Does Excel keep crashing when you try and launch a workbook, or while you are trying to input a formula in a cell?

You will see the Microsoft Excel not responding error if there are faulty COM add-ins enabled, or your worksheet is corrupt from a system glitch that did not save your document.

A reinstall of Microsoft Office onto your device, and clearing the format settings from your workbook will help prevent Excel from freezing or lagging.

With this in depth guide, you will understand all the reasons behind why Excel keeps crashing, as well as learn seven easy solutions that you will be able to execute so you can get back to working on Excel without being kicked out.

Why does Excel keep crashing?

Excel keeps crashing

Why is Excel crashing

Excel will keep crashing if you have used incorrect format styles on different worksheets within your workbook. The Microsoft Office program will be unable to process incorrect formulas, and if these combinations are distributed over multiple sheets, the software will become overwhelmed with invalid data and end up crashing, freezing or stop responding.

Microsoft Excell can crash in different forms, and at different stages. These include;

Forms of Excel crashes:

  • Excel keeps crashes
  • Automatically shuts down
  • Excel file is corrupt
  • An error comes up as ‘Microsoft Excel is not responding’
  • ‘Microsoft Excel has stopped working’ appears on your screen
  • Excel freezes

Stages of Excel crashes:

  • Excel crashes when saving
  • Excel freezes when copying
  • Crashes when opening a workbook
  • Inputting a format or style
  • Excel hangs when exiting
  • Changing a cell
  • Copy and Paste

There are a few additional reasons why Excel keeps crashing when you try and launch or edit a workbook. These include;

Reason 2. Enabled add-in

If there is an enabled add-in in your Microsoft files that is corrupted or incompatible, it will cause issues with your Excel documents.

Certain add-ins will work alongside Excel, however, some can cause Excel to crash, or freeze.

Reason 3. Excel file corrupt

There could be a possibility that your Excel file is corrupted and therefore, cannot be opened.

Files become corrupt if they are not shut down in the correct manner. This could be due to an unexpected closure, or a restart of your device without exiting out of your workbook first.

Reason 4. Excel is in use with a different process

If Excel is currently being used with another process, it will show at the bottom of your Excel screen. You can attempt to use the program during this time, however, it will create conflict because Excel will not be able to perform for two different processes simultaneously.

This is when you might experience the ‘Not Responding’ error on your screen.

Reason 5. Faulty MS Office install

The MS Office application could have been installed with faulty software. This can happen if there was an interruption during the download phase, or the data just happened to be corrupted.

This can occur if your internet connection was disconnecting while you were installing MS Office onto your computer.

Reason 6. Update required

Your Windows operating system may be due to be updated, as well as your Excel application.

If one or the other is outdated, it can create incompatibility issues on your desktop when you come to launch Excel and use a workbook.

Reason 7. Third-party software

If you import data into an Excel workbook from a third party program that contains conflicting or faulty software, Excel will not be able to process the information, and you may experience the crashing issue in the form of Excel freezing or crashing.

Reason 8. Network connection

You can use Microsoft Excel offline, however, to receive the programs full functionality, to be connected to a stable internet connection is recommended.

If your network service provider does not provide you with a strong connection and is intermittent, this will interfere with Excel processing your workbook functions.

Tip, to confirm how well your network is performing, you can check your internet speeds.

(Did you know; when Microsoft released Excel in 1985, it was exclusive to Apple only, on the basis that they would be given code information for Mac’s system features. It was only after two years that Microsoft released Excel to other computing systems.)

How do I fix Excel from crashing?

Excel keeps crashing

How to fix Excel from crashing

You can fix Excel from not responding without closing by clearing any special formats and styles you have input on your worksheet. This will get rid of any incorrect formulas that could be causing your workbook to crash. On the specific sheet that contains any formulas and styles, you can clear its ‘Conditional Formatting.

(Fix 1). How to clear Excel conditional formatting:

Step 1. Get onto the Excel worksheet in question

Step 2. Press ‘Conditional Formatting’ in the Toolbar

Step 3. Click on ‘Clear Rules’ from the drop-down menu

Step 4. Now choose ‘Clear Rules From Entire Sheet’

This will erase every formula on your Excel sheet.

