a well-mannered way.

3. Don't Use Volatile Formulas

The volatile formulas are recalculated whenever you make a change in your sheet. Examples of volatile formulas are NOW, INDIRECT, etc. When sheets in your Excel consist of many volatile formulas, your Excel speed becomes very slow. Thus, it is better to get rid of volatile formulas to optimize Excel performance and speed.

4. Enable Manual Calculation Mode

When you enable the manual calculation mode, you get an excess to allow Excel to do the calculation, rather than Excel doing it automatically.

This will certainly improve the Excel speed and help you to come out of the Excel lagging problem with ease.

5. Avoid Using the Entire Column/Row as Reference

If you have a bad habit of using the whole row or column as a reference, then you should get rid of it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will probably go through the performance issue in your Excel.

6. Disable Excel Add-ins

No doubt, the Excel Add-Ins are helpful, but sometimes, they slow down Excel, and then, Excel leads to freezing and crashing. That's why it is better to disable the entire Excel Add-ins. To do this, move to "File">" Options">" Add-Ins".


That's all on how to come out of the Excel running slow problem. Here are probable methods that can fix the problem. No doubt, it is very annoying when your Excel speed becomes slow, but still, there are a lot of ways that can aid you to resolve the problem.

And if in any case your Excel file gets corrupted or damaged, then you can use Wondershare Repairit for Excel Repair that can restore everything from a damaged file to the new one. As it is a free tool and thus, give it a try and you will get to know how powerful it is to fix all Excel problems.