Read time10 minutes

Summary: This article offers solutions to common Microsoft Excel problems, including unresponsiveness and errors. It covers manual troubleshooting steps and introduces user-friendly software for advanced Excel file repair and data recovery.

Have you ever experienced problems with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets while working on them, only to suddenly receive an error message stating that Microsoft Excel is unresponsive? The answer is likely yes, as this is a common issue that many Excel users encounter at some point.


Microsoft Excel often comes with its fair share of errors, leaving you wondering if you’ll ever encounter one. However, it’s important to note that Excel isn’t always to blame; sometimes, external factors play a role. For instance, the number of concurrent applications running, your system’s hardware specifications (can it handle the workload?), and the availability of resources for other programs can all contribute to these issues.

Other factors can also impede the proper functioning of the program, including the installation of third-party plugins, system security software, and running an outdated version of the program.

Identifying the root cause of these issues can indeed be a time-consuming endeavor. Rather than investing precious time in pinpointing the cause, it often makes sense to focus on finding a solution. This approach can help you save valuable time, data, and potentially prevent financial losses in your business. After all, in the business world, every minute counts, and those minutes can translate into significant costs, big or small, depending on the circumstances.

In this article, we will provide you with methods to resolve the issue of the program not responding and address error messages effectively.

Note: The following methods apply to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel for Office 365.

Start MS Excel in Safe Mode

By running MS Excel in safe mode, you can inspect startup problems, if any.

When Microsoft Excel is launched in safe mode, it bypasses certain functionalities, including custom startup locations, modified toolbars, the ‘xlstart’ folder, and installed Add-ins.

Note: COM Add-ins don’t fall under this check.

You can launch Excel in Safe Mode in two ways:

  1. Press & Hold CTRL while you start Microsoft Excel.
  2. You can start the program using the command prompt with the /safe switch; follow the below steps:
    1. Press windows button and type cmd to launch the command prompt;CMD executable would be highlighted, as below:
      CMD executable
    2. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to start cmd with as an administrator.
    3. Now, before we launch Excel in safe mode, we need to know excel.exe file location.
      To find it, press Windows and type excel > right-click on the highlighted application, and select Open file location.
      select Open file location
    4. Explorer would open, click on the address bar and copy the path.
      open Explorer
    5. Now, in the command prompt, we need to change the directory.
      Type cd \ and press Enter.
      change the directory
    6. Type cd and right-click inside the command prompt to paste the path we copied in step 4, and press Enter. The directory would change.
      command prompt to paste the path
    7. Type start excel.exe /safe – this will open Excel in safe mode.
      open Excel in safe mode
    8. Once Excel is open, you can see the status in the status bar, as below.
      see the status of open file

Install the Latest Updates Available

To reduce the likelihood of encountering issues, it is advisable to install the latest updates, which replace outdated files and address vulnerabilities. To install updates for standalone Office applications, follow these steps:

  1. Press Start, type Excel and click Enter.
    Install Latest Updates available
  2. Select the Blank Document – Excel sheet.
    Select the Blank Document
  3. Click on File tab > Account and select Update Options.
    select update option
  4. Click Update Now
    click Update now

Check for Issues with Add-ins

While installing Add-ins can introduce additional functionality or exclusive features to the program, it’s not without its potential drawbacks. Add-ins can sometimes be the cause of errors, program unresponsiveness, and various other issues.

To determine if an issue is caused by an add-in, you can disable them all at once or one by one, and then restart Excel. If the issue no longer occurs, you can pinpoint the problematic add-in and uninstall it by following the steps below:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel.
  2. Click on File tab > Options and select Add-ins.
    Inspect issues with Add-ins
  3. At the bottom of the window, select COM Add-ins > click GO.
    Go for COM Add-ins
  4. Here, deselect all the active Add-ins and click Ok.
    deselect Add-ins
  5. Restart and check if the issue persists.

Repair Excel or Office Suite from Control Panel

If you’re encountering a problem without a clear cause, and the issue remains a mystery, attempting to repair the program may offer a solution. Follow the steps below to initiate the repair process:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Control Panel.
     Office Suite from Control Panel
  2. Select Uninstall a program – under the Programs section.
    Uninstall a program
  3. Look for your installation of Excel.
    Note: If you’ve installed the standalone version of Excel, then look by its name; in the case of Microsoft Office Suite, do as below:

    Right-click on the application or the Office Suite and click Change.

    change Office Suite

  4. Select Quick Repair > click Repair.
    Note: You can also select Online Repair option if the issues are not fixed after Quick Repair.

    Quick Repair

What to do when nothing worked for you?

By employing the methods outlined above, you can successfully address the issue of Excel not responding to errors and continue your work seamlessly from where you left off.

Sometimes, due to extreme corruption or damage, it becomes impossible to repair the Excel file. In such a scenario, methods like the above don’t come handy and need a reliable fix.

excel repair tool

This software is an advanced tool designed to tackle the situations mentioned above. It has the capability to resolve various issues related to Microsoft Excel, regardless of the installation you’re using. You can easily repair corrupt or inaccessible Excel files data with this tool. It is compatible with all Excel versions, including Excel 2019 and Office 365 Excel. Even non-technical users can confidently use it for comprehensive Excel recovery.


Microsoft Excel can encounter problems for a variety of reasons. While the manual methods mentioned above can often resolve issues promptly, in cases of severe or persistent problems where conventional methods prove ineffective, you can turn to this software. This tool is capable of analyzing both corrupted and severely damaged Microsoft Excel files, regardless of the extent of corruption. It offers the option to repair the file or recover data, making it the ideal solution for overcoming accessibility and corruption issues with your Excel files.

Kernel for Excel Repair