Are you looking for how to fix common Microsoft Office issues? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be showing you how to repair MS Office apps.

Why is Microsoft office freezing? What if Excel hangs?

There are a handful of issues you might encounter while using Microsoft Excel and other Office applications such as Word. Although Microsoft has done their best to provide the best user experience, the applications sometimes hang, freeze, or show a ‘Not responding’ error.

Some of the error messages you might encounter in Excel (or MS Office) include:

  • Excel has stopped working
  • Excel is not responding
  • An unknown problem has forced the application not to work correctly. Windows will close the program and display any available solutions.

These errors can occur due to any of several reasons. And that is what we will be discussing in this article. If you try any one of the suggested solutions without success, please move on to the next one. The issue you are facing will soon be resolved.

How to Fix Microsoft Excel Not Responding In a Windows PC

Solution 1: Start the Program in Safe Mode

Certain startup programs may be conflicting with Excel and causing it not to work properly. Starting Excel in safe mode can help bypass the issue. Follow the steps below to accomplish that:

  1. Press and hold control while launching the app.
  2. Alternatively, you can open the Run accessory by pressing the Windows key + R keyboard combination. Then enter ‘excel.exe /safe’ (don’t include the inverted commas) in the text box and hit Enter or click the OK button to start Excel in safe mode.

Starting Excel in safe mode bypasses some functionalities and settings such as changed toolbars, Excel add-ins, alternative startup location, and the xlstart folder. But COM add-ins will be excluded.

If the issue persists after starting the app in safe mode, then move on to the next solution.

Solution 2: Install Fresh Updates

Installing the latest Windows Updates can be helpful. They will fix vulnerabilities and replace out-of-date files that are causing your system and apps not to work correctly.

Follow these steps to install the latest Windows Updates:

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing the Win key + I keyboard combination.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. In the left pane of the new window, locate and click on Windows Updates.
  4. Click the ‘Check for updates’ button in the right pane.
  5. Wait for the system to find and download new updates and then restart your system to complete the process.

If you are using a newer version of Office, you can follow the steps below to run an update:

  1. Open the Office app (Excel).
  2. In the new document, click on the File tab and click on Account.
  3. Move to Product Information and click the Update Options drop-down to expand it.
  4. Click on ‘Update now.’
  5. After Office checks for updates and installs them if available, you can then go ahead to close the ‘You are up to date!’ window.

While carrying out the above steps, make sure that your internet connection is active.

If this solution didn’t help in resolving the Office issue, then move on to the next one.

Solution 3: Make Sure Office Is Not In Use by Some Other Process

Excel or any other Office app may not respond when it’s in use by another process. When this happens, the information will be displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the program’s window. Before attempting to carry out another function, allow the current task to conclude.

If Excel is not in use by another process but you are still facing issues, then try the next solution.

Solution 4: Check for Add-in Issues

Add-ins are useful in Excel, but they may interfere or conflict with the program. Try launching the app without add-ins and see if that will resolve the issue you are dealing with. Follow the process as shown below:

  1. If you are using Windows 7, click the Start button. Go to the Search programs and files bar and type “Excel /safe” (don’t include the quotes) and click OK.
  2. If you are using Windows 8, open the Run accessory by pressing the keyboard combination (Windows key + R). Then type “Excel /safe” in the box and hit Enter or click the OK button.
  3. If you are on Windows 10, go to the Start menu and choose ‘All Apps.’ Then select Windows system > Run. Afterward, type ‘Excel /safe’ and hit Enter or click OK.
  4. If the issue is resolved after you’ve followed the above process, go to the File tab and click on Options > Add-ins. Then select COM
    Add-ins and click Go.
  5. Unmark all the checkboxes in the list. Then click OK.
  6. Close the app and launch it again.

After you restart Excel and the issue no longer occurs, you’ll have to find out the add-in that was causing the conflict. Enable them one by one until the issue occurs again. You can then go ahead to remove the problematic item. Make sure to restart Excel each time you enable an add-in.

If none of your add-ins were the cause of the issue, then move on to the next solution below.

Solution 5: Check Excel File Details and Content

Excel files often stay on your computer for a long period of time. They are frequently upgraded to newer versions and may have been passed down to you from another user.  You might not know the edits that have been carried out in the Excel file you inherited. The following can therefore cause your app to crash or face other performance issues:

  • A formula references entire columns.
  • Defined names are excessive or invalid.
  • Multiple hidden zero height and width objects.
  • Array formulas reference an uneven number of elements in the arguments.
  • Frequent copying and pasting in workbooks cause excessive styles.

Solution 6: Your File Might be Generated by a Third-Party

If your Excel file was generated by a third-party application, it may have been done incorrectly thereby causing some features not to work properly when you open the files in the Excel app. Try another app and see you will get a similar result. If not, then you should notify the developers of the third-party app in question.

If this solution does not apply to you, then move on to the next one.

Solution 7: Repair Your Office App

Repairing your Office applications can help resolve hanging, freezing, and other issues you might encounter. Follow the procedure as shown below:

Windows 10:

  1. If you are using Windows 10, start by right-clicking the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen. Then click on Apps and Features from the power-user menu that opens.
  2. In the window that opens, select the Office app you want to repair (For example, Excel) and then click on Modify.
  3. If your copy of Office is Click-to-run, you will get a prompt that says ‘How would you like to repair your Office Programs.’ Click Online Repair > Repair. This will ensure that all issues will be fixed. You can also choose Quick Repair but that only detects and replaces corrupt program files.
  4. If your copy of Office is MSI-based instead of Click-to-run, you will see ‘Change your installation.’ Then choose Repair and click Continue.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the fix.

Window 8 or 8.1:

  1. If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, start by right-clicking the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Control Panel in the power-user menu that opens.
  3. Select ‘Category’ in the ‘View by:’ box in the top-right corner of the screen.
  4. Click on Programs > Uninstall a program.
  5. Right-click on the Office app you want to repair and select Change from the context menu that appears.
  6. If your copy of Office is the Click-to-run installation type, click on ‘Online Repair’ when presented with ‘How would you like to repair your Office Programs.’ Then select Repair. Note that opting for Quick Repair will only detect and replace corrupt program files. So to make sure that every issue is fixed, select ‘Repair.’
  7. If your copy of Office is MSI-based instead of Click-to-run, then select ‘Repair’ under ‘Change your installation.’ Click Continue.
  8. Follow the instructions as they are presented to complete the repair process.

Solution 8: Perform a Clean Boot

When you boot your PC, several apps and background processes start automatically. Some of these apps and processes may be interfering with your Office app and causing it to malfunction. You can resolve this by performing a clean boot (Also known as selective startup). This helps detect the problematic apps and processes.

We hope you’ve found these solutions on ‘how to fix Microsoft Excel not responding in a Windows PC’ useful. You can find more helpful materials about Excel. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions or suggestions. Cheers.