How to Resolve Microsoft Excel is Not Responding Error

Priyanka Chouhan
Stellar Data Recovery
Share this content

Microsoft Excel is mostly used by companies for saving financial data. From calculation of profit/loss to finding averages, to charting and graphing data, Excel is used for several operations. It is even used for forecasting, and therefore, for making crucial business decisions.
An important program like Excel needs to work smoothly, so as to keep the data safe. However, several times, users face an error wherein Excel crashes, freezes or stops working. They get an error message saying- “Excel is not responding”, or “Excel has stopped working.”

Excel is not responding
Error Message - Excel is not responding

How to Resolve the Error Message - Microsoft Excel is Not Responding

Run Excel in Safe Mode

Open the command prompt, by pressing Windows + R, or choose the Run option from the Start Menu. In the command prompt, type excel.exe/safe, to run MS Excel in Safe Mode. Now try opening the file again. This would help if an ‘add-in’ or another program is causing Excel to crash.

Change Default Printer

This is a very simple solution. When we open an excel document like a spreadsheet, it attempts to communicate with the printer, so as to find out the margins supported by the default printer. If that communication fails, Excel crashes.  In this case, you need to change the default printer. Go to the Control Panel, and click on Devices and Printers. Now, set Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the default printer, by right clicking on it. 

Once done, try to open excel again and your problem may be resolved.

Install Latest Updates

Issues often occur if the latest Office and Windows Updates are not installed. Make sure you install the latest versions and any updates you may have missed on. It is recommended to choose the option of Automatically Installing any Updates, for windows. You can do this by going to the control panel and then System and Security. 

Fix Problems with Add-ins

In safe mode, open Excel. Then click on File. Once it opens, go to Options. There, click on add-ins. The different add-ins in that program will be displayed.

You can try to disable the add-ins one by one, checking in between, if the problem has been resolved. If you see a recently added add in, you can try removing it first, to check if excel works after that.

Repair Office

One of the ways to fix the ‘Excel is not responding’ error is to repair Microsoft Office. For doing this, go to the Control panel, and choose Programs and Features. Click on Microsoft Office in the list, and then on Change button at the top. 

You will get the option to automatically ‘Repair’ Office. Once that is done, check if the problem has been solved.

Uninstall and Reinstall Office
If none of these methods work, you may have to uninstall Microsoft Office, and then reinstall it. It does not need to be done manually. Microsoft offers a program for it called the Easy Fix tool. You can find it on Microsoft’s official website. 

Update Anti-virus software

Apart from these solutions, it is recommended that you check if your anti-virus software is up to date. It may be conflicting with Excel and causing problems. You can try to disable your anti-virus and re-check if the error has been resolved.

If none of the above methods work, you can always use an efficient third party software like Stellar Phoenix Excel Repair

Stellar Phoenix Excel Repair

If the manual methods fail, you can opt for Stellar Phoenix Excel Repair. It automatically fixes corrupt Excel files. It restores all data, charts, worksheets to a new Excel File. It has a search option, which allows you to search for Excel files on the selected drive or the folder. It can help fix multiple Excel files at once. 

It has a user-friendly interface, and a step by step wizard will guide you and help you fix any Excel errors that you may be encountering. It can be used for both Mac and Windows. This tool could prove to be a life saver for those who facing a loss of important data due to non-responsiveness or crash of Excel.


This is an AccountingWEB community member blog post. To share your insights and opinions on the profession, visit our community blog page.

About Priyanka Chouhan


Please login or register to join the discussion.

Jun 27th 2016 06:18

You saved me. :)

Thanks (0)
to Peter Smith
Jul 19th 2016 10:32

Hi Peter,

Thanks a lot for your kind words. Keep reading!

Thanks (0)
By Tina J
Jul 19th 2016 06:09

Very useful post. Simple and easy steps....

Thanks (0)
to Tina J
Jul 19th 2016 10:33

Thanks Tina.

Thanks (0)
Sep 8th 2016 06:31

Hi guys,

Here I would like to introduce another excellent third party Excel recovery software, known as Kernel for Excel. The software is easy-to-use and allows users to extract complete data from both XLS and XLSX types of MS Excel files. The software work excellent in all conditions. Get more information about the software, visit:

Thanks (0)
Dec 19th 2016 09:15

Gives perfect solution for users can be a good choice, which can completely repair corrupt MS Excel documents simply and fast without any quality loss. It can easily fix any kinds of error and corruption use any repair tool to fix your problem instantly. Link-

Thanks (0)
Nov 25th 2017 11:56

Excel was giving me “Excel not responding” error message abruptly while working on spreadsheets which were leading me to get extremely frustrated, so after I came across your article, I tried the first three solutions, but they were not able to solve the issue however after I disabled all the plugins installed, it started to work perfectly.

Thanks (0)