Tips for improving Excel's performance

Here on the Excel team, we’re always working to improve Excel’s performance and stability. We constantly seek customer feedback regarding what we can do to make a better product, and implement positive suggestions whenever we can. In fact, many of the improvements we have made recently were direct responses to customer pain points. For instance, we discovered that many heavy, institutional Excel users were less than thrilled with Excel’s performance when they upgraded from Office 2010 to newer versions.

We listened, and the team set to addressing those areas where we could make the most significant performance improvements possible and deliver them in the shortest time. For example:

  • We've made substantial performance improvements for the VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP and MATCH functions, which resulted in significant decreases in calculation time - and for Microsoft 365 customers, XLOOKUP and XMATCH offer better flexibility and even more performance improvements.

  • We improved Excel’s memory allocation with Large Address Aware Excel, increased copy/paste speed, undo, conditional formatting, cell editing and selection, scrolling, filtering, file open, and programmability.

  • We've re-engineered Excel's calculation engine with the release of dynamic array functions, which replace Excel's legacy Ctrl+Shift+Enter (CSE) array functions. These functions add capabilities to Excel that were difficult to achieve in earlier versions of Excel. For instance, you can now sort and filter a list with formulas instead of doing it manually.

To continue on the performance theme, this article lists multiple tips for improving Excel’s performance.

Performance tips for specific circumstances  

CIRCUMSTANCE

TIP

General slowness when editing in the grid or when switching worksheets

Turn off Office animations

Slowness when moving an Excel window or when using ALT+ shortcut keys after upgrading to Windows 10

Turn off visual effects

General slowness on a machine with no dedicated graphics processor or with an old graphics card or driver

Disable hardware graphics acceleration

Slowness when editing one cell after another

Turn off Flash Fill

Slowness when using multiple high-resolution monitors with per-monitor dynamic high definition aware Office functionality

Set Office compatibility mode to Optimize for compatibility

Parts of Excel turn white or gray when you run VBA code

Use ScreenUpdating property and DoEvents command appropriately in VBA code

Unresponsiveness or high CPU on Windows 10 when many Excel windows are open and Background Application Manager runs a periodic background scan

Set this registry key in Windows 10 version 17763.832 or later to turn off the scan.

Slowness pressing ALT+ shortcut keys in Excel

In Office 365 version 1908 or later, add this registry key.

Slowness when Excel launches

Open Excel in Safe Mode to see if the slowness is caused by add-ins

You see out-of-memory issues opening multiple workbooks

Open Excel in a new instance

Registry path

New Key Values

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\BamThrottling

Name: DisableWindowHinting
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common

Name:  UseAsyncRibbonKeytips
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

Links to popular topics

Subject

Description

Internal formula performance improvements

Read about the Excel team's latest performance improvements.

Memory allocation improvements with Large Address Aware (LAA)  capability

Excel can now use more of your system memory than ever before, even with 32-bit Office.

Improving calculation performance

Read about methods for being smarter with formulas and how they calculate.

Performance and limit improvements

This is a broad recap of some of our latest improvements.

VBA code best practices

Tips and tricks for optimizing your VBA code from the Excel team.

Considerations for common performance issues with Office Add-ins and Macros in Office

If you create macros or Office add-ins, you'll want to review this article.

Tips for optimizing performance obstructions

More tips on how to improve Excel's calculation performance, including with User Defined Functions (UDFs) for VBA.

Comparing Single and Multiple document interfaces in Excel 2010 and later versions

In Excel 2013 and later versions, each Excel window can contain only one workbook, and each has its own ribbon. This is called Single Document Interface (SDI). By default when you open a new workbook, it will be displayed in another Excel window, even though it is the same Excel instance.

Get the latest updates, and let us know what you think

  • If you want to get the latest updates for Excel, then you can join the Office Insiders program.

  • Give us feedback by pressing the Smiley button in the upper right-hand corner of the Excel pane. Make sure to put the term "ExcelPERF" somewhere in your comments, so we can keep an eye out for it.

  • Ask a question in the Excel Tech Community. This is a vibrant community of Excel enthusiasts who are waiting to answer your questions. We also passively monitor the forums to keep an eye on any emerging trends or issues.

  • Give us suggestions for new or improved features at User Voice - Excel's Suggestion Box.

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