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.

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 Installing any important recommendation and optimal updates can often correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities.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, click the link specific to your version of Windows and follow the steps in that article.

Keep Windows up to date with the latest Updates.

If installing the latest Office updates did not resolve your issue, continue on to the next item on the 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 7, click Start.
    If you are running Windows 8, click Run in the Apps menu.

  2. Type Excel /safe in Search programs and files in Windows 7 or Run in Windows 8, then click OK.

  3. If the issue is resolved, on the file menu, click Options then Add-ins.

  4. Select COM Add-ins and click Go.

  5. Clear all the check boxes (Disable the Add-ins.) in the list and click OK.

  6. 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.

  1. Close any Office programs that are running.

  2. Open the Control Panel and select Programs and Features.

    In Windows 7, click Start and select the Control Panel.
    In Windows 8, select the Control Panel from the Apps menu.

  3. In the list of installed programs, right-click Microsoft Office 2013, then click Change > Repair > Continue.

Note    If you’re using Office Click-to-Run, please see the following Microsoft Office article and follow the steps to repair Office Click-to-Run: Update, repair or un-install Office Click-to Run products.

If you’re not sure if the version of Office that you have is Click-to-Run, check your version by:

  1. Open any Office product (Excel, Word, PowerPoint etc.).

  2. Click on the File tab and select Account > About <product name>.

  3. Under About Microsoft Office it should say (32-bit) or (64-bit) next to the version number.

  4. If you have a Click-to-Run version it will be stated here.

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.

   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

Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language