How to get Excel to Start Responding: 9 Easy Methods

At times, Excel may stop working and start giving you ‘Excel not responding ‘notifications. Other error messages may also appear when you have the same problem. These situations are very annoying and irritating. It can also be so disappointing, especially when you have unsaved data. You may be unable to access important insights because of this issue. This article gives you various ways you can respond to this issue. You can also recover unsaved data through the steps in this article.

Installing the latest update method

When you do not install the latest Windows Updates, this issue may occur. The solution can therefore be for you to install the latest updates on your PC. Follow the easy steps below ;

1. Open settings

2. Select the update and Security

3. Activate install the latest updates automatically

Using the Safe Mode Method

Safe mode is a diagnostic mode that allows systems and software to start with only the basic features. This mode is very useful when diagnosing serious issues in a program. You can start Excel safemode without most of its features.

Follow the easy steps below;

1. Open the Windows Start Key+ R. This will open a dialogue box with many choices.

2. Go to the Run window box and type excel /safe

3. Press OK or enter key to open Microsoft Excel with Safe Mode

4. Open the Excel File that was not responding again

5. If it opens, save the Excel file to another file so that you can use it later on.

Disable Add-Ins method

Addins can make Excel stop responding. You can disable the addins while using safe mode to find out whether they are the root cause. If Excel starts responding right after you disable the addins then they are the root cause. Get rid of all unnecessary addins and install them one by one to identify the culprit.

Follow the easy steps below;

1. Open the Excel file. Ensure it is in Safe Mode

2. click on the file tab that is at the top left corner

3. Go to the Excel Options and click

4. Press Add-ins choice from the menu

5. Click on Excel Add-ins choice

6. Ensure you disable all the Add-Ins that are in the system. For this, uncheck the box that has active add-ins.

7. Press OK to Save changes

8. Now Reboot MS Excel and check whether the issue has been sorted

Recompile Macros method

The ‘Excel not responding ‘issue can be caused by using problematic Macros. You can fix this issue by following the steps below;

1. Click to open Microsoft Excel

2. Open the Developer tab and click on Visual Basic. If you don’t see the developer option press Alt+F11

3. Open on Tools > Options

4. Press the General Tab, then unmark the option Compile on Demand

5. Press ok to save the changes

Changing the Default Printer Method

The printer can interfere with Microsoft Excel. When you try to access the printer the Excel application stop responding. This might be due to outdated printer drivers or the default printer. Install the latest drivers and change the default printer.

Follow the easy steps below to change the default printer;

1. Click to open the Control Panel

2. Press the Printer and Devices

3. Right Click the Microsoft XPS Document Writer so as to set the Printer to default

4. Open the file once more to ensure you have fixed the issue

Reinstall Microsoft Excel

In most cases, removing and reinstalling Microsoft excel may resolve the issue. Follow these steps:

1. First, “Close” all running Microsoft office Programs.

2. On your Windows system, navigate to “Control Panel.”

3. Tap “Programs>Programs and features.”

4. Right-click on “Microsoft Office,” then select “Uninstall.”

5. Visit the Microsoft website to download and install office program.

Try fixing Microsoft Office

Follow the easy steps below;

1. Click on Start  then Windows to Open the Control Panel

2. Press Program> Features in the Control Panel

3. Right-Click MS Office and press Repair

Repair the office program

This method can help to resolve if the excel is not responding, freezing, or hanging. To repair the office from the control panel:

1. On the left-right corner, right-click the “Start” window button and choose “Apps and Features” on the pop-up menu.

2. Choose the appropriate Microsoft Office that you wish to repair, and select “Modify.” or Repair depending on the version of your windows

This will repair the whole Office suite, including Word or Excel.

3. If your Office copy is MSI-based or Click-to-run, continue with the following procedure:


In “Change your installation”,Choose “Repair” and press “Continue”.


In the window, “How would you like to repair your Office Programs,” choose “Online Repair” then Repair. Alternatively, you can use the “Quick Repair” option. However, it will only detect and replace corrupted files.

4. Complete the repair.

Perform a clean boot on your windows

When starting, applications start automatically in the background. The applications can affect other applications on your PC. To perform a clean boot:

1. First, sign in to the PC as an administrator. You can create an administrator account if you don’t have one.

2. On the “Taskbar,” type “msconfig” in the search box. Then, choose “System Configuration” from the results.

3. On the “Services” tab of “System Configuration,” choose “Hide all Microsoft Services” and select “Disable all.”

4. On the “Startup” tab of “System Configuration,” choose “Open Task Manager.” You can also press CTRL+ALT+DELETE

5. Below “Startup” in “Task Manager,” for every startup item, choose the item and select “Disable,” and close “Task Manager.”

6. On the “Startup” tab of “System Configuration,” choose “OK.” Once you restart your computer, it’s a clean boot.

Things to consider when Excel is not responding

Check if antivirus software is up-to-date

You can download the latest antivirus software from the internet to keep up with new viruses that are made. Ensure you visit a reputable antivirus software vendor.

Check antivirus

If your antivirus software conflicts with Excel, you will experience performance problems. Therefore, disable antivirus software add-ins installed in your Excel.

Check Excel file information

Excel files are often upgraded from one version to another and shared from one user to another. For this reason, files can stay on your computer for a long. Here are things that can cause performance errors:

  • Excess and invalid defined names.
  • Excess styles. They are caused by frequently copy-pasting between workbooks.
  • Many 0 or hidden height and width objects.
  • Formulas that reference entire columns.
  • Array formulas that reference uneven numbers.

Full memory

Excess files can become large when you begin to add many shapes and styles. Ensure you have enough RAM to rub the program.

File storage

Sometimes errors can arise when you save a file to a web server or network. It’s recommended to move the file locally to determine if there is something wrong. This is done in these accounts:

  • Offline files
  • Open files from a SharePoint or Web folder
  • Network appliances
  • Citrix or Remote desktop.

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