Top 8 Ways to Fix Microsoft Excel Not Responding on Desktop

Microsoft Excel is one of the best programs on Windows. However, it’s not the most reliable one out there. At times, Microsoft fails to open or stops responding entirely. If you face this issue frequently, read along to learn to fix Excel not responding on the desktop.

You can always move to Google Sheets to deal with numbers and data. But it’s not ideal for the most as Excel is clearly superior to any other rival out there. Use the troubleshooting tricks below and fix Excel not responding once and for all.

1. Force Restart Microsoft Excel

It can be a small glitch in Excel. The program will close automatically or stop responding. You need to force close Excel and try again. Here’s how.

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows key and open Task Manager.

Step 2: Find Microsoft Excel from the list and select the End Task button at the bottom.

Use Microsoft Excel again, and you shouldn’t notice any errors.

2. Open Excel in Safe Mode

Launching Microsoft Excel in Safe mode lets you quickly guess if the issue is related to configured options and add-ins. The system will launch the program with default configurations and without any add-ins.

Step 1: Press Windows + R keys and open the Windows Run menu.

Step 2: Type excel.exe /safe and hit the OK button.

If Excel is working perfectly fine in the safe mode, the issue is related to installed add-ins.

3. Disable Microsoft Excel Add-ins

Now that you know one of the Microsoft Excel add-ins is messing up program functions, it’s time to disable them from Excel.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel and click on File at the top.

Step 2: Go to the Options menu and select Add-ins from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Click on the Go button as shown in the screenshot.

Step 4: Disable add-ins and click OK.

4. Repair Microsoft Office

Is Microsoft Excel still misbehaving on your computer? Microsoft offers a built-in repair tool to troubleshoot such issues. Follow the steps below to use it.

Step 1: Launch Windows Settings (use Windows + I keys).

Step 2: Select Apps from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Click on Apps & features.

Step 4: Scroll down to Microsoft 365.

Step 5: Click on the three-dot menu beside it and select Modify.

Step 6: Select the radio button beside Quick Repair and run the tool.

Once Microsoft runs the repair tool, you can open Excel and play with numbers.

5. Update Microsoft Excel

Microsoft regularly releases Office updates with new features and bug fixes. If Excel isn’t working as expected and not responding at times, you need to install the latest Excel version from the app.

Microsoft doesn’t distribute Excel from the Microsoft Store. You must update the app using the steps below.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel and click on File at the top.

Step 2: Select Account from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Select Update options and click on Update Now.

Ensure to connect to a high-speed Wi-Fi or ethernet connection while updating Excel.

6. Change the Default Printer

This may sound odd, but an incorrect default printer can cause issues with Excel. You need to change the default printer on your computer.

Step 1: Open Windows 11 Settings menu.

Step 2: Go to Bluetooth & devices.

Step 3: Select Printers & scanners.

Step 4: Make sure to select a relevant printer as the default one.

7. Run Windows Security Scan

Corrupt and malicious files on your PC might prevent Microsoft Excel from functioning normally. You don’t need any third-party antivirus software to run the scan. You can easily use Microsoft’s Windows Security tool and remove bogus files from your PC.

Step 1: Click on the Windows key and search for Windows Security.

Step 2: Hit Enter and open the app.

Step 3: Select Virus & threat protection from the left sidebar.

Step 4: Select the Quick scan button and run a full scan on your computer.

8. Use Excel Web

If you quickly want to make small changes or send an Excel file to someone, you can temporarily use the Excel web and complete the work. Don’t expect the Excel Windows app’s fluidity and native experience.

Visit OneDrive on the web and open the Excel file. Make changes, and you are good to go.

Fly Through Excel Files

Microsoft Excel not responding can ruin your perfect mood in the morning. Instead of ranting about the error on social media, you can use the tricks above and fix the issue in no time.  

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