If Excel crashes and you can’t work, try these solutions

Fix Microsoft Excel not responding or not working

When it comes to working with spreadsheets, Office is the most popular tool worldwide, being used by millions of users both at home and professionally. The app is integrated within the Office suite and Microsoft 365. In general, the app should work properly, although there may be situations where we may experience problems opening or working with documents.

At the moment that Excel does not respond or does not work, we are faced with an irritating and annoying problem, which can become more serious when we have data that we have not been able to save. For this reason, today we are going to see the most probable causes for what this happens and how to solve it.

Reasons why Excel is not responding

There are several causes that can lead to Microsoft spreadsheet not responding or suddenly crashing, showing us error messages such as Excel not responding or Excel has stopped working. When this happens, we may have to wait for the program to respond or force it to close through Task Manager, risking losing unsaved information.

This can happen when saving a spreadsheet or opening a new document. It can also happen to us when editing or inserting images, graphics, etc. But mostly it happens while we are working on a document and the system crashes or shuts down.

These problems can occur for various reasons, such as:

  • The latest updates have not been installed.
  • The application is being used by another process.
  • Problems caused by the latest plugins installed.
  • Another program on the PC may be in conflict with the Excel application.
  • Microsoft Office is damaged and needs to be repaired.

These problems can become frustrating, it is not in vain that we may not know how to act in such a situation. However, you should not panic, as there are possible solutions to overcome errors that cause the program to stop responding or stop working.

Troubleshooting steps

Next, we tell you a series of methods that we can carry out to solve the errors that prevent the Microsoft spreadsheet tool from working properly.

open in safe mode

If Excel has frequently stopped working and is not responding, we can try start it in safe mode. This is a way that can be especially useful when the program does not respond. In this way, the application starts with only the essential services, omitting other functionalities or the use of plugins.

To start the program in this mode, we must press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + R”, through which we will open the Run command. Here we will write “excel.exe/safe» and press Enter or the OK button. If it starts, we try to open any file and verify if it continues to fail, it may be due to a problem with an installed plugin.

Check for faulty plugins

Installed extensions can also cause errors that prevent Excel from working properly. The application has two types, COM plugins and others installed as files. XLL, XLA or XLAM. In case they are found to be defective, they can cause the program to freeze while we use it, so we must detect them in order to eliminate them.

Excel disable add-ins

To do this, click on the “File” tab and click on the “Options” section. This will cause a new window called “Excel Options” to open. Later we click on “Add-ins” from where we will be able to see and manage the “Microsoft Office Add-ins”. We uncheck for disable all plugins. Next, we enable a plugin and check if the app works properly. If everything goes well, we enable another plugin and so on until we find one that is causing the problem. Once located, we remove it completely.

Repair XLS and XLSX files

There are situations where an Excel XLS or XLSX file is damaged, causing the appearance of errors or application crashes that prevent it from being used correctly. To solve it we can use a tool called Stellar Repair for Excel. The application has a price of 39 euros, although it allows us to download a free trial version.

Stellar Repair for Excel

Once installed, we run it and find and select the corrupt Excel file and click the Repair button. Later, it will show us a preview and we can save the file by clicking on Save as in the main menu. Once finished, we open the file and check if we can work normally.

Update Windows and Office

As we have mentioned, the problem can be caused by not having the latest versions of Windows and Office installed. These usually contain patches and bug fixes so they can help us improve the stability of the application and prevent errors from appearing or not working properly. From Windows it is possible to download and install critical updates for Office automatically, to solve possible performance problems.

Windows Update Advanced Options

To do this, we must access the Windows Configuration menu, pressing the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Later we select “Update and security” and “Windows Update”. Next, we click on “Advanced options” and in the new window we enable all options to download and install updates for both Windows and Microsoft products automatically, without the need to perform them manually. Once done, we restart the system and check if everything works correctly again.

Repair Microsoft Office

Another cause for Excel not responding or not working properly is because there are program files that are damaged or corrupted. To do this, Office has its own repair tool that we can run to fix it.

To do this, we must close all Office programs and access the Windows Settings menu by pressing the key combination “Windows + I”. Then we click on the “Applications” and “Applications and features” section. We scroll to the bottom of the screen until we locate the installed Microsoft Office application or Microsoft 365. We click on it and then on “Modify”. This will open a new window where we select the “Quick Repair” option.

Repair Office from Settings

Once this is done, Office will review all the files of your programs and in the event that it finds any that are defective, it will proceed to repair it. Once finished, we start Excel to check if everything works normally again.

Remove and reinstall Office

If at this point and not even with the repair we manage to solve the problem, it will possibly be necessary to uninstall Office and reinstall it again. To do this we close all running programs and return to the Settings menu. Click on applications and search for Office or Microsoft 365 again. Click on it and this time we choose the Uninstall option.

Uninstall Office

Once the uninstall is complete, which may take a few minutes, we download Office again from this link to their official website. This should be able to fix any internal issues, getting everything back to normal and usable properly.