File Repair

How to Fix Excel Crash Issue?

Author: Ravi Singh | Updated on April 22, 2021 | File Repair | Repair Office Documents | 10 min read

Summary: This article discusses some common Excel crash issues. It also mentions problems related to Microsoft Excel such as Excel is not responding, Excel hangs or freezes when you open a workbook or launch MS Excel on your PC. Also, it outlines solutions to help you resolve the Excel crash issue and other Excel errors.

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Microsoft Excel may stop responding, hang, freeze, or stop working due to several reasons, such as in compatible add-ins. In such a case, you may receive one of the following error messages.

  • Excel has stopped working

Excel has stopped working

  • Excel is not responding

Excel is not responding

  • A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

A problem caused the MS Excel to stop working correctly>

Why Does Excel Keep Crashing?

If Excel keeps crashing on your PC while opening a workbook, saving Excel file, scrolling or editing cells, etc., it indicates a problem with your Excel program or the Excel file.

Microsoft Excel may crash due to any one or more reasons given below,

  1.  Incompatible Add-Ins
  2. Outdated MS Excel program
  3. Conflict with other programs or antivirus tool
  4.  Excel file created by third party software
  5. Problem with network connection
  6.  Combination of Cell formatting and stylings
  7. Problem with MS Office installation
  8. Partially damaged or corrupt Excel file

Problems Caused by Excel Crash Issue

Microsoft Excel crash may cause damage to Excel file and also lead to Excel (XLS/XLSX) file corruption.

Such corrupt Excel files can't be opened or accessed via MS Excel app. If you try to access a corrupt Excel file, MS Excel may fail to open the file or stop responding and crash. Additionally, you may receive the following or similar error message,

Excel files can't be opened or accessed

In such a case, you should immediately try to recover the Excel file. You may do so by restoring the Excel file from backup or by using an Excel File Repair software. Otherwise, continue following this guide.

How to Solve Excel Crash Issue?

Before heading to solutions, follow these troubleshooting steps to resolve the Excel Crash issue.

Step 1: Copy File to Local Drive

If you are trying to access and edit or view an Excel file from a network drive, try moving the file to local drive. This will help you find if there is something wrong with the file or the network.

Step 2: Ensure Sufficient Memory

Excel files can grow fairly large when you start adding lots of formatting and shapes. Make sure that your system has enough RAM to run the application.

Ensure Sufficient Memory

If you often work with large Excel files and complex data values& formulas, then install 64-bit versions of MS Office. It will give you an advantage of larger processing capacities and prevent Excel from crash or freeze.

Step 3: Check If Excel is Open and In Use by Another Process

Open Task Manager and close all processes or apps (tasks) that may be using or have access to your Excel file that you are working on. You can find this detail in status bar of Excel program at the bottom of program window.

Task Manager

After closing the tasks, try to access the Excel file and check if this fixes the performance and crash problem in Excel.

Step 4: Test and Repair Excel File

Create a copy of the Excel file and install Stellar Repair for Excel software. It's free to download. Scan and repair your Excel file using the software. After repair, save the Excel file at your desired location and then open the Excel file in the MS Excel program.

Stellar Repair for Excel software

This should ideally fix all the issues with Excel.

However, if the Excel program still crashes, the problem lies within the system or program. Follow the solutions discussed in this guide to try to fix the Excel crash issue.

NOTE: To save repaired Excel file using the mentioned software, you must purchase the activation key and activate it.

Solutions to Fix MS Excel Crash Issue

Following are some solutions to resolve problems with MS Excel such as,

  • Excel not responding
  • Excel won't open
  • Excel keeps crashing

Follow these solutions in the given order. In case a method doesn't work, move to the next one.

Solution 1: Restart Excel in Safe Mode

By starting MS Excel in safe mode, you can run the program without loading the Excel add-ins and with limited features. But COM add-ins are excluded.

To launch Excel in safe mode, close MS Excel and follow these steps,

  • Create a shortcut of MS Excel on Desktop
  • Press and hold the Ctrl key while launching the program
  • Click 'Yes' when a prompt appears to confirm

Alternatively, press Windows+R, type excel /safe and press 'Enter'. Use this to open Excel in safe mode on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or 7 system.

type excel /safe

Now try to open and access the Excel file and check if the issue is resolved. If it's not, head on to the next solution.

Solution 2: Check and Remove Faulty Add-ins

In case Excel doesn't crash in Safe Mode, it's possible that some faulty add-ins are the culprit behind frequent Excel crash and freeze. These Excel add-ins may interfere or conflict with the Excel program.

Check and Remove Faulty Add-ins

Find and remove the faulty add-in. It can resolve the issue. To do so, follow these steps,

  • Restart Excel in normal mode and go to File> Options> Add-ins
  • Choose COM Add-ins from the drop-down and click Go

COM Add-ins

  • Uncheck all the checkboxes and click OK

Uncheck all the check boxes

  • Restart Excel and check if the issue is resolved
  •  If Excel doesn't crash or freeze anymore, open COM Add-ins and enable one add-in at a time followed by Excel restart. Then observe Excel for freeze or crash problem

This will help you find out the faulty add-in, which is causing the problem. Remove the add-in which is causing the problem to resolve the issue. If that doesn't fix, move to the next solution.

