How to Fix Microsoft Excel has Stopped Working Error?

Summary: This blog discusses the possible reasons behind ‘Microsoft Excel has stopped working’ error and solutions to resolve the error manually. You can use Stellar Repair for Excel to quickly repair the file and recover all its data in a hassle-free manner.


How to Fix Microsoft Excel has Stopped Working Error?

Has your Microsoft Excel program stopped working or is acting strange? Excel not responding is a common issue you may experience on launching the application or opening a spreadsheet.

Excel has stopped working

Figure 1 – Microsoft Excel Has Stopped Working Error Message

Possible Causes behind ‘Microsoft Excel has Stopped Working’ Error, and Solutions Thereof

Note: Several users have reported about encountering the ‘Excel has stopped working’ issue on Windows 10, 8, and 7 OS after installing an update for Excel (KB3118373). If you too have installed the update, then uninstall it and check if it solves the error. For detailed information, refer to this link.

Cause 1 – Microsoft Office Excel Application is Outdated

Excel may stop working, hang or freeze, if you have not installed MS Office updates.

Solution – Keep Microsoft Office Installation Updated

Setting Windows to automatically download and install the latest (and recommended) MS Office updates might help you resolve the Microsoft Office Excel has stopped working problem. Essentially, installing the updates helps replace obsolete files and fix vulnerabilities which might be causing problems with your Excel application.

Update MS Office

Figure 2 – Microsoft Office Updates

Click here for more information on installing Office updates.

Cause 2 – Faulty Add-Ins

Add-ins make working with Excel application easy, but they can occasionally interfere with the application.

Solution – Disable Faulty Add-Ins

Try starting Excel in safe mode, as it will help you open the application without add-ins. Do any of the following to start Excel in safe mode.

  • Press and hold ‘Ctrl’ key while you open the program. Click OK when prompted to open Excel in safe mode.
excel in safe mode

Figure 3 – Start Excel in Safe Mode Message

  • Type ‘Excel /safe’ in the Run dialog box, and then click OK.
run windows

Figure 4 – Run Window

If the issue is fixed, try disabling the add-ins by following these steps:

Step 1: In Excel, click File > Options.

Step 2: In Excel Options window, select Add-ins.

Step 3: At the bottom of the ‘View and manage Microsoft Office Add-ins’ dialog box, change the Manage dropdown to COM add-ins. Select Go.

excel com add-ins

Figure 5 – Excel COM Add-ins

Step 4: In the COM Add-ins dialog box, uncheck all the checkboxes, and then choose OK

Restart Excel and check if it is working. If it is working fine, re-enable the add-ins one-by-one (while simultaneously restarting Excel each time). That way, you can spot which add-in is causing the problem and disable it for good.

Cause 3 – Problematic Macros

Some users have reported that Excel macros inconsistently causes Excel to stop working.

Solution – Recompile Macros

Here’s how you can use macros while avoiding the Microsoft Excel stopped working error:

Step 1: Launch Excel and click Developer > Visual Basic.

excel developer option

Figure 6 – Excel Developer Option

Step 2: Go to Tools Options.

VBA editor

Figure 7 – VBA Editor

Step 3: When the Options window opens, under the General tab, clear the ‘Compile on Demand’.

clear compile on demand option

Figure 8 – Clear ‘Compile On Demand’ Option

Step 4: In the Project navigation pane, right-click Module and select Insert to add a new module.

insert module in vba

Figure 9 – Insert Module in VBA

Step 5: Save your spreadsheet and exit the application.

After performing these steps, you won’t encounter the MS Excel not working error when using macros.

Cause 4 – Virus Infection and Antivirus Integration with Excel

Running outdated antivirus software makes it easy for viruses to break in, causing Excel to stop working. You might also face this issue, if your antivirus software is conflicting with Excel program.

Solution – Check if Antivirus Program is Outdated or Conflicting with Excel

Make sure that your antivirus program is up-to-date to safeguard Excel against new viruses. Antivirus software vendors releases latest updates. Make sure to download the updates from vendor’s website.

If antivirus program includes integration with Microsoft Excel, you may face performance issues. In that case, disable antivirus software from integrating with your Excel application. Or, remove all antivirus software add-ins from the application and check if it fixes the error.

You can contact your antivirus software vendor to assist you in removing Excel integration within the antivirus program.

Caution: Making any changes to the antivirus settings can make your computer vulnerable to malicious attacks. Use this solution at your own risk.

Cause 5 – Microsoft Office Installation is Corrupt

Any problem or corruption within your Microsoft Office suite can also result in Excel not working error.

Solution – Repair MS Office

Try repairing your MS Office installation. Doing so, will repair the Excel application and fix the ‘Microsoft Excel has stopped working’ error.

Refer to this link for detailed information on repairing Office application.

Repair MS Office

Figure 10 – Microsoft Office Repair

Recommended Solution to Recover Excel File

If none of the above-mentioned fixes work, there might be a problem within your Microsoft Excel application. Finding exactly what the problem is could take hours, let alone the time needed to fix it. Thus, to find a quick solution without much hassle, use Stellar Repair for Excel software.

Free Download

This professional Excel Repair tool can repair corrupt Excel (XLS/XLSX) file and restore all its data into a new blank Excel file.

Read this: How to Resolve Excel File Corruption Errors Using Stellar Repair for Excel?

Backed by powerful algorithms, the software preserves worksheet properties and cell formatting while recovering tables, charts, cell comments, images, formulas, etc. It can repair single or multiple XLS/XLSX files.

Read expert’s review on Stellar Repair for Excel software from here.

Wrapping Up

Before attempting the above-mentioned solutions, try to understand what is causing Microsoft Excel has stopped working error in the first place. Once you have identified the reason behind the error, you can save time by choosing the right solution to your problem. But, if none of the solutions works for you, use Stellar Repair for Excel software to fix the error. The software helps repair Excel (XLS/XLSX) files and restore the data within the files to its original state.

Comments(6)
  1. JimmyHet September 8, 2019
  2. Jamestig June 12, 2019
  3. James Neeno May 17, 2019
    • Eric Simson May 19, 2019
  4. Hollis March 25, 2019
    • Eric Simson March 26, 2019

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