Excel not responding, hangs, freezes or stops working

This article discusses troubleshooting steps that can help resolve the most common issues when you receive an Excel not responding error or Excel hangs or freezes when you launch Excel or open a file. These type of problems may occur for one or more of the follow reasons listed below.

Follow the provided solutions in this article in order. If you have previously tried one of these methods and it did not help, please go to the next solution in the list.

Note   If you are having problems opening your Excel files after upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, see Errors opening Office files after upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Install the latest updates

You might need to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important recommendation and optimal updates can often correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities. To install the latest Office updates, follow the steps in this article: Update Office and your computer.

If installing the latest Office updates did not resolve your issue, continue on to the next item on this list.

Check to make sure Excel is not in use by another process

If Excel is in use by another process, this information will be displayed in the horizontal status bar at the bottom of the Excel window. If you try to perform other actions while Excel is in use, Excel may not respond. Let the task in process finish its job before attempting other actions.

If Excel is not is use by another process, continue on to the next item on the list.

Investigate possible issues with add-ins

While add-ins can enhance your experience, they can occasionally interfere or conflict with Excel. Try starting Excel without add-ins to see if the problem goes away. Here’s how:

  1. Do one of the following:

    • If you are running Windows 10, choose Start > All apps > Windows System > Run.

    • If you are running Windows 8, click Run in the Apps menu.

    • If you are running Windows 7, click Start.

    • For Windows 10 or Windows 8, type Excel/safe in the Run box, then click OK.

    • For Windows 7, type Excel/safe in Search programs and files, then click OK.

  2. If the issue is resolved, click File > Options > Add-ins.

  3. Select COM Add-ins and click Go.

  4. Clear all the check boxes in the list and click OK.

  5. Close and restart Excel.

If the issue does not occur, start enabling the add-ins one at a time until the issues occurs. This will allow you to figure out which add-in is causing the problem. Be sure and restart Excel each time you enable an add-in.

If disabling add-ins did not resolve your issue, continue on to the next item on the list.

Repair your Office programs

Repairing your Office programs can resolve issues with Excel not responding, hanging or freezing by automatically repairing errors in Office files. For instructions on doing this, see Repair an Office application.

If repairing your Office programs did not resolve your issue, continue on to the next item on the list.

Check to see if your antivirus software is up-to-date or conflicting with Excel

If your antivirus software is not up-to-date, Excel may not function properly.

Check whether your antivirus software is up-to-date:

To keep up with new viruses that are created, antivirus software vendors periodically provide updates that you can download from the Internet. Download the latest updates by visiting your antivirus software vendor’s website.

For a list of antivirus vendors, see: Consumer security software providers.

Check whether your antivirus software is conflicting with Excel.

If your antivirus software includes integration with Excel you may experience performance issues. In this case, you can disable all Excel integration within the antivirus software. Or, you can disable any antivirus software add-ins that are installed in Excel.

Important    Changing your antivirus settings may make your PC vulnerable to viral, fraudulent or malicious attacks. Microsoft does not recommend that you attempt to change your antivirus settings. Use this workaround at your own risk.

You may have to contact your antivirus software vendor to determine how to configure your software to exclude any integration with Excel or to exclude scanning in Excel.

Applies To: Excel 2013

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