Solution 3: Check and Install the Latest Updates

If you haven't set Windows to Download and Install Updates automatically, do it now.

Apart from updating the operating system, latest Windows updates sometimes fixes bugs for other applications installed on the system such as MS Office. Often installing an important update that you might have missed may correct the Excel crash problem.

You can also update MS Office manually. Follow these steps,

Go to File > Account

 Under Product Information, select Update Options and click Update Now

Product Information

If you have installed MS Excel from Microsoft Store, open the store and update your Office applications.

NOTE: This also works if you can't open Excel file or Excel crashes after Windows upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to Windows 10.

After installing the latest MS Office updates, check if Excel works fine. If not, head to the next solution.

Solution 4: Clear Conditional Formatting Rules

If a sheet is causing Excel to freeze or crash, there might be a problem with that particular sheet. In such a case, you may try clearing the Conditional Formatting rules. The steps are as follows,

  • Under Home, click 'Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules> Clear Rules from Entire Sheet'

Conditional Formatting

  • You may repeat this step for all other sheets in the Excel workbook
  • Then click File> Save as and save the Sheet as a new file at a different location

This avoids overwriting or making changes to the original Excel file. Once done, try working on the sheet.

If this doesn't work out, move to the next solution.

Solution 5: Remove Multiple Cell Formatting and Styles

If a workbook is being shared and edited by others on different platforms then it's possible that many cells are formatted differently. This can cause issues with Excel such as crash and freeze. It can also lead to Excel file corruption. The problem mostly occurs when a workbook contains multiple worksheets using different formatting.

You can follow this guide to remove different cell formats and styles, and then open the Excel file.

Solution 6: Disable Microsoft Excel Animation

Animations require additional processing power and resources. By disabling animations in Excel, you may resolve Excel freeze and crash issue. This also improves MS Excel performance.

To disable the animations in MS Excel, follow these steps:

  • Go to File > Options
  • Click 'Advanced' and check 'Disable hardware graphics acceleration'animation

Disable hardware graphics acceleration

  • Click 'OK' to close the window and then restart MS Excel

This has helped many users in fixing the Excel crash issue. If it doesn't work for you, head to the next solution.

Solution 7: Check If Excel File is Generated by a Third-Party Application

There are applications which you may have used to generate Excel files to fetch data. For instance, downloading data from Google Analytics in Excel format.

Sometimes, these Excel files are not generated correctly by such third-party apps. Thus, some features in Excel may not work as intended when you access the files in MS Excel.

In such a case, you should get in touch with the app developer for help with the file or use Stellar Repair for Excel to repair such Excel files.

Solution 8: Check If Antivirus or Other Apps are Conflicting with MS Excel

Ensure your antivirus is up-to-date and not conflicting with MS Excel. An outdated antivirus tool may conflict with Excel which can cause the application to hang, freeze, or crash.

  • Update your antivirus
  • Try disabling the add-in or integration between Excel and antivirus. See if it works

Alternatively, you may disable the anti-virus tool temporarily to check if it is the culprit behind Excel performance issue and crash. If that resolves the problem, get in touch with your antivirus vendor and report the problem.

They might provide you with a better solution or workaround to fix this problem without disabling the antivirus protection.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Disabling or altering antivirus protection makes your PC vulnerable to malicious attacks and virus or malware intrusion. 

Solution 9: Clean Boot Windows to Inspect the Cause Behind Excel Crash

When Windows boot, it starts several processes, services, and application during start up automatically, which runs in the background.

These startup apps and services can interfere with other applications such as MS Excel. To find out if that's the cause behind Excel crash, you can perform a Clean Boot

This helps you identify processes, services, or applications that are conflicting with Excel. Steps to perform Clean Boot are as follows, 

  • Press Windows key + R, type MSConfig, and press 'Enter'
  • In System Configuration window, click on the General tab and choose Selective startup

System Configuration

Uncheck 'Load startup items' and click 'OK'

After this, close all running applications and restart your PC

Check if the crash problem with Excel is resolved. Uninstall the conflicting apps or update them. If your issue is not resolved, follow the next solution.

Solution 10: Repair or Reinstall MS Office

Repairing Office programs may also resolve Excel crash issues if caused by damaged MS Excel program or MS Office files. The steps are as follow,

  • Close all MS Office apps and open the Control Panel
  • Click Uninstall a program under Programs

Uninstall a program

  • Click on Microsoft Office and then click on the Change option
  • Choose 'Quick repair' and then select 'Repair'
  • Click 'Continue' to repair MS Office installation

You may also try 'Online Repair' if this fails to fix the issue. After repair, if the Excel issue persists, reinstall MS Office.

Need More Help?

If none of the above-mentioned solutions worked for you, it indicates that the problem is not with the Excel program but with the Excel file. If you haven't tried the Stellar Repair for Excel software, do it now.

Select the Excel file which is causing the problem and repair it with the software. It's a powerful Excel repair software that can fix all the problems with Excel files (XLS/XLSX). It repairs corrupt and severely damaged Excel files.

The software is compatible with all Excel files created using MS Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003 or 2000.

After repairing and saving the Excel file, you can open it in your MS Excel program and work on it without any performance issue. To know more about this software, visit this page.

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