Excel keeps crashing

How to clear formatting on Excel

If you do not have any current formulas or styles that you have included in your workbook, you can prevent Excel from continuously crashing by following these 7 easy solutions;

Fix 2. Disable add-ins

You may have certain add-ins enabled in your Excel program that is faulty or causing conflict with your worksheet.

For example, COMS add-ins are prone to interfere with large Excel spreadsheets.

Step 1. On Excel, click on ‘File’ followed by ‘Options’

NB, options may be under ‘More’.

Step 2. Choose ‘Add-Ins’ from the menu list on the left

Step 3. Change the drop-down menu from ‘Manage’ to ‘COM Add-Ins’ and press ‘Go’

Step 4. Disable any items that are on

Close Excel and relaunch it to refresh the changes.

Note, you can disable the ‘Excel Add-Ins’ if you wish.

Excel keeps crashing

Disable Excel COMS add-in

Fix 3. Recover Excel data

If your Excel file is corrupt, you will need to repair them. You can do this by downloading a repair tool onto your device that will restore your worksheet data.

It has been recommended to download Stellar Repair For Excel‘ 

Step 1. Wait for the program to download onto your device

Step 2. Once opened, choose the Excel sheet with the issue

Step 3. Select ‘Repair’

You will be able to preview your file and save it to your desired location.

Fix 4. Check for other running processes

If additional processes are running on your desktop that has access to Excel, you will need to disable these to prevent them from interfering with your workbook.

Part one:

Step 1. Press the ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ buttons together

Step 2. In the box that appears, type in ‘msconfig’ and click ‘OK’

Step 3. Click on the ‘Services’ tab above

Step 4. Now enable ‘Hide all Microsoft Services’ followed by ‘Disable All’

You can now click ‘OK’ to save these changes.

Excel keeps crashingPart two: 

Step 1. Launch your Task Manager (CTRL, ALT, DEL)

Step 2. Select ‘Startup’ from the tab menu

Step 3. Turn off the programs by right-clicking and selecting ‘Disable’

Disable all necessary processes, exit Task Manager and restart your device.

Fix 5. Reinstall MS Office

If the install for MS Office had faulty files, you will need to uninstall and reinstall the application.

How to uninstall Microsoft Office:

Step 1. Launch the ‘Control Panel’ on your device

Step 2. Enter the ‘Programs’ option by choosing ‘Uninstall a Program’

Step 3. Search for Microsoft Office and right-click on it

Step 4. Select ‘Uninstall’

You will need to confirm by clicking ‘Yes’.

Tip, restart your PC before reinstalling Excel.

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How to reinstall Microsoft Office:

Step 1. Sign in to your Office account

Step 2. You should see an ‘Install’ button on the home page

Step 3. Allow the download to take place

Once the reinstallation is complete, you can launch Excel.

Fix 6. Check third party application

You may be importing data into your Excel workbook from a third party application that is not compatible, or the information that has been generated is in an incorrect format.

To check this, input the formula, data or style without using the program and see if Excel accepts the format.

Fix 7. Confirm network is stable

It’s also good to check that your internet is stable and connected without any intermittent issues.

Although Excel can operate without constantly being connected to a network, you will be limited with certain features, and requests may not get processed properly if Microsoft is not connected.

Rebooting your router will refresh your device’s connection and prevent Excel from not responding or crashing.

Large Excel file keeps crashing

If you notice only large Excel files are crashing when you attempt to launch, save or edit the workbook, this may be due to not having enough RAM on your device. Free up more space on your computer, otherwise, you can attempt to access your Excel file by opening Microsoft Excel in safe mode.

How to open Excel in safe mode:

Step 1. Press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ together

Step 2. In the box that appears, type in excel.exe /safe

Once you press ‘OK’, Excel will automatically open in safe mode. You can use this step as a method to fix your Excel from crashing with normal-sized files too.


Now that we know why Excel keeps crashing, you can take preventative measures to ensure this problem does not occur again when you try and launch a workbook, or edit a current Excel sheet with different formulas and styles.

We hope this guide has helped you fix Excel from lagging at whatever stage of your process, and that you can proceed with your work without being delayed.

If, however, you are concerned about your Microsoft Office program you can contact their Office Support page.